Sunday, January 18, 2015

In the world of pretend

I'm a beautiful child of God

Do you ever wonder how many people you know who are silently suffering right now? People that pretend they're okay or at least attempt to. I'm pretty certain there are many unhappy people around you. You may be one of them. Why does one suffer rather than reach for help? Pride, shame, fear, embarrassment. Who wants to admit their broken-ness? Who wants the world to see their pain? Perhaps society has made pain and broken-ness a sign of weakness. It's not though. It takes a strong, determined person to sign up for self-improvement.
It was about the time I started junior high school when I first noticed how awful I felt about myself. But I learned I could hide my suffering if I wore a smile. For almost 40 years, no one ever knew the truth! I just kept smiling and pretending.
There were times when I felt so desperate to end the pain that I comforted myself with thoughts of suicide. In the years prior to doing my work, I feel like I lived with a black cloud over my head. Not that there weren't wonderful times. There were many! But I always seemed to end up back in the hopelessness. I tried countless ways to find relief. None of which were successful and some which caused more harm.

Today I can see how the crack in my foundation (my sense of worth) and the feelings of hopelessness started in my very early years. Because there were no resources for resolution, I learned to live with it until the day I couldn't pretend anymore. Pain had humbled me to my knees. I had to start telling the truth!

Indications of unhealed pain are overeating, spending, gambling, feelings of shame, busyness, rigidness, pleasure seeking, aggressiveness, being a wallflower, an addiction to instant gratification, working all the time, over-medicating, drinking, depression, perfectionism, a general sense of unhappiness, unable to be still or alone, overachieving, feelings of hopelessness, overwhelming sadness, distracting yourself with other people's stories.

Let's not accept the world as it is. We all need to take part in finding solutions. We need to help ourselves, and then help others. We begin to heal the moment we get more honest. There is a sense of relief - a freedom that comes when we tell ourselves the truth.

“For the wise have always known that no one can make much of his life until self-searching has become a regular habit, until he is able to admit and accept what he finds, and until he patiently and persistently tries to correct what is wrong. – Bill W.”