The hardest part of the truth is sometimes telling it. After we have lived with the truth hidden from the light for so long, just the act of opening our mouth to say it to another human being can seem impossible, so we simply don’t tell it. We keep it to ourselves.
We protect and preserve to project a curated and controlled version of who we are to others as a way to control the version of the truth others will see in us.
We think we can manage it ourselves. We plug holes in a broken vessel, covering it all with a shiny veneer.
My personal truth is a lot of things, but at the very bottom of it lies insecurity. I spent a good portion of my life living from a wounded place of feeling completely and totally insecure. I allowed so much mistrust to enter my heart and the mistrust consumed me.
I developed an internal belief system to cope and I believed things like:
- You will never be somebody’s first choice. You are always the second choice.
- No one really genuinely likes you.
- You will always disappoint someone.
- Nothing good will ever happen to you, so don’t get your hopes up.
- You will be left and rejected.
- You are fat and ugly.
- You can’t keep up so just sit on the sidelines.
- God loves everyone but you.
What I didn’t bargain for is that these lies from my childhood, driven from a place of complete and utter insecurity and past hurts, would lead to another form of hiding. In order to overcompensate for my insecurity, somewhere along the way I began to hide behind performance and drive. I truly thought if I could out perform everyone, work harder than everyone, present myself as pleasing and perfect, manipulating others to like me – then, maybe, I would like myself.
The opposite happened. Instead, I hated myself more because now performance and people were my drug of choice. I lost myself in it. I was gone. Despite my accomplishments, at the bottom of it all, I felt the shame again of insecurity. No matter where I ran, it was there.
My husband describes this type of shame as if you are standing in an art museum and all the lights are out in the room. You are frantically looking for a way out, an escape, but everywhere you run, you see paintings of all the horrible things you have done and the bad things you don’t want others to see. Shame is torture. Shame is a personal living hell that is created from a place of an absence of light. It is up to each of us as to when we want to turn on the lights, face it all, and find the exit door.
This year, I finally became ready to find my exit from the repetitive cycle of all the different characters in my story. Due to the hidden shame, I was affected physically and emotionally to such a point that I knew I needed to do something. I began to seek help and say things out loud to people who loved me. I invited new voices into my life, like counselors and trusted mentors.
The difference is, now I am allowing myself to feel. My feelings are helping me to reconnect to pieces of myself that I had lost. This has made the pain of facing it all worth it.
When the pain of staying the same gets to be too great, I think then we finally find the bravery to face the pain of change. Transformation begins with truth. That is our day one to a new life.
When you open the doors and windows and turn on all the lights to your truth, it might come out slow at first, and that’s okay. When you tell your version of the truth – not the one you think others will want to hear or the truth that you were taught to tell growing up- it will be like a small drop of rain after a long drought, making a small ripple of change on your heart. As you keep telling the truth, those ripples grow bigger and they refresh and renew you. Then they extend further to the people closest to you, to make them better. Then maybe strangers will see hope in your story. Possibly the generations to come after you will find hope in your legacy.
Truth’s power is that in the brave act to tell it, you often put words to the feelings that others are still trying to understand.
Speak your truth and allow it to ripple out to others to quench the thirst of a world that is desperate for something real. It will start like a small drop of rain. Then it will be like an unstoppable flood, giving the world permission to use their voice to tell their own truth. Your truth flood may wash away everything you know, but you can rebuild even better. He makes all things new.
I believe transparency precedes and intertwines with the process of redemption. So, open the window, face the desolation head on, and give thanks. Truth will heal you.
“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” — John 8:32
Rebekah grew up as a quirky, curly-haired Texas girl who was often searching for something she was good at besides talking. Most days now you can find her: writing, loving a country music man, mama-ing and balancing the cups of coffee she drinks with lemon water; all while working hard to keep her hair straight in the Nashville humidity.
She is passionate about embracing stories of struggle as a path to restoration in finding our truest selves. Her vision is to put a face and voice to authenticity by sharing real stories of love, imperfections and “Me Too Moments.” She believes the greatest asset we have to accomplish the mission of showing people a lasting impression of Jesus, is to create ministry right amongst the everyday in each of our lives by finding the beauty in our own unique stories.
Rebekah is married to her college sweetheart, Chris, and they have one beautiful daughter, Gracie Ann. You can read more about Rebekah and her family at www.rebekahbullard.com, and connect with her via social media: Instagram: @bekabullard, Twitter: @bekabullard, Facebook: Rebekah Bullard