Thursday, November 9, 2017

Say It

Question: In what areas of your life can you practice more honesty?

Simple…all areas. I feel the pressure to keep it all together. To look, achieve, and be what the world wants me to be, what people want me to be. My focus can be so easily stolen from eternity to seeking out the momentary, putting all my time and energy into things that are temporal, instead of towards people who are lasting.

The things are heavy, the degree, status, appearance, juggling all of the hats and labels to fit into a mold. A mold that I despise. A mold I have never fit into, but secretly always wanted to. I have wanted to be that girl who has it all, but life has shown me that having it all doesn’t mean anything without Jesus. I know so many who have the job, social status, community…all the things that look like a thriving and healthy life, but are dying on the inside. Because like me, smiles do not always depict the real story within. Just because someone serves, cares, and checks in doesn’t mean they do not need people to serve, care, and check in on them.

I guess I should just cut the crap and say it. I do not like the church and I do not like Christianity. I love Jesus and believe that he came, lived, died, and rose and is coming again, so that I could know him and live in forgiveness and freedom. Jesus did not come, live, die, and rise so that I could keep living inside a facade that is made of service, love, and grace, but keeps brokenness hidden inside. I spent a good hunk of my life hiding myself and running away from lies I told and believed. I found Jesus in the midst of the darkness and now live in the light. 

“Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take up my yoke and learn from me, because I am lowly and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

“It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1 

Living in freedom through salvation is not about hiding out and keeping secrets, it is about living boldly and out loud. I am tired of living and feeling obligated to keep my brokenness and the hardships that come from this broken world hidden for the sake of keeping face within my religion.

I do not have it figured out. I just know I love Jesus and I love people, even though they drive me insane, but I know I probably drive them mad too. Dancing around pain for the sake of religions face, is the very thing Jesus died to set us free from. It starts when we make our church our god, instead of letting God be our God. I have always heard in the church about “your faith becoming your own”, and it is true instead of leaning on what my parents have said and taught me, I chose Jesus as my Savior because I could not live on my own. I could not save myself or make myself worthy. I am Hannah, because of what Jesus did for the world. I am alive, because He saved me and healed me. He loved me when no one liked me and He will never stop being in my life. He is my Savior, he saved me and continues to heal me. But, there is another crutch outside of the family unit, there is the church.

I did not know how easy it could be to switch the crutch tendency to the church, till I realized I had done it myself. It is easy to become dependent on others who believe and center Jesus on them. Instead of putting Jesus first, the church becomes first. The church then became what my devotion and desire to serve was about, it was no longer about Him, but them.

Here me, I think the church is beautiful. I grew up in the church and I have been through the wringer with the church.  I am a believer that meeting together with other believers is a great encouragement to the soul and a source of accountability, but that building full of people should not become or ever be the source of hope, service, and salvation. The church can’t save you or me. It is a gathering of broken people who more often than not are pretending not to be. But instead of being honest about their burdens, cover it up by talking about God’s faithfulness. Maybe those people are preaching truth to themselves. But I would appreciate a group of people who are willing to say life sucks right now and it is taking every ounce of discipline to just open the Bible each day and to believe that God is in this with me. That is reality. This life of faith is hard as well as good.

Just to be honest. I would love it if every Christian would cut the crap and be real about their life. I love Jesus and life is hard. I love Jesus and I struggle with sin. I love Jesus and sometimes I do not want to go to church. I love Jesus and the Christians around me drive me insane. I love Jesus and I turn to Him when I am doubting and struggling. It is a struggle. My relationship with Jesus is imperfectly beautiful, and I am the imperfect part. This is my life. It is messy, beautiful, painful, and abundant.

I truly love my life, ick and all, because it is what I have been given and I know its goodness is not dependent on circumstances but my Savior. That is truth. But, I struggle with holding on to that truth. There are days I just want to scream at the top of my lungs, and never speak to another soul again. I struggle with loneliness and my health. My identity is a place where I feel attacked the most. Why can’t I find a place within the church when I already have a place at Jesus’ table? Do I really want to get married or do I want to be just so everyone will shut up about my relationship status or lack of one? These are just a few of my broken places.

I am tired of being snuffed out. I am tired to being told to be quite and watching others struggle alone and be made to believe that keeping quiet about struggles is acceptable and the ticket to inclusion within the church. It is not of God’s heart. Jesus it is not an invite only party, but an invite your friends, family and every stranger is welcome here party. 

