Oh hey there, don’t you worry about me. The dark circles under my eyes are only proof that I’ve cried for a week straight. Also, the smile on my face isn’t fake, it’s just a validation that I can do hard things. I asked the Lord for a miracle. He delivered in ways that I’m still trying to understand and honestly, it’s going to take some extra courage and maybe even a major overhaul to figure it out, but I’m game.
There isn’t anything in life that I’ve ever desired more than truth. However, when you are a truth digger things get dirty on a dime. It’s a hard lesson (and one that I’ve learned many times over) not everyone can handle the job of a digger. Well, not in my same timing at least. Some of us prefer to be coverers, but that is a temporary gig. Until we come to know why digging is so important we will blanket ourselves emotionally, sometimes physically and always spiritually. These individuals walk around with surface level relationships, goals, ideas, ambitions. They keep things pretty light and uneventful. You can’t spite the heart of a coverer. Their intentions are well meaning, usually. Plus it’s demanding labor. One that can and will keep you busy for a lifetime if you allow; covering your bases so that all your stories align, covering your imperfections so that others don’t see your weakness, covering your tears for fear the shame will show.
I’ve always felt that one is either digging or covering. I guess maybe there is a middle ground. There are those of us who literally have no idea there is more to be had in the arena of relationships and human interactions. Those individuals take things at face value, don’t ask questions and keep slugging along with their yesterdays melting into their tomorrows. We each at different places and paces in our lives could be coverers, diggers or what should I call the third? settlers? …anyway, you get the point. We’ve all been there and some find comfort in one area over the other.
The reason I’m a digger is simple: I’m kinda lazy. I’m not saying that truth digging is easy. I’m just saying that whatever you cover, you eventually have to dig up anyway, right?. That’s like double the work my friends. So please, I’ll go ahead and take the the fastest, most direct-no bull-way to wherever I need to go. Truth digging and me, are a perfect pair.
I have to ask myself “why then, and who in the heck would EVER choose to be a coverer?”
My most direct answer is: fear.
Fear is the reason we ALL complicate the truth and cover. We fear how she will take it, how they will feel about us after they know, how will he move on, how we won’t get the best deal or be the first one there, how the perception of our reality will change, if feelings will be hurt, if we will lose our job, friends, our family, or our dignity.
Fear motivates lies.
Fear is in fact, a liar.
Tomorrow, Matt and I have an appointment with our first marriage therapist in our whole 16 years (well 17 years if you count the year prior when we were “just friends”). There are parts of me that want to desperately back out. I keep telling myself that we are ok and that we don’t need the help and that we will figure it all out alone. Anyone looking from the outside in, would 100% tell you that we don’t look like the kind of couple that needs extra help or a fancy therapist office to deal with anything. We both speak our minds, are both passionate about who we are plus you couldn’t find two people who dig each other at the intensity we do.
We are pretty great together, actually. We have very similar loves about life, senses of humor (he’s rubbed off on me over the years) and hopes for our family. I adore him in so many ways and I know that he has never been more in love with me, ever. I can feel that. He works hard for our family and is the most devoted father I’ve ever known…and then there is me, just staying busy by keeping everyone on their toes and accountable for their own choices around here. We ebb and flow so naturally. You could say, we are beginning to become one.
All of that makes it pretty attractive to believe that ‘we’ve got this’. However, the truth of the matter is ‘we could use some help’. There are circumstances, situations, emotions and years of hardship that neither one of us have fully processed. I believe that in order for us to grow individually and together, move forward and to have a complete and wholesome eternal connection we need to go deeper. The problem (and reason for our extra need of help) is we don’t know how. I don’t know how to make sense of the heartache and challenges that we have endured outside of one another and together, and neither does he. He doesn’t know how to set boundaries and keep them, in a ‘safe for everyone’ kind of way and I don’t either. We don’t know how to release and begin new relationships after we’ve hit rock bottom over and over with those in our story. Neither of us know for sure when it’s time to let go and move on or when it’s time to hold on and stay still-in any given difficult situation between the two of us, or with others.
We DO know, that we’ve both come to a place in our marriage that we want more. More love and peace, more honesty and accountability, more safety and reliability. More -he has my back- and I’ve got his. Marriage is hard and complicated. Anyone who has tried it, knows. Bringing two lives together for forever and just calling it good because it is what it is, isn’t something we’re really interested in.
