Honesty: A Journey

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Last week I gave a small glimpse into my actual world. Small, but solid all at once. I learned that authenticity and vulnerability seem to grab hold of your hearts, which I should have known. It’s scary and a bit unpleasant, but it’s the only thing I look for in my own favorite writers. The willingness to lay it out there. Tell the world what we normally hide away.

I’ve been trying to figure out why I poured out my insides upon the feet of some stranger. Why she could see through me and call out where I have been and where I am now. How she knew that I’ve been holding onto so many things for other people that I’ve forgotten to look at my own hands. Or really… why I finally was asking someone else to hold my own broken things. The things I didn’t want anymore – the things I didn’t want to keep packed down any longer, but hadn’t know how to timidly press into the palms of anyone around me. I’ve walked around holding so many other people’s pain in my hands without letting it free that I never took the time to look at what was already clenched tightly and long forgotten.

Right now I’m sitting at my desk, and my gaze drifted to a copy of Eat Pray Love sitting on my windowsill. A reminder of sorts. I was originally gifted with this book my freshman year of college where I read a few chapters and closed it. The words fell empty on my ears. Almost of a different language. Fast forward to the month after I graduated college and depression still hung heavy with step by step. I clung to every word in those pages. Authenticity and Liz Gilbert’s trademark humor marking each page. The soft paper pages are now bent and worn. It’s become my go to book in times when life isn’t fitting quite right, and now as I thumb through the pages I can see why.

Gilbert might as well have wrote that book in her own blood – that’s how damn honest it was. I can’t help but wonder how many times she hit the delete key, and erased paragraphs only to rewrite them because she knew in her gut they needed to stay.

How does transparency become our filter? How do we trace back our footprints and then glance ahead to where they’re pointed, and discern whether we are still pointed true?

I’m sitting here struggling because honestly, I don’t know how to master this being honest in our journey thing. I just don’t. I don’t have five easy steps either. But what I do know is it takes time. Time to learn your own inner map and run down those streets hands wild and free because god it feels amazing to be happy and okay with who you are. And to learn what it feels like to act out of who you are not who your family or friends or anyone else has told you to be. To know who you are is perfectly enough.

Who I am doesn’t match where I’m from, and for a really long time I’ve struggled because it isn’t easy to not match your tribe, people you love, your culture. I’ve been called the black sheep liberal in my family (giggles), naive (good way to ruffle my feathers right there zero to sixty), uneducated (totally I mean it’s not like I study this stuff -_-), unbiblical (i would LOVE to point you to theological resources to how I got here, but we all know you won’t read them), and the list goes on. And you know what? So fucking what. Because I am finally letting go of their ideals and letting myself be happy to grow into who I actually am.

And once you know this – who you are and who you want to be. And you let your roots grow deep into the satisfaction of living out of who you are. The honesty will flow. I know this something fierce because I am slowly, slowly able to be more honest with the people who cross my path the more I accept who I am and where I’m going.

Caitlynhummel.com

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