Being authentically happy still feels foreign sometimes.
There are many times when I laugh ridiculously hard, realize how beautiful it is to be happy and safe, and am in complete awe. It is this radical acceptance and appreciation for the life I’m blessed to have, for who I am, what I’ve worked for, and who God is molding me into.
I’ve never been this happy.
How can I be 100% dorky and wear mustache toast earrings?
How am I fortunate enough to love and want to express my quirky, bubbly self and accept who I am at the core of my being? I feel like I belong and that every part of me is lovable most of the time.
I didn’t even know that was possible.
I’ve also never felt grief and sorrow like I have recently. I’m talking about the kind of sorrow and grief that feels like your heart is being ripped from your chest and will never be put back. Where every fiber of your being is asking why and longing for the goodness that is missing or should have been.
The self-rejection and shame I disassociated from for so long are no longer being stuffed and silenced. I’m doing my best to give them a voice and allow them to be seen and understood. I am starting to understand an unwillingness to see and feel the hard things only ensures I will live with them indefinitely. It doesn’t keep me safe from feeling them or being influenced by them continually. It means that if I face the hard things, if I look at them square in the eyes, if I see them for what they are and refuse to live in fear and avoidance, I can ask for God’s mighty love and sovereignty to cover them and redeem them.
And there is a beautiful correlation between conquering the internal and how it makes conquering the external less intimidating.
It is so interesting to experience so much joy and so much sorrow. They exist on a spectrum where the extent you feel one is the extent you can feel the other. They are undeniably connected.
I’ve known for a long time that if I don’t feel the sorrow I won’t feel the good either. I knew but I didn’t understand. I tried to numb everything, and I was quite successful in numbing everything but fear. I was afraid of feeling the hard stuff and I couldn’t feel any of the good, either. I looked out at life and felt entirely disconnected, like I was in a glass box observing everything around me but not being able to fully experience it. Nothing was tangible except the reality that I wasn’t really experiencing life. I was simply existing, removed, and disconnected.
I’m rather perplexed at how feeling all the feels and letting God and other people into the grief and sorrow has made my life so much better. It is like a big hug I can come back to anytime.
There is no judgment or ridicule. There is radical love, support, and accountability. It’s love that doesn’t shame me for what I feel and instead empowers me to embrace the beauty and sorrow of life and do what I can to make it better. It is one of those hugs you could stay in forever.
Embracing the grief and sorrow has been beautiful and hard. It has added an immense amount of meaning and appreciation to my life, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
It has also added mustache toast earrings, and I’m stoked about it.