Part of my peace comes from facing the battles in my life, a marriage that was doomed from the start, addiction that was denied and relationships that were unhealthy. I faced one at a time. Each one required facing the truth and taking ownership of what I had done and where I was. I found that once you take ownership, then you begin to heal and the rest falls into place. It was painful. Dealing with the relationships that werent honest or real was painful, but I was painfully honest with myself about who I was around and I lost a good portion of friends, many by choice. Then I had to deal with my marriage, probably the most dishonest, painful, brutal, betraying, unbalanced relationship I have ever known.
Fast forward a year later and I find myself surrounded by fewer people, but with a quality of honesty and integrity that I haven't had before. I now spend more time with people who are up front and honest. I spent yesterday by the pool with a friend that I actually met years ago when I was her nurse, but our paths crossed again down the road as a result of us both ending up in a class to deal with some tragedy in our lives. We began to talk and formed a truthful, honest friendship that is based on us being completely honest with each other about who we are, where we have been and where God has brought us to. Sometimes when we are together one of us with say "I did this or that this week", or "I was hateful to someone, and I meant to be", and I will bust out laughing because I love the pure honesty and truth that flows between us. Yet at the end of the conversation I love this friend more because she shows me who she really is and where she is really trying to go with God. That's something you don't get from a lot of people.
I watched a Glen Beck interview yesterday on youtube.com that an old friend from high school posted. It was such a refreshing interview in the fact that Glen Beck took ownership of who he had been in his past and he took ownership of who God has shaped him to be now. Those are the kind of people I gravitate to now. I don't want the song and dance and the right script from people who try to say what they think you want to hear.
I love a man or woman who faces all of what they have done. I am immediately cautious when I see someone who seems perfect or put together and flawless. I was married for years to someone who is in law enforcement. He was probably the most put together officer on his force. His shoes always shined. His uniform always pressed and pants creased just right. His patrol car was immaculate and organized, and he always looked so clean and put together well and said the right things. Yet, remove the badge, the pressed uniform and all of the other stuff, and what you have left is a man who has a troubled heart, who cant be honest, wont reveal himself to those he loves, wont admit to wrong doings, and has just absolutely destroyed the hearts of a his ex-wives and a daughter because he is just mean at the very core. Yet he shines when he covers it up with that uniform. In one of our last conversations I said to him, "all I ever asked from you is that you be honest with me". He refused and hung up on me. I would venture to say that he may never face who he is or the wreckage he has left behind him, and that the next woman he is with will endure the exact same dishonesty as everyone before her.
I admire people who take ownership of their lives, their mistakes, their mishaps, their downfalls and everything. I have more respect for someone who can stand up and say what they have done and how they have hurt others. In fact I am more prone to spend time with someone who is real and owns what they have done and the mistakes they have made. Im not looking for perfection in friends, family or anyone. I am looking for an honesty that comes from looking into the face of God and saying who you really are, crying over someone you have hurt and taking ownership of all of that. When someone does that then you have the hope of a more honest relationship with them.
No one is perfect. That is why God gives us grace and mercy. There's a kind of pride in taking ownership and being unafraid to confess your mistakes and also being able to move forward and be a better person. Without it, you simply stay stuck in the same state of mind and the same hurtful patterns you have always been in. There is no growth in your life until you admit who you really are and accept that God does restore all of that. I'm the proud new owner of a life that now has peace and joy!