remember those "choose your own adventure" books? i loved those books like crazy. LIKE. CRAZY. live the version of the story you want? and if you don't like it, you can just read the other version instead? awesome. freaking awesome. give me that. always.
in the real world there aren't re-dos. but there are certainly versions of the story from each person involved. and there are also the various versions of the story we choose to present to the world.
someone that i hurt a while ago, but that i really care about, was talking to me last week about the period of time immediately after "the incident," as well as our friendly relationship now. he said to me: "how was that situation hard for YOU? you ended up getting everything you wanted!"
straight. through. the. heart.
why did that comment hurt so much: because i felt utterly misunderstood? because i thought we were past it? because i didn't want to relive the hurt? i'm not sure. the truth is, i didn't get everything i wanted out of that situation. in fact, i didn't get the only thing i wanted. sure, i have versions and pieces of it, but i also put a pretty big dent in my friend's trust. and that also hurt me.
it affected my words, thoughts, and actions for weeks. but, at the same time, it was also the catalyst for me starting to make change; for me to examine my words, thoughts, and actions. out of the hell i felt i was in, i found the capacity to start to make shifts. for that, i have immense gratitude.
but it was terrifyingly hard; it was not pretty: it was fucking fiery transformational shit.
and as i keep replaying those words from last week in my head how was that hard for YOU?, i find myself wondering: how many times do we assume something is easy for someone else? how many times do we think we are the only ones hurting in a partnership, friendship, or relationship?
probably a whole fucking lot. when we feel deep pain, we tend to forget about the pain that the other person in the situation is feeling. maybe it's because that person hides it from us. maybe it's because we don't want to admit that they could be hurting too. or maybe it's because we're busy trying to make it look like we aren't hurting.
i certainly spent quite a bit of time posting gorgeous photos of my friends and i doing amazing things during that time.
and then i came home and cried.
hiding our hurt from the world can become a full time job. when my marriage was breaking down, i spent lots of time posting happy things. and when my husband left, my mom said to me, "but you guys looked so happy on facebook!" oh, umm, yeah, i forgot to post "i feel miserable tonight" or "i feel stuck in my relationship and hopeless about changing it" or "here's a photo of us sitting on opposite ends of the couch and not talking as we eat dinner!"
hiding my hurt became second nature. as i think it does for most people.
but why not surrender to it?
being vulnerable, even to those you want to hide it from most, is what this world needs. as i've begun to crack open more, to allow people to see my un-armoured heart, i've found deepened and inspired relationships. i've become happier for real. not facebook-happy: i'm talking happy-happy.
it's hard work, though. letting the masks fall away; showing people genuine pieces of yourself. it's scary. but it is way way way more worth it.
live the life you really want: tell your mom that thing you didn't wanna tell her; confess your missteps to your partner; call your sister and apologize for that thing you did. ...and tell them how you felt during those costumed times.
show it. live it. and freaking shine on.