This is just part of me being honest. Will you be honest too? Life is too short to live a lie.  

- Hannah

Thursday, October 26, 2017

#MeToo

I have started and stopped writing this post for over a week. I have thought about it and discarded it. I have made excuses and bottled up more fear and anxiety over this part of my story than any other that I have shared with the world. Vulnerability has never been my strong suit and this is a part of my story that I do not want to share and be disrespected because of it. And maybe that feeling of wanting to be respected and treasured comes from the fact that on multiple occasions I was not respected or treasured, but looked at as an object. Something to be used, abused, and manipulated to believe that I deserved every sexual innuendo, grope, and touch.  This is my #metoo, but beyond being one of millions of women and men who are sexually abused and used, I want you to know you are never alone and there is hope on the other side.

Because truly there is another side. One day I was innocent and naïve and the next day I was more aware than I wanted to be. One day I felt like a princess, treasured, a daughter of the King of Kings, respected, and human. The next day I felt like a garbage, dirty, broken, impure, and worthless. There is a clear line in my life of before abuse and after. The first time I was ever touched I was a little girl at my friend’s house, her father was bored or drunk, maybe both and he touched me. I did not know what to do with that information and as quickly as it happened it was over, and thankfully it never happened again. But that day, I became very aware at five years old that I was a sexual being. Even though I am technically a virgin, that day the seed of lust was planted and I have struggled, wrestled and been in more prayer over lust in my life than any other sin issue. 

Fast-forward I was starting the spring semester of my freshman year of high school and like most high school journeys in was filled with drama, some of it was silly miscommunications and others were more serious. It started with simple brushes in the hallway, I didn’t think much of it because our hallways were narrow and there were a lot of students. Those awkward brushes of bodies happen occasionally, but it gradually became touching, then grabbing. I would be sitting in class and feel my bra being unhooked. I felt trapped and started suffering a lot of anxiety. There were multiple times that my mom would have to get a sub for her class and take me to the doctor, because before the day would even begin my stomach would start knotting and on occasion I would get sick. I tried telling my principal one day and he told me I deserved it. I tried telling my mom, but sometimes I think it is hard to find the words to say that make our loved ones hear us. I blamed everyone’s lack of caring on my past of telling lies; maybe they still thought I was a little liar. I felt like even though I had done a lot of work to earn trust back, maybe I never would fully earn it back when it came to things that mattered most. Maybe the gropes, touches, and nasty words being whispered in my ear were my punishment for those years of being dishonest. Maybe I did truly deserve this. 

Lies are dishonest. I used to tell them and it turns out that I am really good at accepting and believing them too. I am twenty-four years old and I still struggle with the abuse of my past. I do not know if I will ever not wrestle with what happened to me. Thankfully during my sophomore year all the anxiety and doctor appointments led my parents to pull me out of my school and I went back to homeschool. On my own I started healing in small steps. Getting back into social circles was hard, but it was the step that showed me that not every guy is going to treat me with disrespect. But, I still struggled when I would be alone in a public space or even going for a walk around the neighborhood. I would turn around and sometimes run home or take longer paths home, because I did not want to pass by a guy jogging. I would get extremely anxious being alone with any guy, even friends. I struggle with my self-esteem. I still sometimes look in the mirror and all I see is a piece of trash that will never be worthy of any man’s love someday. I still see garbage. Sometimes I just call it a hot mess to make people smile, but it is truly how I see myself sometimes; worthless. But there is hope. I know that is easy to say to spin something, but there is truly hope. 

While I still wrestle and am learning from these experiences from my life, God is healer. I know that, because even though I struggle, I do not struggle every moment of every day like I once did. I can take a walk and pass a neighbor and not look over my shoulder after we pass to make sure he is not following me. I have days when I do not cave to the compulsion of lust, because I do not know what else to do with my anxiety. I can look in the mirror and tell myself I am beautiful and worthy of love and actually believe it after a minute of affirmation. I could have easily decided that I hated all men and never ever wanted to love or even be friends with one again, but I do. I have had healthy friendships with guys and I do have a deep desire to get married someday. 

