Do you constantly find yourself telling others how you’re “so busy?” Do you barely have time to brush your teeth, let alone plan for the future? Some seasons of life are crazy by nature. Newborn twins or a cross-country move or helping a sick parent are all activities that legitimately take up a lot of our time.
But sometimes we keep ourselves so busy so we don’t have time to think. We keep running and running because we’re afraid that if we get off the hamster wheel – if we stop going so fast we’re merely a blur to others – our “true selves” will come into focus and people will see through the facade. They’ll see our past. They’ll discover our bad decisions and the regrets that haunt us. We, too, will then have to face our past, whether we want to or not. Sometimes it’s easier to just hide behind the busyness.
Here’s the secret:
- People don’t see your past unless you tell them.
- Everyone has a past filled with hurts, regrets, and things they’re ashamed of.
Let’s stop pretending we’re perfect. Let’s stop judging others for being imperfect. Let’s start accepting ourselves and each other for who we are – fallen, forgiven children of God, doing the best we can with what we’ve got. Let’s cultivate authenticity in our lives and relationships.
Don’t you love it when you hear a speaker tell her life story – or just a really good, embarrassing story? Don’t you breathe a sigh of relief because you “finally” found someone who understands – someone who’s been there? Truth be told, when you practice authenticity, you’ll probably find people in your circle of friends who can relate to most of what you’ve been through. You’ll allow someone to breathe a sigh of relief that someone (you!) finally understands.
That’s not to say that we wear our past on our sleeves and live as slaves to our past. Our past shapes us, but it need not define us. But we can and should use our experiences to help others.
Wherever you are in your journey to heal past hurts, you’re likely farther along than someone else. And another person is likely father ahead than you. Rather than hide in shame, guilt and fear, let’s practice authenticity – and vulnerability – so we can help each other along our journeys. And just like the Scripture that says “He who refreshes others will himself be refreshed,” (Pr 11:25, NIV), you’ll get some help and healing as you share your experience with others.
Is there someone you know who will be helped by hearing your story, but you’ve held back for fear of being judged? How can you practice authenticity and vulnerability in that relationship? Do you need to simplify your schedule to carve out some time for them?