Unpleasant Realities: Why Recognizing Them Heals Us
I was honestly going to write about another aspect of healing today. A conversation with a close friend last night changed my mind. In fact, I could not get our conversation off my mind. I described an unpleasant reality to her from my past marriage. In fact, I think that was the first time I’d voiced the unpleasant reality instead of just thinking about it and knowing it to be true. This was good for me and now I want to share that with you and you why not just recognizing but voicing those realities helps us heal.
What was my unpleasant reality? The answer is simple. I was in love with the idea of being married and being like everyone else. I was so in love, in fact, with this idea that I married a person who was not God’s best for me. I want you to read that again and let it sink in. I married a man I had no business marrying to be honest. I wanted to be like other people. Did I love him? Yes. Did I want it to work? Yes. Did I try to make it work? Yes. Was I deceived by him? Yes. I think he was in love with the idea of marriage as well in order to help him cope with the part of him he didn’t like. Was I equally in love with and placing the institution of marriage on a higher pedestal than it should have ever been? Yes. Did I marry not only a questionable man but an abusive man in order to keep this idealization alive? Absolutely and unequivocally, yes! An unpleasant reality indeed and very hard to come to terms with much less talk or write about. I did not talk about this in my first book. I recognized many things at the penning of that book but not the entire picture of what I had accepted to be true. Some of “my truth” was not truth at all – it was a lie – me lying to myself. I want to caution you in this age of speaking your truth. Be sure when you speak your truth, that your truth is in fact the truth. Be careful that you aren’t believing lies you’ve told yourself and then acting on them as if they were truth. It’s not hard to do. I did that for five years. Do not be deceived as I was then.
Unpleasant realities we don’t want to recognize make for complicated messes in the future as well as delay our healing. I can honestly say it took me longer than two years to even begin contemplating that I had believed my own lies and accepted a false reality in that relationship to maintain a status quo and to look good to everyone else. It took me another two years, with a lot of heart work, to fully realize what I had done and then be able to tell a close friend and write about it today. I am not saying I am responsible for the abuse of my late husband; I am not responsible for that. What I am responsible for is putting marriage up on a pedestal, worshipping it, to my detriment. What I am responsible for is being in love with the idea of marriage and wanting to be like everyone else. Did God call me to be like everyone else? Did He even call me to that marriage? The answer to those questions is a resounding No! In fact, He gave me three outs and I didn’t take them. I was in love with the idea of being married and worshipping the institution more than I worshipped Him at the time I believe. So badly in love with these ideas that I didn’t see Him lovingly offering me an escape. I wanted it to work so badly I was willing to sacrifice myself on the marriage alter to make it work.
Does any of this sound familiar? Am I stepping on any toes or making anyone uncomfortable? I don’t want to hurt any feelings or make anyone uncomfortable but the problem with our unpleasant realities is this: if you don’t really search out your heart and find the reason why you accepted something or someone that was bad for you, you will never heal and you will continue to repeat the same pattern over and over. This does not make you a victim and it is not victim-blaming. This gives you the power to make better decisions that change your life and stop perpetuating evil toward yourself and your family. You get your power back! Do you see what I’m getting at here? When we recognize our unpleasant realities, the things that make us want to cringe, we can make better decisions and allow our hearts to heal. We can stop repeating destructive patterns.
I want you to face your unpleasant realities. It takes time, it took me four good years to unpack mine. I don’t want to see you repeating the same patterns twenty years from now. I don’t want to see evil perpetuated repeatedly in your life. I don’t want to see you so in love with an idea or an institution that you would stake your life and health on it. I don’t want to see you die on that alter. God does not call you to do such things. I want to see you whole and healed – therefore I write and share my struggles and my deep heart healing with you. I don’t want to see you go through what I went through. Do the hard heart work and be free! I did, you can too! Jesus and I want to see you above all, free! Love, Elizabeth