Let’s be honest: we’re not always honest.
We hide our struggles. We brush away damage. When in the public’s eye, we pretend we’re dealing okay with all that’s going on. Sometimes we don’t share, or even acknowledge to ourselves what’s going on. We bury and sweep away and lie about our problems. We all do to some degree, though there are those who are better than others about this. Are you honest with yourself?
Here’s the thing: it’s okay to not be okay. It’s okay to admit you need help. It’s even okay to admit you need help but don’t want to ask for it. We play a game with ourselves. This is me but don’t show anyone, and this is me on social media or in public. Are they the same for you? If not, that’s okay too. Not everything is meant for the public eye. But is there someone or a small group for which they are the same, that image of you?
Ask yourself this: if someone followed you around with a camera, do you feel people would be shocked at what they saw? If so, you’re not alone. It’s safe to say you might even be in the majority. Not that people would be shocked but that you feel like they don’t see the real you. Do you allow the real you out?
There’s a Matthew West song that nails this perfectly. Check it out here. It’s Christian music but it applies to everyone. Some people are genuine and have found ways to share where others hide. The difference for them is a stronger sense of self-care and reliance on the fact that you can ask for help. We all have moments we need support and not reaching out for that can lead to crippling damage.
Imaging a structure, like staging or the foundation of a house. If there’s a support out of place, that area is weakened. If it’s not addressed, it can become weaker. The supports surrounding it pick up the weight. If it grows, becomes more damaged, or never receives care, it will cave.
We are far more complex than staging or houses. We need support, care, and we need it regularly. Some people are very capable of putting themselves out there and sharing. That’s awesome. We should hear them and be encouraged that they overcame their struggles. For those who aren’t so brave, outspoken, or mission-led, you still need to be heard. You don’t have to be alone in your troubles. You might think no one will understand, but it’s about being honest, not perfect. So where are you on the self-honesty scale?
- I deny all my problems, toughen up, and plow forward. I don’t have time to be a baby.
- I know I have damage or issues, but I can’t focus on myself right now. I can handle it by not handling it.
- I have emotions and issues to work out but I’m not sure how. If it gets bad enough I might ask for help.
- I definitely need help and will get around to talking to someone for the sake of self-care as needed.
- I’m aware of my emotional needs and regularly speak with someone close or with a coach to be sure I’m taking care of me when I need it.