Once you experience freedom in one area of your life then you crave freedom in all areas.
The taste of freedom is that good!
Ever since I came clean about my dependence on alcohol, (this November will mark 12 years of sobriety) my goal and desire in life has been to live completely free. Nothing brings me greater joy than that.
I love being able to put my head down on my pillow at night, close my eyes, and rest in peace. And this isn’t because I’ve done things perfectly. This isn’t because I haven’t failed or made mistakes.
No, it’s the exact opposite. It’s admitting every day that I’m not perfect and in need of grace. I will fail. But, I refuse to live my life trying to hide my flaws. That’s not free.
Fear wants us to believe that hiding causes less pain and injury. But fear is a liar. Nothing will eat at you and destroy quicker than secrets and silence. Nothing.
I might have shared this story before but, when I was using alcohol to “solve” my problems, I used to hop around to different stores to buy my daily bottles of wine. I didn’t want the people at one particular store to get the idea I had a problem. I hated when one cashier would see me multiple times in a week. So, my routine was to grocery and liquor store hop.
I also remember those first couple of months into my recovery. I remember sharing with my 12 step group how giddy I was over my recycling container. I wanted to show the world my recycling bin!
Take a look inside, World! I’ve got nothing to hide! I am no longer ashamed. I no longer live in fear of being found out!
Prior to recovery, this wasn’t the case. Every week, I would stack another empty bottle in the recycling containers. Every week, I would haul them out to the end of my driveway for the recycling truck to pick up. But, of course, I didn’t want to look like a drunk (I just wanted to look like someone who cared about the environment) so I would never put all my bottles in the bin. Some, I opted to hide at the bottom of my trash can so people wouldn’t think I had a problem.
Folks, that’s no way to live.
I guess that’s why I sometimes air my dirty laundry in this writing space. It’s me dragging my recycling bin out to the curb for all the world to see.
I want my words to inspire others to come out of hiding too. I want others know what it’s like to dance in a field of freedom and to feel the cool green grass in between their toes.
I just started reading Pete Wilson’s new book Let Hope In. I’m only about 3 chapters into the book but it’s bringing up all these feelings again. One quote I want to leave you with is this, “Sin thrives on self-deception, and self-deception thrives on silence.”
Are you hiding something from the world? Let me encourage to courageously bring your failures out into the light. Find a safe place and share. Let the healing and the freedom begin!