Failure Has a Voice To Speak

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?

The stigma.

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?”

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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.

They’re afraid.

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.

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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.

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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.

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In Love & Truth,
Grace

You can purchase Emily Hearn’s CD on Amazon, eBay or even Barnes ‘N Nobles.

8 thoughts on “Failure Has a Voice To Speak

  1. Dear Grace,
    As you know, am an avid reader of your blog and honored to also call you my close friend. I want you to know that negative comments though very difficult I know, can serve as a strengthening tool. Bare with me while elaborate :).. I have similar “feed back” in my church ministry and the Lord has assured me that the critiques arent even about me, they actually have nothing to do with me personally or my mission ( those who criticize most often do so only to serve themselves, not truly to help you). The criticisms Ive received that could (and have for periods of time) caused me to leave my ministry (and for me basically hide) are meant to cause me to buck up and forge forward. For we are the ONLY ones who get to exercise our statement of purpose in our own lives. I want to encourage you to forge ahead to speak your truth. Please allow me to equate my church experience with your blog.. working in church ministry is my way of experessing myself and is my purpose at this time. Similar to your blog it is something outside my home responsibilities that I enjoy, is catgartic, and is “for me” (as well as for God). I can’t tell you how many women in my church have told me they are leaving the church because of church bullies. You know, the ones who have an opinion on everything you do, how and why you must be doing
    it ? The first thing I tell the victims of negative criticism at church is to ” continue to be the light in a dark world, and to stay and work for the ones who love you and whom you are a gift to, but not to leave because of the few who curse you.” So I leave you with that. Stay for us, for those who benefit from your truth! Because we are here, waiting patiently for the next entry that will make us smile and nod and say “yup, uh-huh, I get it, me too, and thank you.” One last thing, read Psalms 91. Love and hugs sent your way for a beautiful weekend of more truths and invitations 🙂

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    • Okay, okay now. At least preface that amazingly compassionate gift of encouragement with a warning 😉 I am officially a pathetic bucket of tears. I couldn’t have said it better Michelle! Honestly! What I so appreciate is how you opened my eyes to why pain and struggle is truly shared; whether people think they identify with where mine originates or not. I love your offering about church and how even in forums one might assume is meant to connect us; can also test us ❤ I love that scripture and it is something I am striving to practice while the fear of others tries to find itself onto me ❤ Thank you so very much for this, your public encouragement and truthful support. I feel it and am thankful to know the difference ❤

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  2. Just a quick response! Being imperfect. While I would love to hide it from my kids it is so impossible. My older girls (ages 14 and 13) are not biologically mine. Their biological mother passed away when the girls were 18months old and 6 weeks old. I think one of the absolute hardest things is having them see my imperfections because growing up they have never heard one bad story about their biological Mom. When people pass away nobody ever says anything bad about the person. It is as if the person was a saint, that they were perfect and did no wrong. Let me tell you it is hard to attempt to live up to that! Haha My older girls and my 2 younger kids (ages 5 and 1) see all of my imperfections! They have seen me laugh, cry, yell, struggle, with and without hair and makeup done, they have seen me! So while it is really difficult at times, maybe it is a good thing they see that people arent perfect. My older girls hear nothing but amazing great things about their biological mother, but they see me and maybe they it can be comforting? It allows them to know that they don’t have to be perfect? I’m really not sure. I am not sure where I am going with this either. But man did it feel good to get out! Haha Much love to you Grace!

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    • Hi Kathy!!! I love that you shared this and I found comfort in reading it. My first thought was what an act of selflessness and bravery it took to take on these two girls! Such a humbling sacrifice that I can only hope they will grow to recognize and honor. What a powerful point you make. We do tend to idolize those who have left, just as I am continuing to learn how compassionate we are to someone with cancer, but how judgmental we are to someone battling addiction, mental illness or grief. I don’t think there is any room for perfection, but we all try so desperately at something we’ll always fail at because it isn’t real. I think they’re fortunate to have someone who not only found them worthy enough to love, but to help provide modeling for what life is like on “this side,” 😉 Thank you for sharing in my story and for allowing me into yours. I hope you’ll stay connected ❤

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