For When You Let Your Mess Out
Has this ever happened to you? Letting your mess out, I mean. Letting your people see what's really going on in your heart and soul. Even when it's the lies you're believing. Or that inner critic that is raging?
True story. Happened to me on Sunday. And I don't know about you, but my mess usually comes out when I let that 5 year old Danielle's thought life take over. I was crabby. And hot. And working hard. And I asked for help. And I didn't get any. And that wasn't good.
And instead of challenging my thoughts, I got mad and hurt and little D started to think something my mom used to sing me when I was having a ridiculous pity party. Ready? Here goes...
Yes, she was mocking me. But I've always been a bit dramatic and like to spiral downward before I pull myself together with truth and reason and well, my identity in Christ.
So, on this really hot and humid Sunday, when someone came to help me when I was almost done, I declared I'm mad, I had a thought that I didn't have friends and I didn't want to come back. To which my young in age friend declared, "Well, that's a bit dramatic." Nothing like someone who is young enough to be my daughter to bring me back to earth and truth and well, less dramatics.
Needless to say, I went home a little embarrassed and regretting letting the 5 year old out. The perfect antidote to that is of course, letting you all see her too! 😳
The truth is...that's not the only time I let the inner critic and my inner child out. In fact, they kind of take over without me knowing until it's too late. And I'm wondering if that happens to you too?
You're just sailing along and all of sudden something happens or someone says something and you're triggered. And before you know it, you've let your people see what you are trying hard to keep inside. Your mess. Your imperfections. Your weaknesses. The things you are trying to work on. And for us type 3's on the Enneagram, this is especially true. Read more on the Enneagram here.
Here's the thing. You can't take it back. It's already out there. And here's the other thing. We do our best growing in community when people see us at our worst and love us anyway. So instead of shoving it back inside or crawling under the cover until everyone forgets about your messy incident, I have a few thoughts for us.
Pay Attention to the Mess
We're not fooling anyone by trying to keep it all inside. In fact, those closest to us? They see the mess whether we let it out or not. Instead, of trying to cover it up to appear like we have it all together - how about we pay attention to what it's trying to tell us?
When we're afraid to let what's inside be seen, then it may be time to pay attention to what's really happening on the inside, address those issues, and invite God in to change us from the inside out. So allowing your mess to come out in an untimely way to be the invitation you need to work and invest in you.
This is not light and easy work, friends. This is hard work. This is the work on sitting with yourself and God. This is the work of challenging your natural thinking with the Word of God. This is about letting new perspectives in. This is about letting go of feeling competent and having it all together and realizing you need help. Help from God. Help from a friend. Help from your people.
Maybe you don't know where to start. You can't pinpoint one messy point. Or you haven't let anything out but you know your 5 year old self and inner critic have a running commentary? I have a great tool to get started - so email me and get you all the details.
Trust Your People
Vulnerability is scary. We don't know what others are thinking when they see our mess. We don't know how to fix it. We often wonder how to reconnect after something so revealing.
But the pathway to life transformation leads through the valley of letting people see you. The real you. Not the image of you having it all together. Not the one where you don't make any mistakes. Or the idea that you're always successful. Or the idea that you're always thinking clearly.
The greatest growth in my life has come when a friend saw me at my worst and declared she wasn't going anywhere. You see, being vulnerable allows you to experience God's love for you, cracks and all, through the people He has gifted you with. When your people stick with you in your mess, that's where the magic happens.
God used cracked pots
One of my fave phrases is God uses cracked pots. He doesn't use us because we're super knowledgeable. He doesn't use us because we don't need anything. Or that we've perfected the process. He uses us through our weaknesses and mistakes.
I use this phrase all the time and I use it because so many of us struggle to actually live it. The moment our mess comes out, we wonder if we've said too much or if we have more work to do. And yet the biggest moments of transformation and usefulness for the kingdom of God is when we can embrace all of us. When we realize the cracks and the shiny parts are all part of God's plan for us. When we realize that the we are most beautiful when we are authentically the person God created us to be.
Let's let our mess out and be beautifully us together!