In my late twenties — just last year — friends, co-workers would say to me “you always look in such peace”. I always answered, yes I am, didn’t even know enough to know I was not in complete peace.
*Disclaimer: Because of my parents, because I have ALWAYS had a net, a good foundation and belief system, there is a peace within me that has never gone away, one that never will.
But at peace? No. There was a lot of turmoil within, and who knows maybe that comes with our youth? My outsides did not match my insides. Have you ever been in this position?
I NEVER ever really said OUT LOUD my own truth. Accomplishing good things, but at what cost?
As the ‘perfect’ child, of course I was the ‘perfect’ grown-up. Said everything I was supposed to say, wore the proper clothes, shoes, etc., etc., etc. You get the idea.
Of course, I was thin. Isn’t that the goal? At home I was binging and purging. No one knew, Dee Ann, my ‘middle sister’ suspected, she asked Mother, Mother asked me. “Of course not” came my reply.
I was perfect, that could not be. Deny, deny, deny.
Dee Ann Howell — McClain girls LOVE the telephone — always!
By this time I was in Nashville, Tn., swiftly moving to my long-term goal of entertainment public relations.
Finalizing the interview for my first job as PR Director and as example, instructed by the hospital director not to dress up so much for work! (I had on a silk dress and pearls. Nashville was a different ‘beat’ from Dallas!)
I was miserable on the inside, looked oh, so fabulous on the outside. UNTIL I decided to try therapy, real therapy. YIKES.
In the throws of therapy, still looking the part, I was in terror inside crying all the time. One night I was talking to my parents and didn’t think they were ‘hearing me’ so I SCREAMED #$$%^&. Why was that my release word? I don’t know, but it was. THIS is just one of the many reasons I love(d) my parents so much. They did not say one thing, they waited until I could continue talking, calmer.
You see, I had never told them I was date raped in college. This secret was carried for way too long, to my own detriment.
Because I DID the work In therapy, I couldn’t keep secrets or hide my real self any longer. For a very long time I had no filter. (Believe it or not, I DO have a filter now. Some of you are terrified about this, others laughing loudly!)
The very best thing that happened for me is learning to be the same inside and out.
Once I became true to myself, everything else started falling into place. God’s timing has always been perfect in my life. This was no exception.
Now, following two horrendous years, my outsides don’t match my insides. But it’s being fixed, one day at a time. It’s a slow process but I can’t trade the journey, because it makes me who I am today. May I tell you I love who I am? I enjoy my own company!
Complete peace makes the difference. Once we are at peace inside, nothing can stop us. Nothing will shatter us. Work, play, family time, you might break my heart but break me? No, I know who I am. I wish the same for you.
Authentic Grace will be a piece of cake.
Friends have seen me through thick and thin! But above all Ron Greene, my nephew, has seen me through it all, when I need him, he is here. 24/7, never wavering in his support. He is NOT perfect, thankfully, but he is the perfect nephew…..always. Nothing he does will change my love for him. Nothing.
Ron & Brandy during his birthday dinner last week!