Lie number one: You’re supposed to have it all together
When they ask how you’re doing, just smile and tell them, “Never better”
Lie number two: Everybody’s life is perfect except yours
So, keep your messes and your wounds and your secrets safe with you behind closed doors
But truth be told, the truth is rarely told …
I say, “I’m fine, yeah, I’m fine, oh, I’m fine, Hey, I’m fine”
But I’m not. I’m broken
And when it’s out of control I say it’s under control
But’s it not and you know it
I don’t know why it’s so hard to admit it
When being honest is the only way to fix it
There’s no failure, no fall. There’s no sin you don’t already know
So, let the truth be told ~ Matthew West
Do you remember the old kids rhyme, “Liar, liar, pants on fire?” Oh, I’m sure we’ve all repeated that in our little 5-year-old sing-song-y voice to one friend or another at some time. Even now when I think about it the word liar is still cringe-worthy. I’ve always considered myself to be a truth teller and have raised our children to be honest and have integrity. It wasn’t until recently when I heard the words to the song, Truth Be Told by Matthew West that I began to feel a bit like a fraud. Did I always tell the truth? Was I always honest when asked a question? I thought when I finally “removed my mask” I no longer had to fake it and began living a more authentic life (check out my post, Calling All Maskateers here). Now here I am wondering if that’s really true.
Before I get carried away and send out the condemnation police, I decided to cut myself a little slack here. I don’t know how you were raised, but I was told “never air your dirty laundry in public.” Does that phrase sound familiar to you? Or how about, “always keep a stiff upper lip?” I was raised not to discuss anything negative or tell anyone outside of our home about any problems we may be having. Anytime someone asked how I was I quickly responded, “I’m doing GREEEAAAAT!” Oh, I probably sounded a little like Tony the Tiger – I’m sorry if you have no idea who that is! 😊 Having been raised this way I had plenty of years to perfect my response and plaster that big smile on my face, before spending more than 10 yrs. hiding the fact that my daughter battled the disease of addiction.
My friends, when someone you love dies it’s kind of hard to fake the smile, and if you’ve been raised like I was it’s equally as difficult to just let your emotions flow naturally. One of the things I’ve learned during this grief journey is to be honest – both with myself and those who are in my life. I’ve come across some people who I know would have wished I’d made it easier or more comfortable for them had I simply said I was “fine” when asked. But, that’s not what is best for us. Afterall, we are the ones walking this winding road called grief where among the quiet streams, could be a pitfall just around the corner. No matter where you are on this grief journey – whether it’s days, months or even years, this road in life is hard and it hurts. There are moments when the tears can come out of nowhere. Guess what? It’s OK to not be ok!! Tears are truly healing and cleansing. So instead of bottling all of that up inside you, feel the freedom to no longer be strong or stoic. Being sad or shedding tears is not a sign of weakness. It is a sign of strength.
I absolutely love this verse, “You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.” Psalm 56:8 NLT. Even Jesus wept. Take a moment and let Matthew’s words sink deep into your heart. Beginning today give yourself permission to no longer keep that “stiff upper lip” and allow yourself to Let the Truth Be Told.