I would not classify myself as a huge Country-Music fan but in the past year have come to appreciate some and love the ability to tell a story with lyric and song. If you’ve known me for any amount of time – you know the following lyric do NOT describe my parents nor my experience… however every time I hear Miranda Lambert’s song “Momma’s Broken Heart” there is something that resonates which I’ll explain following:
Go and fix your make up, girl, it’s just a break up
Run and hide your crazy and start actin’ like a lady…
‘Cause I raised you better, gotta keep it together
Even when you fall apart – But this ain’t my mama’s broken heart
Powder your nose, paint your toes
Line your lips and keep ’em closed
Cross your legs, dot your eyes
And never let ’em see you cry
If you follow my blog – you’ve probably seen the increasing use of words (or themes) of vulnerability and transparency. It wasn’t necessarily intentional but has become something I long for in myself but also in others. The song lyrics listed above hit me so hard because it speaks of cultural tendencies to hide, to put a mask or veil over the messes, the emotional moments, of our lives – to keep hidden what our true state of being, in the rawness of emotion. I think most of us tend to live our lives all put-together and not show the emotional sides, the messes or even to say we’re “in process”. I am no different! I have, however I’ve been intentional to have people in my life who will push, pull, poke and prod away at the things I have beneath the mask, and I am so grateful!
The past weeks has been a bit tougher than I’d like to admit. The loss of my Mom has been painful, heart-breaking, emotional – a pendulum swing to the extremes. I KNOW Mom is where she was, where we all are, created to be… but that doesn’t change the void we feel! I’d say 85% of the time I am doing “ok”, living my life, taking every moment as they come – knowing that’s what I need to do and what Mom would’ve wanted… however that 15% can rear it’s very dark ugly head and take me out for the count. Those 15% moments have a way of sneaking up and smacking me hard – knocking the wind from my lungs!
The past few days have had many of those 15% moments… it’s not always A specific reason or A certain thing that triggers, but all I know is my heart is so sad in those times – thinking of the things that will never be, all the moments we won’t share together, those life-celebrations I dreamed she’d be part of… Tears do fill my eyes. My water-proof mascara still streaks down my cheeks. My nose gets red and runs. The tissues pile up and I ask heaven the questions that flood my heart! I express my sadness… I feel — but I don’t stay huddled on the floor or hidden under my blankets with piles of tissues – because that’s not where my life is meant to be lived!
I have had many emotional moments on couches, in my office, after car rides, at the gym, in my living room, at coffee shops and restaurants with friends the past 3 weeks — and amazingly they’ve created space for me to share, with words or sometimes just tears. I know not everyone is okay when honesty, emotions – especially when shows itself in its raw-est forms – but there are those who’ve stepped into that space – the space I’ve invited them in to — has become some of my best times and I’m incredibly grateful!
So why do we do hide? Why is dealing with our struggle, our heartache, our pain, or questions ALONE – our first response? My guess is not only are we shameful that we have raw, painful, questioning emotional moments and seasons – but more so that our lives are not all neatly put-together… I think for lots of us, we think everyone around us has it all together, so showing our “weakness” to them is extremely humbling. As the song says, “fix your makeup… hide your crazy…” — but honestly, what’s the point?
I will say – sharing the process, the mess and pain with people IS humbling. I’d much prefer that people think my life is great, perfect, that I have it all (and have it all together)… But does it make life really any easier? Not really! I would prefer my life BE together, but until Jesus returns, I’m not sure that will ever be reality —- we all are in process, some more intense than others.
I’ve grown to appreciate the friendship, the coming alongside me, even in my dark, exhausted, honest, emotional state. Those moments with people are more life-giving to me, then sitting alone in the silence. I don’t know if or when things will get better… but the people in my (your) life will ease the pain momentarily… And honestly, opening myself (yourself), being vulnerable with the right people around me (you), gives God the opportunity to step into that moment!
So where am I now? Having emotions… Being real… Breathing… Leaning in… Listening… Trusting…