Matt and I are religious folk. We attend church, pray as a family and are very mindful of the Lord’s hand in our lives. Many within our community would probably assume that if we are doing the right ‘things’, then we shouldn’t have to spend time or money on a professional therapist. In fact that was my very own belief a lot of years ago. Therapy isn’t something you do if you are saying your prayers and reading your scriptures and waking up at 5am to stand on your head while getting dressed and serving your family a hot meal for breakfast at the same time….and, well…it kind of looks bad, right? The only people who “really” go to therapy are the ones who are on the brink of divorce, in complete and utter trauma, lunatic and simply don’t understand how Jesus works. I call BS, for so many reasons. It’s a lie to believe that reaching outside and getting assistance from professionals automatically deems you and me as misfits, and I’m not a believer in them. Mistruths have never served me well. They are unattractive, demeaning and heavy, even when they come from well intentioned individuals.
Diggers do whatever they have to do to move the piles of crap out of their lives. They don’t do it for the glory of making the appearance of working, they do it to find the beauty within their own divine destiny, true purpose and ultimate happiness. They do it so they can look in the mirror and see the a person that will never lie to them or let them down, in their ‘own’ reflection and they believe that others are capable of the same. All the while, understanding that the outcome of this life, while it may be affected by those around us, realizing at the end of the day we are the ones who stand accountable for the consumption of joy we emulate.
The more we cover, the years of layering, and the fears that hold us back will eventually have to be dug up. Either we can start that process for ourselves, or our children/our posterity will have to do it for themselves, reaching as far back as you and me, just so they can heal from the turmoil we created in them. The inability for us to recognize the effects our fears have on the ones we love the most, will in fact damage generations. Ignoring behaviors, upsets and said problems in any relationship, but more significantly your most sacred relationships (with yourself, spouse, children, parents) is a selfish senseless act. It’s not heroism to fall on the sword of secrets nor are you protecting anyone from a burden, by carrying a load too big for one alone.
There are a lot of parts of my life that I’m pretty mediocre in. I joke about it a lot. Matt says otherwise, which is super sweet and maybe he is right, but I’m convinced that the word “meh” was made for me. I don’t have huge big dreams of a lot of money or things, or knowing the right people with the best connections. Even as a mother, I’m pretty laid back with allowing my kids to make their own mistakes, walk their own path and just figure life out without me interfering too much. I don’t need the best of the best, although I do have fine tastes for a girl who was raised on ham and beans and government cheese. I just wanna be over here doing whatever, writing and reading whenever, napping and loving as best as I can.
-truth telling and digging – It’s something I’m kinda passionate about. It has become my ride or die way to live. It’s hard, very hard work. I’m still not perfect at it. I have so many feelings I don’t disclose. I know there is a fine line between my truth and someone else’s. I realize that just because I believe it to be right and true for me, doesn’t necessarily make it true for you. It really sucks to stand up for yourself and fight when there is a good chance you’ll be standing alone…or bow down before others in humility, when you’re wrong and you’ve been the one to the cause pain in someone else. It’s messy, terribly stinky annnnddd usually isn’t met with the same kind of enthusiasm from others. The end result hardly ever looks the way I thought it would and just like the laundry piles from my family of seven…it’s never ending.
It still doesn’t sway me.
Anytime I have an interaction that has called for truth digging throughout my day, I ask myself if I was the most honest I could have been in the given situation? If not, it usually inadvertently finds its way back to me. As if the universe is giving me another chance at becoming a better digger. There are constant improvements and make-overs to be had. However, the sweat on my brow and the pride in my chest when I overcome, is my miracle. It’s proof that the work is worth it. It’s my peace. It’s a way I’ve been able to find meaning in my sometimes seemingly meaningless moments. It’s something that no one can ever take from me. I don’t have to recall anything except what actually is or what was. It’s freeing, and I think you should try it.
I’m not saying run out and get yourself on a fast track in front of a professional. I’m also not saying to go up to every single person you know, and love-scream in their face how you really feel about them or the lives they lead. I’m just saying, take a good look at the joy you are able to consume in your life. If you find that it’s lacking, start digging.
Even though the work of a truth digger can be challenging, it isn’t careless or rude. It isn’t angry and it isn’t looking for justification for it’s bad mood. It’s full of intention and hope. It’s over filling with love and mercy for oneself and those that come into their story.
Tomorrow I will go with my hands carrying the load-that really is too big for me alone to hold- and Matt will bring his along too. I will ask for help from the man I’ve given my life and love and created my one and only world with and he will do the same. My desire is, that as we dig, we can trade off keeping space for one another while being guided through by someone who is giving us the right tools for the job. I mean, what good is a shovel if what you really need is a backhoe.
I wrote the ‘poem’ below this afternoon. I actually don’t know if it follows the rules of a real poem writing, cause I don’t know them…but whatevs. It just came out of me, like my non poem poems do on occasion.
Give me your ugly truth
I will give you mine
We will tend the other close
and become as one divine
Pretty lies I want not
For they do not hold
The truest part of who we are
Our destinies untold
A keeper of your core
I will be
Until your strength
Sustains your path
And you can then carry me