I stand in the shadows of my own disappointment wondering if I will ever be able to pull myself out of this sorrow. My inner critic is on a roll and has an awful lot to say. About how I am not good enough. And who do I think I am anyway to try to make such a big thing happen. She is relentless and won’t stop. Has this ever happened to you?
All of her words are washing over me, penetrating my heart and tearing me down. It is painful to stand in this darkness. I want to curl up and hide. I don’t want anyone to see me wallowing. But I know that I can’t stay in the dark forever. I need to emerge from the shadows even if that means my scars will be seen.
And so I step out into the light. Eyes squinting, unsure of where I am. It takes a lot for me to share this pain. To show up with my heart on my sleeve. To allow others to see my failure. Even though I don’t want to, I know that it must be done. I cannot hide in my bunker forever.
I reach out, looking for a friendly face. I share my pain. Share my heartache. Share my disappointment. In this sharing, something beyond expectation happens. People lean in. Hold my hand. And even walk the path with me. They show me the way when I don’t know which way to go. They remind me that I am never alone.
I didn’t want anyone to know that I fell flat on my face. I didn’t want anyone to know that I failed. But here’s the thing, we don’t always make it to the top of the mountain. Sometimes we stumble. Sometimes we fall. It is all a part of living. And all of it matters, not just the pretty perfect pieces but the messy ones as well.
And so I encourage you to not hide your pain. Don’t stand alone in your shadows. Others may not have walked through what you have, but they have navigated their own struggles. They know what it feels like to not feel good enough. They know what it feels to fall down and have to peel themselves off the floor.
I would still be standing in my own darkness, feeling like I wasn’t good enough had I not reached out. It is in opening our hearts and sharing our experiences that we connect. Being vulnerable. Not always having to appear perfect. We need to share our raw, honest self. Even when it isn’t pretty.
I am grateful that I didn’t stay hidden. Grateful that I had the courage to share my truth. I am coming out on the other side with so much tucked inside my heart. I stand a little bit taller than before. Yes, I am not where I want to be. But I am here, surrounded by love. I took a chance. I tried. And I am better for it. I have found a new pair of wings to help me fly and only one question remains.