There existed a matriarch in my family that when you asked her how her family was doing the answer was always, “Fine.”  We were all close, as close as blood relatives were even though we were not related, so it wasn’t like we were outsiders (if pedigree is a thing for you.).  Yet, she didn’t like sharing the truth about her family, even with people WITHIN her family…  She didn’t want anyone to know about the problems, issues, struggles, “failings” in her family. ANYONE.  Maybe she believed those “secrets” were buried with her. 

What she didn’t realize was what that did to others outside of her four walls (and her mind).  By not sharing (Confiding in someone, not blasting from a megaphone) the stories, she was instilling shame (both onto her family and onto herself).  By not sharing, she didn’t allow for other people to pray for her family or bear her burdens. By not sharing she wasn’t making herself available to other people living through the same things that needed encouragement and love.

Many years ago I was living with my own stuff and didn’t want to share it… I really didn’t even know how to deal with it myself but I was afraid when and how to bear my soul to another individual.  Yet, I’ve found that the more I talk about trials in life the less scary they are and I realize a girlfriend or two know and completely understand almost exactly what I’m dealing with.

It’s kind of like exposure therapy.  Say a person is afraid to fly. If you used Exposure therapy you’d put them on a plane and make them fly as often as possible so they no longer stay afraid. They will learn that there was nothing to be afraid of. It’s kind of like night after night of realizing the boogie man will never pop out of your closet – he must not exist and there was nothing to be afraid of.  We don’t need to be afraid of our struggles or those within our family.

And thank the Lord above that I’ve been wise enough in discerning who I share my soul with because it’s never backfired… Or if it has, God has removed all care or anxiety about it.  I can tell you that there is no other good “therapy” than talking things over with a friend who completely understands what you are going through. Your mom has just died?  Only a friend who lost their mommy would understand. Your dad got diagnosed with cancer?  Only a friend who had a parent diagnosed with cancer would understand.  Your spouse was cheating on you?  Only a friend who was in your shoes understands your pain.

I’m so very, very thankful for my sisters. They all have shared (or are currently going through) their own burdens. We can share whatever is heavy on our hearts and know that we will not be judged or talked behind our back or shown anything but genuine concern and care. And not all of us have our issues paired up with each other but we fill the voids quite nicely… I don’t have quite the same struggles in my marriage as someone else. One of my girlfriends may not have quite the same struggles in parenting that I do. It doesn’t need to be a perfect match.

Two are better than one: They get a good wage for their toil. If the one falls, the other will help the fallen one. But woe to the solitary person! If that one should fall, there is no other to help. – Ecclesiastes‬ ‭4‬:‭9-10‬

They say that you are as “sick as your secrets.”  Here’s how this applies to not sharing your trials…  When you don’t share your burdens, for whatever reason, you are portraying to people that you are without them. You are DECEIVING people into thinking that you are “fine” when you are not, that things at home are “okay” when they are not.

We are burdened by the trials of life, and if we don’t allow ourselves healthy  ways to unburden them we will become sick. We will be keeping up appearances. We will be covering up shame and guilt. … And we won’t be giving and receiving love to others who need to hear our words and feel our genuine love. You can’t be honest with other people if you are incapable of being honest with yourself.

There is only ONE who truly understands the depths of our beings and He wants us to run to Him, first and foremost, with our tears and heartbreak…  Just like a child does. We also have the face of Him surrounding us in people of different skill sets and love languages at our fingertips. We were not to bear our burdens completely alone…  And we shouldn’t.