Confession: I can’t fix myself & I don’t know everything

I like to think I’m pretty emotionally stable. I process my emotions, I don’t run away (I try not to anyway) and I cry a lot.  I’ve even been known to call myself a ‘self-analysing pro’ because I can come up with a reason for every single one of my behaviours. I’ve got my sh*t sorted right?

Wrong. Turns out I am somewhat of an ’emotional perfectionist’ (self-diagnosed, of course. See previous paragraph!). No but seriously, I like to be so in control of my feelings and know exactly why I do everything that I don’t let things happen organically.

This is my greatest blessing and my greatest curse, because while I’m very emotionally ‘in-touch’ (are you loving all this psycho-babble?) I also over-think to the point of insanity and exhaustion.

When I talk to my friends I like to sound like I’ve got it all together. Then in the dark of the night I break down, because emotions and grief work on their own schedule that you can’t really control. Turns out being human has some painful disruptions, and I don’t have my sh*t sorted at all. 

So I told my over-active mind to go on holiday and called in a professional.

Yes, I’ve started seeing a counsellor; someone who has qualifications and actually knows what he is talking about; someone who can help me fix me so I don’t have to do it all by myself.

I went to my first session with a heavy heart; I was sad, lonely and running on empty. On the journey there I prayed ‘Please Lord let this be good for me, let me gain something from this because I’m spent and don’t have any strength left’. God heard me. I sat there and released months worth of tear-stained words to someone who is paid to listen to me. I didn’t feel guilty for ‘dumping’ on him, I just went for it (pray for him, poor guy!). He helped me reach some important conclusions in that very first session and I  left feeling so light I thought I might just fly.

The second session was a little harder, grittier and a hell of a lot more painful. That’s when the good stuff happens though and hey, I’m still alive. During these sessions my pain is justified, understood and accepted, but our (my counsellor’s and mine) ambition is my healing and I’m not allowed to sit in my pain and pity for longer than necessary. I must keep moving forward.

I’d rather be dealing with this at 22 than at 42, 52, 62 when I’ve caused other people pain from my own wounded heart. Have you heard? Hurt people hurt people. All of my hurt has come from hurt people, and out of that hurt I’ve hurt more people. It’s a vicious cycle, BUT I have the power to break it and it’s my choice whether I do or not. No I won’t ever be perfect but the goal isn’t perfection, it’s wholeness in Christ so that I’m not operating everyday life out of brokenness.

You might be thinking ‘gosh she is so honest, telling the blogosphere she is screwed up enough to go to counselling’. If it helps you, then heck yes I am honest enough. Frankly we are all screwed up at least a tiny bit, even if we like to act like we’re not. It’s what makes us beautifully human. 

Here’s a tip sponsored by moi: if you have faced trials in the past that you still haven’t overcome, or if you’ve never been to a counsellor, or just think it would be good for you, then go and talk to someone. Who knows, you may only need one session, or you’ll need loads. Whatever the case, deal with your pain so that it doesn’t deal with you. Also I personally think that if you’re in a relationship then it’s even more important; there is a lot of stuff that comes up when we share our lives intimately with someone, and sometimes they can’t carry our baggage. Oh and because I don’t like to leave anyone out: if you really are emotionally stable and this doesn’t apply to you, then that is great and feel free to ignore this paragraph!

All this was to say it’s nice not having to figure everything out by myself. Yes I still have to think, feel, process. However I am externalising it in a healthy environment instead of running circles in my mind. Oh and in case you were wondering, my over-active mind came back from her holiday and then handed in her notice of resignation. Turns out I don’t need her anymore, anyway!

If you can closely relate to the above and need to talk to someone about it, then feel free email me. Sometimes it’s just nice knowing someone understands and is there to listen. 

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Truth Hurts

It’s a loaded gun that holds freedom instead of bullets. Though the initial pain still hurts like an open wound,  I consider it worth it to gain that freedom. Sadly, that’s often what truth is in our lives: ugly and painful. That is until we face it and light shines upon the face of truth; we begin to see the beauty of it and living within it, instead of continuing to believe the lie that we need to be  running away from it.

The truth is different for all of us. Maybe you don’t want to even think about the truth because you aren’t able to see it anymore, or maybe your life is drenched in truth. I’m aiming for the latter of the two, so I’ve been thinking about truth a little more than normal recently.

What I’ve learnt first hand (hold your breath, this is DEEP) is that truth is truth. You can colour it in with permanent marker, you can put a blanket over it, you can ignore it, but the truth will always be there and it usually does come out eventually.

Recently I’ve been facing a few home truths. Initially it hurt more than my words can justify because it was a new fresh wound. The pain is still ever present but so is God’s love, peace, and the joy of being free. Oh the beauty of freedom; even in sadness one can’t deny it’s the most yearned for and magnificent position to be in. Nothing is worth more to me than living in the freedom of truth, but sometimes we have to experience the other side to know the difference. The crossover is painful, but once we’re there, it’s done.

That’s why Jesus came and died for us right? To be free INDEED. Instead of ‘free’ and walled up in a cage of deceit, lies and dishonesty. His dying for us brought GRACE to truth so that we could face it. His grace means that we can live in TRUTH because He has saved us.

When I say ‘truth’ I am referring to anything you know in your heart to be true, to the truth of Jesus and who He is, to the truth that is and will always be. Truth is in the light and the light will always prevail, so just do it! Live in truth.

Choose true friends that will be straight with you, love you, challenge you and encourage you. Be accountable to them.

Be courageous. Face whatever it is that you don’t want to, and everyday choose to be true to yourself and those around you.

Speak truth in love.  That doesn’t mean it’s okay to criticize and rebuke because you’re being ‘honest’ out of love – hold on to tact and only fight battles worth fighting. Many things are better left unsaid.

Build your life around it. If you choose to live with integrity in the small things then your integrity will be proven on the big things, and before you know it your life will be built on truth. Living in truth sets you and people in your life free. It gets easier and you will continue to grow and get stronger.

Make truth a habit and it will become your life.

What do you find hardest about living in truth? Have you ever had to be honest with yourself  when you really haven’t wanted to? Tell me a story about being truthful. Leave a comment!