August 24, 2020
By Julianne Hudson
I never thought I would be someone who would be okay with the above statement, let alone write a blog about it. If I’m being brutally honest, I’m a master at people pleasing. If I can make it seem like everything is okay, I will. In a world that demands perfectly composed realities, I’ve become immune to faking fine. I’ve almost mastered it. A painted smile on my latest Instagram post is more attractive, right? At least I tell myself this, sweeping vulnerability under the rug, building walls, and calling it a day. Vulnerability has become a foreign concept. We are puppets of our picture-perfect world.
But what if this isn’t the way we are supposed to live? What if we are supposed to share the things that keep us up at night? What if we were designed to discuss the hurts that entangle our everyday thoughts? And what if when we did we actually grew into the people we were created to be?
We often fall into the trap of thinking that if we pretend a wound isn’t there, it will just fade away.
But pretending we are okay will not suddenly make us okay.
What would life be like if we admitted our pain? What if we decided not to please others? What if we cried and allowed our tears to flow rather than build up inside until our next breakdown? Why do we place a timeline on our pain? We think mourning is such a bad thing, but our emotions shouldn’t be something that brings us shame. What happened that allowed us to be okay with this? Why can’t I be angry when I see injustice portrayed or be saddened by the broken world? Am I supposed to laugh it off and pretend I’m fine?
I think social media deceives us all. We see the best version of everyone’s timelines and it feeds into the ugliness of comparison. We rob ourselves of joy because we want the joy our peers are posting, not what is reality. When I see them, my mind races and I begin to experience negative and comparative thoughts that slowly but surely trump joy and positivity.
My friend once told me, “Julianne, you don’t always have to be pampered and polished”. I agreed with her and laughed it off in the moment. But that comment stayed in the center of my mind for weeks after. Why? Because I was trying to be pampered and polished all the time, I was playing a puppet character and not actually being me. I recall writing something down, “My brokenness can be used for something productive. It can be the bridge to growth in my soul, heart and mind. It can be the missing link to strengthening my walk with Jesus and close friends. When I am weak, He is strong. In order to acknowledge personal brokenness, we must humble ourselves. Sometimes the first step is simply admitting we aren’t perfect.
Too often we fail to see that beauty can come from our pain. Somehow a rainbow can emerge after the rain. The storms we face, the trials we encounter, the people who hurt us and the obstacles that follow do not define who we are as a person. In fact, they can be used to reshape our imperfections. We may never know why something happened to us, why we feel so deeply, or why we cannot shake our emotions when we face trials of many kinds. But something we can be sure of is that when you trust the one who goes before you, you can be free to not be okay. You can choose to hurt for a sick friend. You can cry at the injustices recently broadcasted and you can take time to mourn a loss. You harm not only yourself but those around you when you are faking how you are doing. What if you being real is how someone else finds healing?
As 2020 continues, my prayer is that you realize you don’t always have to win. It’s okay to feel. Take your time as you walk into healing; it’s not going to happen overnight. There is no timeline or specific way to feel. You are uniquely created so you can uniquely feel.
I am sick of feeling like I always need to have it all together. Imagine the change we would see if we knew we weren’t alone in our suffering? When we share the hiccups and hurts in our life it unites us. When we hold the hand of someone in need, we begin to realize what’s important in life. No one should have to do this life alone and no one should feel that they are too much or not enough. You have permission to feel what you feel and to embrace your season and give your heart time to heal.
No matter where you find yourself today, please don’t compare on social media. Everyone is facing some sort of trial or difficult season. Express how you feel. Wear it on your sleeve. Shout it from the mountains. This soon will pass and you will look back on this time of your life and smile.