When I thought about creating a truthful space to share in the falls and triumphs of motherhood, I had no idea what was going to come of it. I am still trying to wrap my head around the journey as much as I am about the overwhelming outreach from people. Want to know what still baffles me, though?
Do you want to know why people are sentenced to silent suffering?
Do you want to know why we’re engrossed in a culture that prefers to live in fantasy rather than reality?
Do you want to know why we spend so much time, energy, money and resources portraying perfectionism instead of what lies behind the veil of social media?
People are disgraced for what is often perceived as negative and even unfair. It’s like a secret society of people we shame with a scarlet letter except we make it a deep, red letter “S” for shame. Then, if we can’t silence people so they stay quiet, we’ll shame the hell out of them until they eventually do.
Not only have I been the honored recipient of your stories in the past few weeks, but I’ve shared how the stigma of living loudly tries to send me into quarantine too. Someone recently said to me, “Maybe this wasn’t the best time to launch your blog.” Or, “Aren’t you concerned about how sharing your story will impact your children?”
Like you, when these kinds of statements are made, it sets me back a bit. I question if I’m somehow compromising my character, integrity or dare I say my actual mothering, but don’t realize it? It also reminds me of why there are people in our lives who never go beyond stating their support, because you realize that they’re judging us too. They might not think we notice it, but we do. I thought about this a great deal; for you and for me. If I’m going to facilitate a platform that speaks to resurrecting our truth together, than I want to make sure I’m responsible while doing it.
There are people in our lives who will separate themselves because they believe they can’t identify. What people have taught me in the last fifteen years of human services and relationships is that everyone can always identify with pain and struggle. It doesn’t really matter where the pain or struggle originates from. We all know what it feels like and guess what? That is where sensitivity and compassion live. While I do believe there are just some people who aren’t innately sensitive anymore than they are compassionate, I also believe there is another reason that takes front row seat to why the passenger seat is empty.
Don’t judge them for being afraid either. We continue to fight the fear too. People don’t want to air what they describe as “dirty laundry,” because they’re afraid all people will see is the dirty imperfections. They’re afraid that there isn’t value and purpose in being flawed. So, they make sure what we see is polished and hidden.
Hidden beneath the laughter, pleasantries, profile pictures, videos, holiday cards, social gatherings, emails, social media; anything to avoid the stigmatizing shame that potentially comes when you choose to live honestly. Don’t be fooled. Honesty can be a dangerous place. I’m realizing it’s a stadium of people who can either lift you up or knock you down.
These are the questions that came out of the questions asked of me. I don’t pretend to stand without wobbly knees either when I thought about my answers. I’m still fighting against the paralyzing fear and ostracizing too. When is a good time to stand in your truth? Does it impact our children to see that we’re flawed or that life isn’t perfect?
As of now, my response is that hiding makes me feel helpless and weak. It makes me feel like failing isn’t acceptable and what does that mean other than to imply that I’m not acceptable? What does it mean for any of us, including our children? Does failure not have a place anymore than the veils we fight to keep on? Who benefits from that anyway? What purpose does it really serve?
When my children look at me, I would rather they know that their mother fought to stand confidently in her truth than to stand dishonorably in her shadow.
I want them to know that in order to fight against the stigmatizing shame people will always try to place on you; that they will have to make a difficult decision about who they want to be in that terrifying moment. That they can’t walk in the examples of compassion and empathy until they learn how to offer that to themselves.
Most importantly, I want to teach them that failure has a voice to speak to. It’s not all bad and if anything, it’s what will connect them to the right people; the worthy ones. I am convinced that they will come to learn what I am learning, which is that the inner voice is loud because it wants to be heard. It was never meant to connect with others quietly.
I had chosen Emily Hearn’s song for the opening of my blog for a reason. What I love about music is how it can resonate with so many of us, but for entirely different reasons. The first time I heard this song, it was one line in particular that pounded in my head. It was a line that I will never forget because it’s what we all hide from; in fear that it will exile us from the very acceptance, understanding and compassion we all want (and need).
“Letting failure have a voice to speak. Don’t lay down.”
I’m fighting to stay standing whether my truth displeases or scares people because as a woman and mother, I believe it has a place for all of us. I also believe that there is glory, honor and empowerment in being truthful. I know truth has a space that is waiting to be occupied by more people. It may not be crowded yet, but I am relying on the belief that some day it might be and we’ll actually embrace one another for it.
In Love & Truth,
You can purchase Emily Hearn’s CD on Amazon, eBay or even Barnes ‘N Nobles.