Friday, October 12, 2012

the road less traveled.

guess who's back to blogging after almost a 2 month break? Fall is here... and my heart has turned introspective. The change in weather definitely affects my attitude and the way I think here lately. Whether it's from certain clients I've been seeing or the time of year, there has been something pricking my heart lately... and I think it might be time to share it. Bear with me; these have just been thoughts in my head before this... try to piece my jumbled ramblings together :)

one of the worst and hardest times in my life was transitioning into my 20's. I don't know if it was the confusion of not being a kid but not feeling like a full adult... or a certain spiritual dryness I felt in that time in my life... I'm sure it was many things compiled and pieced together that made that time so difficult. I believe one major downfall was that I felt like I had no one helping me out... Granted, I was 19 going into my 20's. I knew how to do laundry and dress myself. But what about LIFE? I had big questions and felt so lost and confused about how to make my mark in the world but still stay grounded in my core beliefs. I wanted someone speaking truth into my life.

i chose to listen elsewhere.

When I was in 3rd grade, we had to memorize "Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening" by Robert Frost. As much as I absolutely hated my 3rd grade year and all the horrible memories from it... this poem was a diamond in the rough. It set me up to enjoy Robert Frost as a writer (I was a nerdy kid), and I found "The Road Not Taken" to be an anthem in my life for many years. I felt as though I had integrity and a "quiet strength" that many of my peers did not exude as we grew up. I was the "good girl" and faithfully enjoyed the title. I don't feel like I'm bragging here because I know the in's and out's of my life story, and the "good girl" title came to a screeching halt many times in my growing up years. 

so where and when did my ears begin to stray from my sweet Robert Frost poem? why did I stop listening in the first place? 

great questions, huh? I've asked myself many times. I think it came when I felt like I was "missing out" on something that seemed better than what I had. Remind you of anyone? How about Eve in the Garden? I tasted the fruit, felt my shame, and sat in it. I sat in it a long time. 

Too long.

I felt alone and empty. I was terrified of my future. I was ashamed of things I had done and people I was close to. But I continued to do it. Shame has a funny way of telling you lies about yourself that you believe, and you try to hide it by doing things that cause even more shame. I was trapped in this vicious cycle, and I didn't know how to get out. I wanted to be free of this guilt-filled prison. 

And I felt like people had no idea.

I felt like I had all this inner turmoil and no one would ever understand... and God forbid they would ever find out. I felt like most of my spiritual guidance was depleted, and I was forced to rely on myself (Anyone can tell you how well that goes). In the midst of all of my JUNK, I still wanted to appear like I had it all together. I was too proud to reveal that I was truly a mess inside. I had a secret life that no one knew about (in my eyes), and some of you may even be reading this now thinking "What in the world is she talking about?" Trust me, it was there. Secrets are powerful, and I felt that these secrets in my life had the power to seriously destroy my future.

Shame casts big shadows on small things. 

What I felt like was too big for ANYone to understand or accept was made to be too big to share . The more I tried to hide my shame, the bigger I thought it was getting. I felt like everyone could see right through me and see how big of a failure I had become. I was in positions to influence many young girls' lives, and I felt so guilty every time I tried to guide them in their pursuit of holiness knowing the hypocrisy I was spewing in my personal life. 
The absolute worst part of that time in my life was feeling like there was no one there for me. Granted, I did have good, solid people in my life who I could have gone to... but in the midst of my dirtiness, I felt like I couldn't get close to anyone because they'd never understand or look at me the same.


My biggest fear in that moment would have been the exact thing to free me from that horrible prison. I needed redemption. I needed to surrender and confess. I needed to stop hiding myself from other people to protect my own "reputation" and identity. I felt like my church had set me up for perfection, and I didn't meet it; therefore, I had to stay silent and appear perfect. It might have been my own perception of what Christianity required of me, but regardless, that was the driving force for me keeping quiet to others around me. 

I felt like I wasn't good enough...whole enough.. to be enough.

There is beauty in brokenness.

It took me many years to grasp that idea. It's scary and vulnerable... but it's beautiful and worth it. I don't have to DO or ACT or BEHAVE a certain way to be enough. I'm enough because God has already done enough for me. I just have to BE. What a concept for my perfectionist, shame-filled heart. What I would have given to have someone share this with my back then. That is my reason for sharing this with you now. I hope I can be for you what I needed so badly back then.

I hope that anyone in any transition can hear these words and find some hope. My first thought comes to my old remix girls who are at this exact age where I found so much trouble, but it can be applied to anyone really. The worst part about sitting in my shame was that I felt like I was the only one sitting in it. I had no idea that so many other people felt that same way, and I believe it would have made a major difference for me to know back then. I hope that these words bring comfort to you if you're hurting and let you know that you AREN'T alone. At all. No matter what mistakes you've made or how bad you think you've 'blown it,' I promise you that you can bounce back. 

I know you can. I did it. My transition to my 20's was 5 years ago. My life is completely different now than how I pictured it as a beaten up, lonely, heartbroken 19 year old. I know some people won't share their stories, but I think we can find power in them. You can change the way your story is going right now. I hope you know you can. I wish someone had shared this with me and let me know these things. My shame and guilt catapulted me into a string of even worse decisions and relationships than what i had already experienced. I hope you can see God's redemptive power and realize that you don't have to do this on your own. In fact, if you want to, text me... email me... facebook message me... I will do whatever I can to help you. You are not alone.

For me, I took many paths in my transition into "adulthood." Many I wish I could take back, but the funny thing about the "journey of life" is that it's not always about the destination; it's about who you ARE and who you BECOME along the way.  My decisions and mistakes and relationships didn't continue to define me. I found out that who I AM is different than what I've DONE. I realized that it wasn't a bad thing to have the "good girl" title and valued that the pure in heart see God. I changed my path, and I have looked back to learn from my mistakes... and hopefully to help you in where you are now.

It's never too late to take a different road. 

And who knows, maybe you can choose the one less traveled... I know it made the difference for me.

The Road Not Taken
 Robert Frost
TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;        5

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,        10

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.        15

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

it truly has.

im thankful,
carrie anne