What those boys meant for evil, that robbed me of innocence, led me to seek shelter in my Savior. My hope. I am naïve to think that my story or any amount of awareness will end the sickness of abuse, but I know that what can heal every heart that looks in the mirror and believes the lie of worthlessness, is Jesus Christ. He came and died to rescue the broken and crushed and spirit. I have faced disappointment in life, but the only time I have truly felt crushed and the weight of persecution was when I was facing abuse. I can’t tell you how much His love was truly what healed and still heals the broken places. But, outside of my Savior I found tools to help healing through counseling and recovery. 

Retelling my abuse story was not something I was thinking I would do through my 12-step program this past year, but it was one of the main things that has been still plaguing my thought life and feeding my fear. It wasn’t until this past week that I told my dad this part of my story. I spent many years healing and going through this with God alone, hardly ever letting anyone into the story of my abuse. This past year attending a recovery program through my church was the first time I ever shared what had happened to me. I still believed that no one would truly ever care that I was used physically and hurt emotionally. But, they did and do care about my life and the hurt places.

Bottom line. You are not alone in your journey. This is not just #metoo, there is a beautiful future on the other side of abuse.

Abusers only win, when we stay down and let their actions continue to dictate our lives. While I can’t erase the events and the effects on my life, because they did happen and they are a part of my story.  I do not have to stay in my grief as a victim of sexual abuse. I am still healing and on this journey of bringing the lies of darkness into the light. Through council, leaning on my faith, and loved ones I feel safe with I have been able to make it to today. The other day, I told a friend I did not want to write this, that I did not know how. She encouraged me to say no to the fear and the lies that still whisper to my heart. And I am writing this. You are not alone. Do not let the comfort and emotional release of #metoo, stop you from seeking council and tools to face tomorrow with the truth closer to you than every lie that you were made to believe. I am doing my best each day to live in the present because I have been given each new day to rise above my yesterday, I hope as each day comes you can stand and say me too, because you are worth more than what has been said and done to you.

-Hannah

Saturday, September 16, 2017

For Such A Time As This

When you discover that God has created you uniquely, you won’t spend your life trying to copy everyone else. - Lisa Bevere

Question: What is a current lie you believe about your own life? Write one universal truth that exposes this lie. 

I believe what I have been given is not enough. I constantly fight between the knowledge that I have been given gifts to use, and comparison with others who have been given the same gifts and are using them in far more interesting and impactful ways than I could.  Writing is an art. It is not an art that makes you untouchable, but connects soul to soul. I am a writer and deep inside I desire to be an artist. To create with whatever I can get my hands on and share it proudly. Then the lie soaks into the surface and penetrates my bones. There is no place for you. You do not have what it takes. Those words have already been spoken. And then it starts over again, repeating and restating lies that dismantle my creative spirit. The tension between lie and truth, flesh and spirit, desire and hope.

Truth. 

If you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will come to the Jewish people from another place, but you and your father’s family will be destroyed. Who knows, perhaps you have come to your royal position for such a time as this.” Esther 4:14

I am set a part for such a time as this. This day, this life I am moving about in the body that pumps the blood to my heart and let’s air into my lungs. This life I have been given was given to me for just such a time as this. My spirit, gifts, talents, voice, and soul are needed right here and right now. I am not a mistake and I most definitely belong at the table next to you, because my time here is not a mistake or glitch, it was set for a purpose. My words have a place. My heart has a beat. My art is needed. My soul is continually transforming. For such a time as this. Every moment I strike keys, move my pen, grab color, flip pages, kneel down, and lift hands high there is purpose. There is purpose in my days not just because of what I have been given, but who gave it all to me and for Him. There are many around me, beyond me, and surrounding me; such a great cloud of witnesses for such a time as this. There is no question even in the doubt, that what I have been given is meant to be used and its purpose as well as impact is beyond my comprehension. It is not about me, it is all for Him. How is my life to fit in the kingdom that lives here on earth, which is experienced in the midst of the devastation and chaos of the broken world? I may never know how my life is used for glory, but I can rest knowing that the strikes, moves, dips, flips, and sanctification are used in the kingdom work. A generation hungry for food and thirsty for drink and finding temporary satisfaction in all the wrong places, as I struggle to stay on my knees. There is a place for me, simply because I am alive. There is a seat for me here for such a time as this. 

