Wow being open is tough. When I set myself this challenge I do not think I truly sat back and contemplated just what it would take to do it with honesty and full commitment, how vulnerable I would feel just writing this down on paper. I guess I just thought it was an interesting way to creatively push myself.
So here is my task. To capture and share openly, 7 emotions or feelings I experience.
Here we go, I am facing it straight on and welcoming you into my private world. Welcome to my Life Behind My Lens series.
DAY ONE || LONELINESS
Being an obvious extrovert will cause those who know me to be shocked by this confession, I think. If I am honest it wasn't even something I considered as a reason for a looming sadness I felt within myself, so of course it will be a surprise to others looking in. But nevertheless it is my truth, it is my reality. I am lonely, boom it's out there.
I am not physically lonely. I am in a great marriage that is thriving and vibrant with a husband who is present and invested. I am part of a large family and volunteer in a thriving church, but I am lonely. It makes no sense right?
During my discovery of loneliness I learnt there is a second type of loneliness - Emotional. My loneliness stems from a lack of emotionally connected friendships. It is truly amazing how you can be surrounded by a sea of people, acquaintances and yet feel very alone.
With each year I learn more about my nature, my personality and my character. Whilst I was searching deep for the reasons behind my sadness I unsurfaced the realization that I desire friendships that are deep, that are real, that are mutual and that truly invest in each other.
It was very difficult for me to accept that despite having a healthy marriage and great family and friends over in the UK I was lonely in Canada. It was not something I wanted to be true. I was embarrassed by the idea. In this world we all want to put our best foot forward and project those 'Instagram Pretty' lives but reality is its a facade.
As a wife, mom, business owner, daughter and sister in my 30's I still don't have it all together. I am still growing, maturing and gaining character. Yes I have messy places, hide aways I don't want seen. It is hard to put your not so glamourous truth out there, but for me I feel its necessary.
Once I admitted to myself that loneliness was a reality for my sadness I felt freedom. The next step was the need to share it with others and not hide it away afraid that being imperfect would be bad. I hope that sharing this allows others in the same boat to open up to a friend or family member and start to move forwards and heal.
And what now? I heal, I discover and invest in learning tools to move on to discover the friendships I dream for. It is never going to be an overnight fix, my life is not a movie. But I do not have to stay stuck just because the process to healing and happiness is long and invloves work on my part.
I know that God has a reason for every season and I genuinely trust in that and find hope and peace right there. He only wants great things for my life. However I do not blindly sit still without action expecting my situation to fix itself. I step out of my comfort zone, be the friend I hope to find, share and be honest about my journey and refuse to settle with sadness.
So I challenge you, do you only look to portray that 'Instagram Pretty Picture'? Or do you face up to your inner struggles and imperfections openly, accepting that they are there and discovering ways to move past them and at the same time help others do the same?
Try opening up and becoming vulnerable, it's scary, embarrasing and all you imagine it to be but it also cuts the power of the emotion and fills you with strength and freedom. Hopefully it will surround you with a team of people cheering you on and helping you get where you need to be.