Feb 192014
 

sacred-scared

This is how the Sacred Scared project was born:

I have a group of friends who are very, very precious to me. Many of you know them through their world changing work. (EVERY LAST ONE OF US DOES WORLD CHANGING WORK EVERYDAY. We simply cannot live in the world and not change it.)

I asked my friends to share their Sacred Scared here because I wanted to prove to you that folks who are showing up BIG TIME and doing REALLY hard things are just like us. Everybody is the same. No one has it all figured out and No one ever will. We just gotta show up for our dreams and each other before we’re ready. We can be scared and still show up. We can be completely UNHEALED and still show up. We must just show up in all our beautiful, messy glory. Because all the good and all the beautiful in the world is created by people who show up before they’re ready.

Read here for more information about the Sacred Scared project:

**NOTE** We hear a lot lately about the importantance of being vulnerable in front of others, but we haven’t been taught how to respond to someone else’s vulnerability, so I’ll be offering suggestions about how to receive vulnerability during this series. Here’s the first one: When someone lets you into her Sacred Scared – she is showing you her messy insides NOT because she wants you to fix it, but because she trusts you enough to let you know the real, true her.

Imagine that you have a new friend that you just love, and she’s coming to your house, and you finally liberate yourself enough to skip the panic-clean before she arrives. You decide that you trust her enough to walk in and see your messy house and you just KNOW that she will GET IT. She will LOVE that you just Let It Be for her. But she walks in and instead of flopping down on the laundry covered couch, she starts cleaning up the mess. Your mess is making her too uncomfortable. She starts to FIX IT instead of appreciating your mess as a trust offering. How do you feel about that?

Let’s not try to fix each other’s Sacred Scared, if we can avoid it. The people in this series are letting you in to see their Real, Beautiful Mess. Let’s not try to fix them, because they don’t need to be fixed. Neither do you. Let’s just try to find some comfort and love and maybe even Me Too in the offerings.

Love.

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Please meet my precious friend, Rachel. Rachel Held Evans is an international speaker and the brilliant best-selling author of three books. By every stretch of anyone’s imagination- Rachel HAS ARRIVED . . .

And yet she is always afraid that she’s not successful enough.

RHE-300“I’m going to need a blue check mark,” I told my husband Dan matter-of-factly at the dining room table the other day. “A blue check mark means I’m somebody on Twitter.” What I didn’t tell him was that I’d spent that last 45 minutes fuming over how another woman writer already had a blue check mark next to her name even though she had fewer followers than I did, revealing something of the gross injustice inherent to whatever system Twitter uses to separate the somebodies from the nobodies. I didn’t tell him that the blue check mark was just the latest in a long series of trophies I’ve spent a lifetime grasping for—compulsively, obsessively, sometimes ruthlessly—and how I’m disappointed every. single. time. they don’t bring the fulfillment I expect. I didn’t have to tell him because he already knows. All my life, I’ve felt like these trophies hold the power to call an internal truce between my secret hope of being “discovered” an my persistent fear of being “found out.” Getting an award means people still think I’m clever, valuable, smart, and worthwhile. Getting an award means they have no idea that beneath it all, I’m a complete and total fraud, making all this up as I go.  So I rack up those trophies and peer into them as though they are mirrors. But all I see in looking back at me is a grotesque reflection of my own stubborn fear.

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And here is my Sarah. Sarah Goodfellow left America to live in a very poor city in Peru to help women find the work and hope they deserve. She is a living example of service and beauty…

And yet Sarah is always afraid that she’s not happy enough.

SG-300My biggest fear is that I will never be free from my depression. That I will spend the rest of my life surviving each day. Working to put one foot in front of the other. Too many days I’m sitting on the sidelines of my own life. The fact that it’s a beautiful life that could be so full if I could only participate wrecks me. My kids are growing and becoming little people and I’m missing out on so much. And, if I’m truly honest, what really keeps me up at night is how this all will affect my kids. What scars will they carry with them for the rest of their lives because of my illness? How will they remember the days that I couldn’t get out of bed? I fear that they will be bitter that they were stuck with me. I’ve done everything I can think of to get better. Healing prayer, medication, counseling, etc, and they haven’t “worked.”  I’ve begged God to heal me. Cried out in my darkest hours for relief. And I haven’t been healed. So all I can do is hope and wait and keep fighting and have those I love hope for me when I can’t. Sometimes the bravest thing you can do is not give up hope, even when your body and mind are screaming at you to do so. So, even in spite of my fear of never being healed and the hopelessness that sometimes envelopes me, I fight to be present. It may not look like much some days on the outside, but I know the fear that I am fighting to overcome. And I remind myself, that it is really my depression that should fear me because I’m not giving up.

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There you go. My hope for today is that these women’s insistence that Fear is Nothing to be Ashamed Of will encourage you to Embrace Your Beautiful Messy Self today. Come back for more tomorrow.

Love, G



Carry On, Warrior
Author of the New York Times Bestselling Memoir CARRY ON, WARRIOR
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  205 Responses to “Our Sacred Scared- Day One”

  1. My partner annd I stumbled over here by a different web address
    and thought I might as well check things out. I like what I see so now
    i’m following you. Look forward to looking over your web page yet again.

