Thursday, March 8, 2012

Will the Imperfect Please Come In

Sometimes I think we are only trying to fool ourselves.  We pretend to have our acts together, we continue to compete with the Jones' and we complain about things that aren't really problems.  Why do we all pretend that our lives are perfect when they so clearly aren't? And frankly, they don't have to be.  It doesn't make us weak or unworthy to admit the imperfections in our lives, but we so seldom do.  After my previous blog post about some challenges in my marriage the mention of the dreadful "D" word I have had more than 100 visits to the blog.  That's a lot of clicks, and while it is somewhat flattering to know that people check in on me, something else stood out much more.  No one had anything to say about it. (insert cricket noises here).

Most of the topics of my posts aren't earth shaking.  They are simply the rants and raves, enlightened moments, and the personal sharings of a person who is walking where many others have already trod.  I don't change the world with my blog, and I don't try to.  What am I is honest, upfront, and real.   I really say what I am feeling and I address what I am struggling with and I honestly admit my flaws!  And more importantly, what I talk about are the issues, joys, and challenges we all face.  For some reason or another, sometimes I am one of the few willing to talk about or admit the hard stuff.  I want to talk about the stuff we keep hidden away, I want to openly discuss the heart of the matter, the dark places, the stuff that bothers us but we pretend isn't there. 

There are times when being a mom is really hard.
There are moments when staying married is tough.
There are days when I have regrets.
I have made mistakes, chosen wrong, and sinned.  

BREAKING NEWS:  I AM NOT PERFECT.  Whew, there, I said it.  Glad I got that off my chest....
So why is it that others can't seem to admit that the perfect portrayal of their lives, is in fact just the sugar coating they put on it? 

When I said that no one had anything to say about my previous post, that wasn't completely true.  Almost no one had anything to say, but a couple conversations were started when I probed friends for feedback a couple days after the post was published.  When I asked a couple friends what they thought about the post it started a couple great conversations.  When I admitted what I was struggling with, it opened the door for them to share something that was going on with them.  Gasp, it appears that imperfections are in their lives too! 

Even better, I had one friend send me a message after reading the post and she was awesome and supportive.  I was so thankful that some true friends were able to open up about stuff going on in their own lives.  When I talk to my friends, almost all are long distance friendships, I found that though our paths were different, it really did seem like we shared so many similar struggles.  My post's open approach to a taboo topic was a way for some tough conversations to start.  And it was amazing, it helped me, and I hope it helped them too.  But I was still surprised at the lack of response in general. 

The reality is that every marriage has struggles.  Without a doubt everyone has times of hardship in their life.  The bumps may be bigger or smaller and caused but all sorts of different things but the question of staying or going, the struggle to work things out, the battles that rage, the feelings that ensue, are always the same.   Everyone deals with unhappiness, stress, anger, and regret. What I am trying to say is that my post wasn't special, it wasn't unique, it wasn't an isolated problem I faced alone.  I wish we were admitting that more often.  I wonder what our relationship would be like if we were more honest about our lives with each other.  I wish we could all openly talk about some of the more hush hush topics without judgment or fear of losing a friend.  That's the type of relationships I want to have with friends, one that accepts and supports each other no matter what is really going on in our lives.  I crave relationships that will challenge me to do better, be better and face issues head on without the shame that comes with admitting problems exist and that we have stumbled.  It is easy to celebrate joy with each other, but it is so much harder to listen to pain and problems.  Especially when there is no clear answer to the problems we face.

I don't know about you, but for me, I'd rather address whats going on so I can keep moving forward.   I know I will find my way to better days by dealing with and being honest about what I am really feeling.  I know dealing with my sin, asking for forgiveness and being honest with myself is the only way to make changes.  So perfection, that's not for me.  It never has been.  And I don't want perfect friends either.  Even God knows we fail, so if we can't hide it from him why do we hide it from each other?