“It’s Time To Be A Good Steward of Your Pain”
Last week I wrote a post about the masks we wear to defend ourselves from the fear of what others think of us. The post featured breakdancing and the rock band, KISS, thus making it an “epic post.” What the post did not feature was an answer to how we go about removing said masks. Here’s my first thought on HOW we go about that:
By owning and dealing with our stuff.
We’ve all got stuff, don’t we? We’ve all got issues, and though we are not our issues, if we don’t deal with our issues, we’ll never get rid of the masks that keep us from one another. This has been true for me.
One day I sat down with a mentor of mine. Over coffee, I was pouring my heart out about all the emptiness I felt inside, all the pain that had accumulated like barnacles on my heart: things like moving ten times while growing up and having to start over and over again; my mom passing away after a long battle with Multiple Sclerosis; breaking off an engagement just 8 weeks before the wedding day (GROANS) but getting back all the deposit money on the reception hall anyway (CHEERS!).
And as I poured out my heart to this trusted friend, he looked me in the eye and said, “Jesse, it’s time to be a good steward of your pain.”
By which he meant it was time for me to identify and deal with and let go of the pain that I had experienced in life so that I could be free to love and be loved like never before. So that I could be free of my masks.
So that’s what I did – I tried to become a good steward of my pain. I found a therapist and started doing some great inner work. I began to open up more to my small group and ask for help (because it’s very important that we be honest with others about our sheer neediness).
I began to let go of the painful things that had taken up so much room in my heart, and as I did, I found increasing capacity for friendship, an increasing sense of purpose and direction, and most of all, a deepening sense of Jesus’ love for me.
Friends, it is Monday morning, May 23, 2011, and it’s time to be a good steward of your pain. It’s time to deal with your stuff. It is time to name, to own, and to let go of the things that keep you hidden behind that mask, that keep you from the freedom of fully loving and being fully loved.