  2. Sarah – that was amazing. Thank you.

  3. I could have written every word that Sarah wrote. Every. Single. Word. Perfect. Thank you.

  4. Allegra, I beg you to reconsider your thought…”I will not be able to justify being alive.” As a girl that lost both her parents at ages 14 & 17, to parents that both self medicated themselves instead of finding a way to show up, I speak from experience on how painful it is for the children when a parent takes their own life … My parents were brilliant in many ways, my Dad was a Military Officer & most likely to succeed in his class. My Mom was an amazing Registered Nurse, loved by so many, helped so many. But, she was not an amazing Mom & did not show up for that job…. I am now a mother of two… I so miss my girls having my parents as grandparents… I know my parents could have figured out a way to pull it together and have been good grandparents… They were good people, they just self medicated themselves with alcohol & prescription medications…. And it took both their lives! They both died in their sleep, a little too much self medicating too many times :( I wish they could have kept searching for ways to handle depression & stress, and not let it cost them their lives at ages 44 & 52. I wish they could have been there for me in some small ways at least, so many times! I really have needed & wanted them so many times! Especially after the births of my daughters in 1994 & 2007. My girls are now 19 & 7 years old… I wish they could have at least had my parents at Grandparents Day at School or Birthday Parties… A little bit, would be better than nothing!!! Please don’t give up!!! Please SHOW UP for your family… It is so hard for them when you don’t!!! I needed to find a way to handle stress too… for me Mind Based Stress Reductions has worked AMAZINGLY well… It has taken some classes & practice, but it has helped so much. My parents could not teach me stress reduction techniques, because they did not know them. Luckily, after trying many things & not giving up, I have found something that works for me. PLEASE, keep trying and find what you need & SHOW UP FOR YOUR FAMILY!!! THEY WILL ALWAYS NEED & WANT YOU!!!!

    • You’ve shared a perspective I had not considered, Sheila. I thank you.
      You’re right that grandparents matter. My dad, I adored him as did my kids, died this year and it’s been a profound loss. Saw him daily and now we don’t.
      You sound very lovable – I’m truly sorry your parents were not available emotionally to you. Thanks for the insight.

  5. Thank you for sharing Sarah’s story!!! I struggle with depression and often struggle to get out of bed. Many days feel like just surviving, putting one foot in front of the other. And the guilt of not being the person I want to be is often paralyzing. Hearing another mom tell her story makes me feel hopeful and much less alone. Can’t wait to begin following Sarah’s blog…I feel like I have made a great new friend.

  6. I sit here and realize as I read Sara’s raw honest and courageous words, I begin to sob. They resonate in me and I wonder if I have all along been trying to sweep real issues under the mat and continue to pretend that I am just fine when in reality I need to be honest and courageous tool. Thank you Sara.

  7. My heart thanks you — all three — for this. Deeply.

  8. I hate myself most days. I hate myself because I am living the dream. Regularly people tell me that they wish they had my life. It is a good life. I feel like an impostor. Like a good person should have had my life. Like my potential is wasted and I am taking up space in a world that doesn’t need me. People think I am that good person who “deserves” such a good life. I second guess if I matter to people because of what we (husband and I) can do for them. Does wondering about that make me even more worthless? Would they still like me if we were poor and unknown? I feel like a fraud – like if all the stars were not so aligned in my life I would be a failure. Here is what I also feel evil about: One of my children truly depresses me. In spite of our very best – we have the keys to unlock any door for her, she is mentally and emotionally challenged. I don’t believe she will be able to live on her own someday. I am afraid she will be “exposed” and will crumble when she better understands her limitations. That poor child. Life has always felt like one long act of endurance. As Sarah intimated, I have done all legal therapies to assuage my depression and it seems like I just need to accept my baseline is depressed and to continue to fake the rest. Frankly, I am scared because when I’m confident my kids can function without me (as adults and my daughter with a trust fund), I will not be able to justify being alive. It’s so painful.

    • I am very tired and need to go to sleep. But, I have to respond to your post, Allegra, because I don’t want you to hate yourself…or be suicidal. I also have a ridiculously privileged life–I feel guilty every day when I drive past beggers on the way to my tennis league. I love this blog because it brings me back to my authentic self. My father committed suicide, which has always made me think that life is worthless. I have to find a reason to live every day. It’s confusing. That’s all I have for now, but I’m thinking of you.

  9. Sarah, thanks for sharing. Your story is my story. You encourage me to fight on. Depression is relentless.

  10. I feel your courage, Sarah, to fight and to love each day. Rachel, I admire your honesty. You both encourage me to live the life of who God made me to be, and not who I feel like I should be.

  11. You are both enough. We are all enough. And oh, this is beautiful and hard and true, all at once. Thank you both for writing so bravely.

  12. Thank you. Thank you for your giant dose of courage and your beauty and bravery and your selflessness. Thank you for sharing and for giving me strength through your honesty.

  13. God bless you both. Sitting here staring in the face of 50 looming large, I can’t help but wish I’d stumbled across raw honesty like this at 30. You are both beautiful. Thank you, Glennon

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