This past week I was reading a Momastery post and it just hit home. An amazing woman wrote a letter about her sister that had passed. She eloquently wrote about how her sister felt things so deeply that she struggled with the largeness of it all – the weight that life had for her. I couldn’t stop thinking about how many times I hear about someone who lost the battle against themselves. I think that those of us that fight this battle hide in the shame that we feel – that we are supposed to hold it all together; life isn’t supposed to be that difficult when you have a wonderful family, beautiful children, great career, etc. and it looks like you are holding it all together – you shouldn’t complain and most of all there shouldn’t be anything wrong.
After reading that post this week, I thought what better way to start this blog I have wanted to write for soooooo long. What better way than to share about myself what doesn’t need to be hidden; what I have kept hidden for so long. I am one of those people that fights against themselves every day.
My inner voice is mean, and by mean I mean she could take down the biggest, baddest bully on the playground and while he lay there bleeding and broken she would spit on him and laugh just waiting for him to get back up so she could do it all again. This is the voice that greets me in the morning letting me know, “you have nothing to offer anyone.” She is the voice that critiques everything I do; everything I have done as far back as I can remember. But with that voice comes the ability to love deeply – when I love, I love BIG, when I am your friend, I AM YOUR FRIEND, when I open up you see EVERYTHING. And to that end, when I hurt, I HURT, and when I am sad I am SAD. But I have been blessed with a wonderful family that helps keep me pushing – helps keep that voice quiet day in and day out.
So, why share this you ask. I share this today because I have kept this part of me hidden from most of the world – ashamed that my inner voice beats me down, ashamed that I am sad when I have no reason to be, ashamed that I don’t like myself when there seems to be no clear reason that I shouldn’t. But after reading that letter, I think it is the shame and the fear of how we will be perceived that gives that mean inner voice so much power. I think it is important that I share this because I don’t think I am alone. I think there are others like me that wake up each day with doubt, and self-hatred when there shouldn’t be any. I think that if we know that it is okay, that there are others like us than we can soldier on in that the hope that if we aren’t quiet about it then that inner voice will get softer and we will be able to drown out the doubt.
I think it is also important for others to understand, we didn’t choose this as our way of thinking, we don’t want our inner voices to be this way. Many of us work diligently to ignore and try to retrain our thinking, but it is tiring and overwhelming at times. Sometimes that inner voice is so loud that we can’t do anything but to hear it in hopes that it will just tire itself out and leave us at peace. We are not crazy, we are not broken, damaged, or any less than anyone else – our brains work differently. I truly 100% believe there is a reason our brains work this way – I still don’t know exactly why, but one day I think it will be clear to me. There is a reason for everything and God does things with purpose. I am me because it was supposed to be that way.
I hope that somewhere, someone is reading this and finding a bit of peace knowing that they aren’t alone that it is okay to be the way you are. That there are others who struggle with a big, mean, ugly inner voice. That you can live and breathe and find happiness despite of it. I hope that one day I wake up and that voice says, “you have so much to offer, go offer it.” Not sure it will, but that is what I work towards. I have a family that counts on me to believe that – I am an example to those around me – we all are. So be kind – invite that shy mom to coffee; make sure that bullied boy knows he shouldn’t be treated that way, extend a helping hand, if nothing else offer kindness to those around you it can make all the difference in the world.