Jesus came as a babe, lived, walked, taught, traveled, saw, healed, washed, and laid it down to conquer it all to raise up and save us all…for such a time as this. His coming, dying, raising, giving of Spirit, and promise to come again are all for such a time as this. There was purpose in all of his life, the timing of his physical coming into this world, it was all for such a time as this. Today. Right now and in Yesterday.


For such a time as this there is a time for everything under the sun. Nothing is wasted. Everything is used for something greater. Every move. Every sick day. Every sin. Every repentance. Every worship. Every craft. Every word. Every place. Every person. Every broken and beautiful thing in this world, is for such a time as this. It is hard in the broken and confused, but every moment of it is used. Every blessing and triumph no matter how superficial it feels, is used. A greater purpose and plan, one that I will never understand, for such a time as this. 

I sit at the table and I come offering what I have been given and open to what I am meant to receive. This life of mine is precious in the set a part of the nature of my Jesus. I come. I am here. Use me. I am here and I am listening.

- Hannah

Friday, September 15, 2017

Friends With You

Our culture is all about shallow relationships. But that doesn’t mean we should stop looking each other in the eye and having deep conversations. – Francis Chan

Question: Explore a recent challenge in one of your closest relationships. First, remove expectation or blame. Now what happened? What did you learn about yourself? 

Miscommunication is the nice way to put it, but in general it is a complete lack of communication is what fractures my relationships. I wish this would only describe some of my relationships, but it is most of them. I am not the best communicator. In the world of screens rather than faces and emotions I tend to misread, and misreads become misunderstandings, which lead to conflict, which feeds avoidance, and turns into years passing and me scratching my head wondering what the heck went wrong. Then I “ding”. I come back to the miscommunication and a lack of love that I was so confident in proclaiming that I had for the people I called “my people”. A lack of respect for others and a deeper concern for my own feelings, shoots poison into heart of friendship. I am a creator and receptor of poison. 

Some would blame it on my “only child upbringing”, which I always have felt is more of a finger point at my parents than at me. Some would blame it on my personality of introversion and introspection, which I always though was shooting a finger at the God who crafted me. I blame it all on my sin. A heart condition bent on pleasing myself before anyone else. It is not my parents or Gods fault, it is my own. Justification can’t make selfishness, fear, and pride become a picture of beauty. It is vile, the poison that pumps from my heart, to my veins, straight through to the spit in my mouth as I open or swallow in response or lack of one. Sin is gross. But, I am a victim of grace. So much grace is poured out on me and repentance is a moment by moment posture in my life of words or lack of. I am a stubborn girl. 

I am not good at confrontation. There was a group of friends I used to be close with and it irritated me how much they did not want to enter into a good messy confrontation over miscommunication or sin or whatever was causing some issues in any relationship. I was so frustrated, then I looked in the mirror. I am the same. I avoid the very thing that can take a relationship, any relationship, deeper in connection and support. It is when we lay it down ourselves and bring the muck into the light that we can move forward. Without forward motion I just keep kicking mud up over myself and others, until the whole world looks like the muck; dirty and too messy to bother with. I miss out, while I wait for the mud to dry out.

It is a sick fact, but I sometimes really like missing out. There is a weird contentment in staying put and not moving. There are seasons for staying put in rest and reflection, but then there are the seasons when we need to move to live out instead of within ourselves. Then there is a part of me that starts bubbling with envy, sadness, and feeling like trash when I am not included when I am tossed out to the side of the road waiting to be picked up by the garbage man. Rejection comes back around to you when you reject confrontation, to see the others. Feeling like garbage is a reflection of treating others like garbage, but that is not who we all are. We are all rare one of a kind treasures set loose on the world for a divine purpose, but yet we can feel the direct opposite of who we really are. I can feel the opposite.

When I feel like I am all that is wrong with the world and am super aware of all that is in process of daily sanctification; divine transformation, I stop myself. I am learning to stop, take what is really wrong, confess it, and do my best to live in peace. I am not perfect, but I am a treasure. They are not perfect, but they are divine creatures. How can I develop healthy relationships if I am not willing to acknowledge who both of us truly are; worth confrontation, tears, laughter, and growth in purpose and love. I am working on it. Each day. Getting back up, seeing my sin, and coming to you in honesty. I am wrong in so many ways, but I hope that even in my messy display, we can be friends that communicate with each other. I want to be a friend to you. 

