Sometimes as women we try so hard to look good on the outside even in the face of a dysfunctional inside. We spend countless dollars on Botox, butt injections, breast implants. We get our eye brows waxed, nails done, and hair too. And all of those things are great if they make you feel better, but lots of times we do those things to cover up the inner turmoil we struggle with daily.
Now, I’m a strong advocate for self-care, I actually self-maintenance is essential especially in terms of health and exercise. However, I think what is equally important in inner peace. More times than not our inner problems are direct results of our outward projections. We struggle and are often times at war with ourselves but sometimes people rarely take notice. And, with all the pressure to be perfect we struggle to be transparent.
Generally people seek to put the best version of themselves out in the public eye for obvious reasons. We want the likes on instagram, the shares on Facebook and the retweets on Twitter. On the other hand we barely hear people expose themselves. I mean what rational individual would do such a thing? Right? My mother once told me that if I couldn’t talk about a situation then I wasn’t free from it. Those words echo daily as I think of all the things I wanted to hide to save face. But in reality I was only keeping myself in bondage longer than I had to be.
If we are honest everyone knows that the pain we suffer is generally to help pull someone else out of their problems. How many times have you heard someone say “I know where you are because I’ve been there?” Pain is universal and people form fictive kinship around it. People who are hurting or sick need a doctor and the same goes for people going through storms. They look to someone to help them through, someone to lessen the blow, someone to throw them a life raft. But so many people make themselves unavailable because of the possibility of looking bad. We risk the life of someone else because we want to paint a pretty picture of ourselves for people we don’t even like.
You do not own your pain. Yes it’s yours, yes you’ve experienced it and yes you are near to it but it’s for someone else. It’s for the young woman who will stumble across your path that reminds you of yourself at a certain age. It’s for the single mother who is doubting herself and her capability to raise children. It’s for the teen girl struggling with insecurity on the brink of suicide. Your season of struggle will save someone’s life. Think of all the people you will be saving by enduring. All the lives that you are assigned to reach.
I believe one day we will have the courage enough to show the world our wounds willingly. We will be strong enough to be vulnerable. Wise enough to choose the road less traveled. Brave enough to die to ourselves and save another life.
That’s what pain is about. It stretches you, shapes you into something recognizable. Most importantly it makes you safe for someone else to trust in various ways. But it is only when that pain is channeled through intentional circumstances can we master the art of being painfully authentic!