As is frequent in conversations of this sort, the topic of mountain moving came up. It was suggested that he had been saved from death for a great purpose within this life and he just needed to recognize his divine purpose.
This is where I piped in. While not trying, in any way, to devalue the faith of those talking I tried to make them understand how dangerous that sort of talk was to the poor man.
"Imagine," I said, "if you had been told for nearly half your life that you were capable of moving mountains and yet, no matter how hard you tried... you just couldn't manage to move one. How do you think that would affect you?"
See, the thing is... I know how this feels... I know what it feels like to be told I was given a very specific purpose and if I only just realized that, I would be able to move mountains.
Awhile back I posted a talk I had given at church for you guys to read, in it I spoke plainly about my belief that when we are open and allow the trials we endure (and have endured) to be seen then we shine a light on those around us who may feel alone and in need.
"We shy away from the opportunity of allowing others to grow from our struggles. When we should be open with our spiritual sisters we instead withdraw into our own rooms of self-recrimination. ... It is my hope, as a mother and a woman, that my imperfections are neither hidden from nor scorned by those around me. It's a delicate hope, and a precipitous position to put myself in, but I truly feel that by being honest with those around me I allow others to find that same honesty within themselves."
I have to tell you all that I have not been living up to my own words.
The conversation about that man has truly stuck with me and I have realized that if my trials and failings in life are to make a difference in yours then I actually have to tell you what they are!
I've hesitated for years about discussing some of these subjects, but at some point within this my 31st year I have realized that like my body, my mind and my blog are my own space and my own sanctuary to do with as I please (blogs being... of course subject to some censorship, I'm not ridiculously stupid people!).
So I have decided, although it terrifies me just a little, to start sharing some of the darker aspects of who I am.
I have given you all the impression that my life is bliss and perfection. This was wrong of me. I have some issues that I struggle with daily and I will probably struggle with for the rest of my life.
And I KNOW I'm not the only one who reads this blog who has these same issues.
Fair warning though... some of it is not nice, at all... but I recently told a friend that what I truly wanted to write about was the sort of things that changed people for the good. The sorts of things that made you, the reader, realize that you are not alone and that it is possible to move on from trial. My dear friend told me, "Well, then do."
So... I will.
It won't be easy for me, nor for you. I may not write more than once a month about it. I may go several months. But it is my hope that in sharing my stories I will be freed from some of my demons and I will allow you to free yourselves as well.
Please, all I ask, is that you be kind to me in this my vulnerable state, and feel free to share your experiences with me via comments or email.