- Hannah

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Family Plan

Fear arises when we imagine, that everything depends on us. – Elisabeth Elliot

Question: What does surrender mean to you? What are you unwilling to surrender? Explore with honesty.

To me surrender is letting go, laying something down, and taking a step back in trust that what I desperately want to have control over will come to be. Surrender is the opposite of control. Chains broken off flying free. Surrender is an openness to experience creation rather than create experiences. Surrender says “Yes Lord I am listening”. Control screams “Lord, I do not trust you with this”. I live in a constant state of laying down and picking up, a place of pleading to God to help my unbelief because in and of myself I am weak and I need His strength to get back down and walk away from my desires. 

I am all for pursuing what God has placed before me. But, some things are not before me they are purely desire floating out in the wide open landscape of possibility. They are maybes that I hope will be yes’s and part of me is scared of getting a no. What will become of me if those desires do not happen? Who will I be, will I be ok? The answer is always yes. I will be secure, because God is good all the time, all the time God is good. No matter what goes sideways or if I meet a bolted shut door, I will be good. My life will be good, because He is good. I will be ok. But…I struggle with letting go and being ok with the no. I do not know if I am content with that option, I know I need to be, but I do not know if I am. I say “am”, because right now that is what I am faced with. Some people call it “the maybe place”, but until it is a “yes” it is a “no” in my eyes. I have to face the possibility of no, because I know if I am greeted with a yes, I will be excited, but the no is another story. Can I lay down my desire knowing fully well a “no” could be the answer? 

Ever since I could remember I have wanted to have a family. To meet a godly man, grow in like and love, do a little jig down to the chapel, start the wild adventure of togetherness, watch my belly grow, and stand back amazed at the adventure God chose for us to travel, eternally grateful for the gift we have been given in our family from God. I desire it. A family. That adventure. I do not talk about the desire often, because if I do I tend to spiral into a cycle that starts with fear, panic, ungratefulness, and ends in a pit of bitterness about my life. I live my days in the land of “no” because that is what I have been given today. 

I lay down my desire and I keep my mouth shut in the world around me, because if I acknowledge it I start trying to find “him” that wink-wink Mr. to my Mrs. Some would say that is what I need to be doing, hunting till I find the one to capture and take him as my prey. I am oddly old fashioned when it comes to family, compared to the world and my peers. I believe in the guy doing the searching and seeking with God, not the other way around. So…because of that truth, I stay in my lane in my zone and do not dwell on it. When the thought comes or lust comes a knocking, I lay it all down again. God you lead the way of my life, love, and craft. 

“Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, so that you obey its desires. And do not offer any parts of it to sin as weapons for unrighteousness. But as those who are alive from the dead, offer yourselves to God, and all the parts of yourselves to God as weapons for righteousness.” 
Romans 6:12-13

It is hard for me to surrender it, because for a long time it is was something I placed my hope on. Hope for my future was dependent on who was next to me. The thing is I already have someone next to me, inside of me, and leading me through my days and transforming my life. An adventure is what I am already on and today I look around at this gift I have been given through blood and the life around me…and I am grateful for it. It is a beautiful gift my life, no matter if I will ever enjoy it with someone else, I am not and never will be alone. 

I lay down my desire at Your feet.

O, God help me not grow weary.

I raise my hands in the heat.

While my mind battles with theory. 

-Hannah

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

How to Grow

“Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.” Matthew 6: 34 (MSG)

Question: What has uninvited change taught you in your own life? How can you better embrace it?

I can try really hard to plan and map out my days on this spinning world, but I will never have a perfect day where everything goes as planned. I can’t recall a day where every hour ended up with a neat little bow on top. I am not saying to throw out the day planners, vision boards, and all ambitions in this life…but hold them loosely. 

Hold them loosely and take each day as it comes. One day at a time. After my Nana and Papa fell in Vegas this became almost a mantra in my life. There was a period of time where I was moving through the day, but anticipating death. Death was near and for the first time in my life I had to admit it was going to happen. One day at a time. After I was diagnosed with a birth defect that required surgery to correct, this became a solid statement in my life. Through doctors, tests, unknowns, and recovery…one day at a time. 

That is how I embrace the uninvited bumps, turns, and surprises of life. One day at a time. I am a pessimist at heart, or as I like to say a realistic thinker. I like to take sky high dreams and crash them back down to reality. A real problem for the dreamer in me, but it is also a gift. A gift that allows me to roll with the punches when the fire comes and respond in gratitude when unexpected happiness comes along. One day at a time. I lay down my plan, my ideas of the day and open my hands to receive whatever may come and ask for the strength and gratitude to walk through it. 

