If We’re Honest

OK, so recently I have been listening to my ever favorite radio station SHINE FM, and came across a new song by Francesca Battestelli: If We’re Honest. This is an amazing song! It speaks of being at the edge of something exciting yet terrifying. Of being honest with oneself – really seeing: becoming aware of choices we make in our lives. Francesca includes words like brokenness, love, healing, and mercy. If we’re honest, these words are powerful. And provocative.

I am making my way through an excellent course by Brene Brown which focuses on 2 of her most recent books: Daring Greatly and Rising Strong. Daring Greatly encourages the reader to embrace vulnerability (defined as NOT weakness but a path to courage and connection) and imperfection. It challenges us to live wholeheartedly – allowing ourselves to be seen and heard, and having the courage to show up – as ourselves. The material covered in Rising Strong acknowledges that if we dare greatly enough, often enough, we WILL fall. The book is about getting back up.

If we’re honest, if I’m honest, I cower from these times and places. I fear these times of emotional nakedness – I sense unfathomable risk. But – Brene defines WHOLEHEARTEDNESS as engaging in our lives from a place of worthiness. It means cultivating the courage, compassion and connection to wake up in the morning and think – no matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough. It’s going to bed at night thinking – yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid but that doesn’t change the truth that I am worthy of love and belonging. How does one digest the words wholehearted and worthiness – in the same sentence no less! Is she mad? Am I mad? But at the same time, these notions hold the possibility of something else that is within reach for us. What would my life look like if I lived wholeheartedly? Can I honestly say I am enough? Even at the end of a really jagged day? Clearly, Brene says YES!

It is here I must insert the notion of calm. Other words that appear alongside calm in the dictionary are: serene, tranquil, relaxed, and unruffled. I can appreciate that once a person comes to a place of surety – firm belief – in their worthiness and thus live wholeheartedly, they exude calm. But, can a person have this serenity along the way?

Bill Gaultier says yes. He is the author of Your Best Life in Jesus’ Easy Yoke. Bill challenges that Jesus is with us 24/7, and that He is calm, therefore we can be calm with Him. In the book, Bill quotes Dallas Willard as asking during one of their frequent lunches, ‘If you could only use one word to describe Jesus, what would it be?’ Bill replied, ‘love, compassion, holy, Lord, teacher, healer.’ Dallas said, ‘Relaxed’. Think about it. If we’re honest, a teacher, healer or Lord who is NOT relaxed would be alarming and at many levels, disconcerting. Following them would be a combination of egg shell walking, other shoe drop waiting and exhaustion. Jesus, our CALM Saviour. With and within us. Even when facing terrifying possibilities and sentences with emotional exposure type words in them!

In Mark Buchanan’s excellent Foreward in the book Crafting a Rule of Life, he states of building spiritual robustness, ‘It is a long obedience in the same direction. It is forged in the daily and tempered in the ordinary. It is a slow and steady and deliberate gathering of the years. It is a combination of keen attentiveness – to God, to self, to others, to life – and holy indifference to trifles, to insults, to useless distractions. It is planned, not in some goose-stepping mechanical way, but in the sense that it builds on a resolve to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of you, and to take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ.’ Not in some goose-stepping mechanical way … in other words, with intent and with calm.

I cannot, though, simply say these words and believe them without a WAY to move past the things within myself that derail my authentically owning them. There must be a process. Brene calls it cultivating courage, compassion and connection. Mark Buchanan refers to it as a long journey of keen attentiveness to God, self, others and life. Plus a holy indifference to trifles, insults and useless distractions. Bill Gaultier challenges us to be calm alongside our relaxed Savior. Francesca speaks of sharing our brokenness with others, allowing love to heal with mercy waiting.

So, can we confidently step forward into ourselves and our best lives? If we’re honest, it is a thrilling possibility worth the risk.

Truth is harder than a lie
The dark seems safer than the light
And everyone has a heart that loves to hide

I’m a mess and so are you
We’ve built walls nobody can get through
Yeah, it may be hard but the best thing we could ever do
Ever do

Bring your brokenness, and I’ll bring mine
‘Cause love can heal what hurt divides
And mercy’s waiting on the other side
If we’re honest
If we’re honest

Francesca Battistelli – If We’re Honest

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