Friday, June 10, 2011

Breaking the silence.

I often watch the world around me play out like a slow motion movie. I watch the actors play their part, and I watch as the story slowly unfolds. I look at people and see so many of them smiling on the outside, but hiding on the inside. Just acting their part. And at night, at home, alone in their bedrooms, they cry. I often look at people and I wonder what is really going on inside their hearts. What fears, what sadness, what hopelessness?
I am amazed how we as humans today, have this crazy notion that we have to be perfect. We have to have the perfect life, perfect marriage, the perfect body. It’s a world created competition to see whose life is better. And we will go to all ends to portray that image. And then suddenly we hear about a couple divorcing that was apparently blissfully, happily married. We will hear of someone committing suicide that was apparently really content and happy. Woman kill their children. Husbands shoot their wives.

“I’m doing great,” we hear people say all the time. So that’s how it goes. We spend most of our time in active hiding. We cover, we pretend, and we hide. Our personalities, our minds, our hearts, and mostly our true feelings.  We are so scared to show our true selves, tell our real story. We pretend instead, because that’s what the world wants to hear. Or that’s what we think the world wants to hear. We do not know how to be real anymore.

I have too, a long time ago, spent many a day making other people believe that I am someone who I am not. Someone who is happy, content, living a perfect little life. But it was a lie. I was falling to pieces inside.
I have since told my story. Many times. Today, I am free. My heart sings. I don’t cry alone in my room thinking dark thoughts. I don’t cower to the world thinking I am worthless. I don’t smile when I want to weep. I don’t push the hurt somewhere is a corner. I have finally stood up and said enough is enough. This is what has been done to me. This is what I have done.  I have come to understand that there is no light in darkness. There is no freedom in hiding. There is nothing so liberating as to finally sing the song of your heart. There is an enemy who wants nothing more than for you to stay just the way you are. But there is no freedom in that, no joy. “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.” Matt 5:14

I want to tell you that we all have pain. We all have secrets. There is just no point in burying it. Or burying the pain, guilt, or fear that comes with it. It will slowly destroy your heart.
It took me a long time to tell my story. It was buried so deep that I sometimes even believed myself that I didn’t have a story to tell. But slowly I unearthed the demons. Picked them off one by one. Faced the pain. It was not easy at all, but no good or worthy thing in life is. I want to tell you to go fix your heart. Go tell your story. Find a good therapist, pastor, friend. Tell your secrets. Start Being Real. Stop the pretense. There is nothing, NOTHING, that can not be redeemed, fixed, restored. “For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. Plans to prosper you. Plans to give you a hope and a future.” Jer 29:11

Show your heart. I know it is not easy. Yes, you might be rejected by some, but most will warmly embrace you. And when you are real, others can be real around you too. There is nothing quite as comforting as being with someone you can be real with.
Your broken heart can heal another. Your sad story can lift someone out of theirs. I very quickly realized that I shouldn’t try to hide who I am, my story, what has happened to me, but celebrate it. Embrace it.
There is just no point in living life half the you that you can be.

“The Skin Horse had lived longer in the nursery than any of the others. He was so old and most of the hairs in his tail had been pulled out to string bead necklaces. For nursery magic is very strange and wonderful, and only those playthings that are old and wise and experienced like the Skin Horse understand all about it.
"What is REAL?" asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. "Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?"
"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."
"Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit.
"Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt."
"Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked, "or bit by bit?"
"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in your joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."
"I suppose you are real?" said the Rabbit. And then he wished he had not said it, for he thought the Skin Horse might be sensitive. But the Skin Horse only smiled.
"The Boy's Uncle made me Real," he said. "That was a great many years ago; but once you are Real you can't become unreal again. It lasts for always."
                                                                    -The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams.

Please feel free to tell me some of your stories! Do you think a broken heart can be fixed? I would love to hear your thoughts.

Hugs and kisses always,
Nadine S.

PS: Here are some of my favorite "fix your heart" books that really changed my world. Check them out!


Anna said...

Very true and timely. We do all hide behind a mask and pretend that life is great. What a beautiful reminder that life is too short to live with the pain. Saying how you feel is far better than hiding. Thanks for sharing this with us!

Amber said...

Beautifully said Nadine....

Tania said...

Wow.. taking me back to hour res days and The Prophet.. Het nogsteeds my boekie.. and the Road less travelled.. good discussions, thoughts on friends and life! mis dit soms! will follow this!

Nadine S. said...

@Anna, thx for the nice words!
@Amber, thx for follwing and commenting! Keep me updated on the bambino.
@Tania, soooo goed om van jou te hoor! Ek onthou ook al daai dae:)

Colmol said...

Wow - love the application of being a "city on a hill"... have never seen it in terms of living simply who you are, pain, joys and everything in between. It makes me think of how it is we always try to cover up our weaknesses when God very specifically promises to be strong in those very places...

Janet isern said...

Nadine your site is so inspiring. It has been 2 years since I lost my son David and I thank you so much for being there for me. Your friendship I treasure and I wish you health and happiness for you and Dr. Smith and your children. Love to you all.