Dust to Dust – The Civil Wars

I heard a bit of this song in a commercial for the album on TV the other day. It speaks directly to the heart of all of us who. The idea that we all are okay is bizarre, at best. We hide our true self because if others knew we sinned/fell, it would be all over and we’d be alone. But in reality, we end up alone in who we really are because we hide it from those who want to love us. When we welcome people into the reality of our failures, we find they can lead us out of that darkness into joy. And we’re not alone anymore. We are together, dancing around the flames that are burning the walls we’ve built to keep them out. Listen to the song. Open your heart. Burn down the walls.

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Open Heart

Open Heart. I think I have one again. 

Over the past year or so, I haven’t really felt much of anything. Sure, you may have seen me smile or cry. There is some element of human experience and reaction that is learned. When a family member passes away, the tears come. When a child is born, the smile appears.

All to show the world that I know how to react to the right queues.

Finally, after months of real struggle in my personal life, I reached out to someone for prayer. I admitted that I hadn’t been getting to Mass and was struggling. I also was able to ask a few friends traveling to holy places to pray for me. Well, God sure is gracious and compassionate, and rich in love as the Psalms proclaim. 

Slowly, I started to feel like a human being again. Shortly after, I heard some sad news from a good friend. I sobbed. I cried so hard I’m not sure how I stayed on the road. I tried to stop, telling myself I could continue once I got home safely, but the floodgates had opened. Real grief had finally touched me. Every time I told myself, stop, cry later…I remember Sue Kelly telling me how important it is to accept the tears right when they come. So I did and I’m grateful for my guardian angel keeping in the right lanes on my drive home. 

My life has changed a bit since that night. I am not who I was the day before. I am not who I was years ago. I am who I am now. A woman who knows that God is right beside me and will never leave, never doubt me, never give up on me, never run out of mercy to rain upon me. A woman who is blessed with a great family and amazing friends. Friends who, when I share my heart, don’t judge me or run screaming, but say, “I know what you mean”. 

I had such fear about opening my heart. Such fear to share where my heart is on so many things. I have opened my heart. I welcome the truth of feelings, good or bad, because it’s much better to be alive inside than to not feel. 

The real me, finally!

The title of this post and the short description of this page are the same:

“The real me, finally!”

Why? Because I’m tired of hiding behind this ideal image that I feel I’ve created for myself over the years. I’m not a perfect Catholic. I’m not a perfect woman. I am not a perfect employee, friend, daughter, sister, aunt (haunt), etc. I once heard that a just man sins 7 times a day…well I’m no just man so I must have him beat by about a million sins daily.

It’s hard for me to be real and vulnerable and honest. Though I have recently shared with a few people about where my life has been over the past year and they didn’t shun me. So even if the rest of my friends/loved ones shun me for what they may read here, I know I’ll at least have a few who won’t already.

I want to be happy. I want to be full of smiles again (if you have known me long enough, you know the reference). I don’t want to ever be as down and out as I’ve been this past year. So, here’s to my journey of openness and honesty. Hope you enjoy the ride!