“The reason we hide our faults is because of PRIDE. We want others to think we have everything UNDER CONTROL. We want to look well polished before others. The TRUTH is, whatever you can’t talk about, already has you under control.”
-Rick Warren, Defeating Temptation
My desire for these past days is to communicate that; 1) Your struggle isn’t unique 2) God understands the struggle and wants to help you through it. But there is a third component to overcoming anxiety that I have only hinted at but never addressed directly and it is the importance of others in our healing journey.
How do the best of friends or couples get to the place where they can almost always accurately guess what the other is thinking in a particular situation? I assume their encounters were more than emojis and stickers but more instances of sustained, deep and honest conversations.
I am troubled that our cries for help find their ways only on our statuses and never into a friend’s dm, or do we even have those? I suspect it’s easier to rant on Whatsapp or Instagram, we have very little accountability on those forums. After all, it has very few impacts on the day to day business of life. But authentic conversation has other hurdles too.
The real reasons we don’t talk usually falls in three categories. First, to express ourselves in absolute vulnerability would mean we’d have to return to the moment when we stopped being true to ourselves. Believe it or not, anxiety started somewhere and more than likely it wasn’t just the past few months that caused it. It may be that our people pleasing tendency is now being interrupted because we are burnt out from trying to do it all these years.
Second, talking about our worries reveals that we are in fact HUMANS, weak, fragile and in need of help. I’ve grown sad for the persons that call themselves strong just because they rose above the haters unbothered. Nah love, you need to confront the issues you had with those people and as much as physically and or emotionally possible, seek reconciliation. The hurt hasn’t gone anywhere if you haven’t healed. It has just been pushed into the subconscious that guides your decision-making process. That reeks of control. The haters still win if you don’t heal.
Thirdly, we will be held accountable for what we say. I dislike telling my friends I start to like a guy because one, they have a good memory and two, they will tease the daylight out of me but ultimately ask me the hard questions. The questions that involve A LOT thinking and praying. Most times we don’t genuinely want help, we want pity and baseless encouragement. Seeking persons who only offer comfort and no challenge to grow. We may refuse to talk because deep down we don’t want to change.
That which is hidden, imprisons and that which is uncovered, recovers. In the authority of a black belt introvert, my advice to you today is simple, talk. Talking makes sense. Talking helps you make sense of the ordeals you are facing. Talking puts the issue into perspective. Talking releases burdens. Talking invites conversation for action plans. Talking fosters intimacy with our loved ones. Talking frees us from pretense. Talking makes sense. Confess your faults one to another so that you might be healed. (James 5:16)
Be very careful who you reach out to however. Friend, a love interest is usually not the answer. Let’s stop expecting romantic love to do all our heavy lifting. Prayerfully seek out meaningful help. Can’t find anyone you trust? While I find that hard to believe there are options, for example talking to a counsellor. I fully recommend Family Life Ministries and Trauma Coach Mrs. Laylor-Bogle. Anxiety is rooted in worry, plausible sometimes but usually irrational. Talking sorts out all the chaos, talking brings healing.
Start talking, like today. Don’t delay it any longer. Be random, be unscripted. Or start making a list of the people you trust and are able to help. Schedule to speak with one at the earliest time possible.