Sounds nice and pretty, but more often than not when things don’t just go south but also hit the fan, I go down. My anxiety kicks in and the fog tunnel of a panic attack settles over me and everything moves in slow motion. I am not the best at taking one day at a time, as the days blur and before I know it a year has gone by. It is too easy for me to get distracted by the trials and even by the blessings in this world. I get flack for saying this, but I believe God is in everything. Sin does not win. The darkness of night and trial does not win. God uses all things for good, even the bad; He is present in the darkness. He can withstand all, because He overcame it all. 

“Indeed, an hour is coming, and has come, when each of you will be scattered to his own home, and you will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me.  I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world.” John 16:32-33

“We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28 

“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in every way as we are, yet without sin.” Hebrews 4:15

With Him in me I will see the dawn. And when the light is shining bright I also have the strength to stay down on my knees. Thankfulness. Gratitude. That is how one day at a time, can actually become a reality. On my knees in surrender and thankfulness for the dawn. Unexpected and uninvited, become a welcome opportunity for growth and change. Painfully hard to live out, but that is how a life changes. Work=Pain=Growth. 

This is how to grow.
This is a beautiful life.
Don’t miss because it is causes soreness, it is worth it to wake up.

- Hannah

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Fig Leaves

“Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves…So the Lord God called out to the man and said to him, ‘Where are you?’ And he said, ‘I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid.’” Genesis 3:7, 9-10

Question: How have you attempted to hide your failure in the past? Where you successful in doing so? Why or why not? 

I have already stated this, but I am a hider. Think Adam and Eve in the garden after they ate the no-no fruit. Think Jonah and the big fish. Think David trying to cover up his bad decision that started by looking out on the neighboring roof top. I pull back from what is around me and do my best to hide my short comings. I have done this from big things, like my fear and stealing, to smaller mistakes like food hording and surrendering to desire. I am good at sewing fig leaves to cover my vulnerability and humanity, to hide from the things that everyone else already knows and many can relate to. 

Failure is not my favorite label. I like to be optimistic and think of all those moments as learning opportunities. They were not failures, I was just being an active participant in learning. In reality they are failures. I failed. I messed up. I sinned. I lied. I hid. I failed. Yet I am not very good at hiding my short comings. It seems my failures are pointed out more than I would like them to be, or maybe I am just listening to the wrong voices. Being optimistic or not, failure is a lesson maker. I learn from every wrong turn, mistake, and straight bad judgement. They lead me to something greater, connection. 

I am most vulnerable in my wrong decisions and weaknesses. Doing the right things and succeeding at everything I touch, is not relatable. Fact: I just completed a year of walking through a 12-step recovery program. I touched on this journey earlier in this Journal Journey, it is my most read blog post. Why? Because it is authentic. It is real. It shows my weaknesses. In our weaknesses God is made strong. When they are exposed to the light, weaknesses lose their power of shame, and opportunity for real connections become a reality. 

So yes, I have been successful in hiding my failures from myself. I tend to be an open book. People look at me and they can see the reality behind my eyes and make a pretty accurate educated guess at my weakness as a human being. People do not like to be friends with others who are not honest. It is a breeding ground of insecurity and betrayal. I have lost and destroyed more relationships with my dishonesty and fake facade of togetherness.  It is easier to hide when there is some sort of shame associated with the failure. Most of the time that is the case. Even though I can bury the fail and pretend it didn’t happen, it slowly but surely grows a bud of shame. Shame continually reminds one of the failure and shows up when ones searches my soul. Some successes are not worth being proud of and are really more of a failure

Hiding failure is not a success, it is another failure. Embarrassment, shame, or fear of exposure for the benefit of individuals who are struggling with those same struggles themselves. How can the cycle stop? Come into the light, expose it all not to become “relatable” but to be honest. Honesty is the best policy, I have learned that truth on most of the avenues of my life. Honesty is what breaks the cycle, it is what turns every failure into that learning opportunity, and failure loses its ability to breed shame; the “why bother” life. 

I am glad I have never been successful at hiding my failures from others, because it helped me walk into the light and provided me with some critical life lessons

- Hannah