it takes courage,
to not always be ok.
This past year has been one in which my heart felt constantly heavy.
Weighed down by the atrocities of this world and of myself. Tired of waiting, tired of pain, tired of smiling and telling people, “I’m doing great!” when I knew inside my heart was screaming, “NO! ACTUALLY WE ARE NOT OK!”
Everyday I woke up with screaming pain being the first thing to meet me and a to-do list running through my head, one that was probably enough for an entire year, let alone one day. I would force myself out of bed when really, all I wanted to do was wrap up in my comforter, turn on my heating pad and never leave.
Between endless doctors’ appointments, injections, meds, and unknown answers; I was fighting to have joy and quickly giving up on the hope of a solution for my pain. I felt cynical, bitter and angry.
One morning, I finally forced myself to get quiet and let my heart feel it all.
I let go of my perception of "being strong" by holding everything in and instead, I did just the opposite.
I let it all pour out.
Tears of fear, stress, bitterness and perfection streamed down my face. Failure, people pleasing, disappointment and unmet expectations-it was all there wrapped up into my heavy, heavy heart.
One in which, I had neglected because sometimes the feeling of pain can be so overwhelming, it is easier to just numb and not deal with it.
But numbing, I have learned, will always come back to bite me in the butt.
It will seep out in anger and bitterness towards the ones I love the most. It will cause negative internal comments that are fired at others and myself.
And when that happens, I know it is time for me to get quiet, go inside and figure out what is going on.
And this, my friends, is the space in which Dear Heart was birthed.
Right in the middle of the realness and rawness that comes from wresting with yourself, the world and God.
A place of knowing you can no longer live a certain way and are in dire need of change, without knowing exactly what that "change" is.
A place of knowing that sometimes the most courageous thing you can say is: “I am not ok. I need help.”
A place of knowing that you cannot climb up mountains until this valley, your valley, of dry bones is walked through first.
Heart work is NOT easy my friends.
But when Love, gentleness and kindness lead the way, it can birth and uncover some of the most beautiful parts about us. It can create in us a deeper love, empathy and understanding of both ourselves and then of others.
I don't think we give our hearts enough room to speak or feel. Our culture tells young boys and men to "man up" and that tears and feelings are a sign of weakness.
But I just have to wonder, then why did God give us feelings and tears? To shame us? To make us look and feel weak?
No. I think He gave them to us to be our guide in showing us more about ourselves and about His all consuming love. They are a gift, not to be embarrassed by but instead to lean into and listen to what they have to say. If we listen close enough, they will continually tell us a never ending story about what really matters to us in life.
"Tears are tiny messengers sent from the deepest part of who we are. They whisper – here is where your heart beats strong. This is a hint as to what makes you come alive.” -Emily P. Freeman
Tears and feelings aren't weakness. They are actually our strengths. Their release gives us freedom-freedom to not be ok, freedom to feel deeply for the ones we love, freedom to be broken, freedom to heal, and the freedom to live with radiating hearts that beat with true LIFE.
This song is by far my most favorite off this new EP.
Because it carries the weight of my entire year-both the broken and the beautiful, the pain and the joy. It encompasses my unanswered questions and it gives myself the permission and the courage to not always be ok.
I truly hope you enjoy this song but more than anything else, please never ever be afraid to admit that you are not ok.
Ask for help.
Learn to be ok with not being ok.
Let it be your guide back to the ultimate Healer.
I promise it will change your life.
Lastly, my sweet friend, whatever valley of dry bones is currently staring you down, you can move through it.
You are stronger than you think.
And when you finally reach that mountaintop, you will look around and see everything through such different eyes.
You will see radical grace and beauty in places you would have never imagined.
You will care for your heart, your body and others so gently and so lovingly because you will realize it is all a gift, not a burden or a guarantee.
You will move from survivor to thriver, because going through hell and back will teach you what truly matters in life. It will teach you that some days are just plan hard and that is ok. Accept those days. Have grace with yourself. And know they won't last forever.
You will move forward, not with the weight of bitterness and anger, but instead with the lightness of gratitude and joy because you finally made it through.
You let Love in.
The valley did not have the final say.
And when that happens, I will be over here dancing my butt off for you because those are the kind of things that deserve the greatest celebrations.