Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Inside Out.

There was a time, not that long ago, when my outside---those external things that the world recognized me for---my marriage, my residence, and my job, looked pretty impressive indeed. Successful, handsome, entrepreneurial husband. An award-winning, historically-restored homestead with a center chimney for Santa to slide down every December. A circular drive with a new luxury vehicle parked in it every year.  Exotic vacations to faraway lands. Boxes of designer clothing that would arrive weekly on the backs of rumbling UPS trucks. Shoes. Lots and lots of shoes. (Ironic, considering that I've been a barefoot/sandal kinda girl all along.) A freeform, in-ground pool. Professionally landscaped and manicured acres. A potting shed with a wood stove hook-up. A second home in the mountains. Horses, barns, pastures, and a riding ring to rival any Olympic arena. All the trappings of an upper middle class, successful married life. To any outsider looking in on the charmed world I actively built and inhabited, it looked like a modern-day fairy tale. But like the alcohol I used daily to self-medicate, self will had run riot, and in reality, the stuff just created a bigger wall between me and God. My inside suffered mightily. My family imploded. My marriage failed. No amount of home improvement, world travel, and fancy parties was ever going to fill that God-shaped hole deep within my heart. Our literature refers to us this way: "The alcoholic is like a tornado roaring his way through the lives of others. Hearts are broken. Sweet relationships are dead. Affections have been uprooted." For me, recovery didn't come because of the things I lost. Recovery came because I could no longer deny the fact that my inside and my outside worlds simply did not match. Today, I bring my imperfect, spiritually evolving and authentic self to every part of my life. What you see is what you get, folks. That smile on my face? The way I am willing to look you in the eye? My eagerness to engage with you, grab a coffee, share heart-to-heart?  Yup. It's the same honesty and openness I extend to newcomers, trusted friends, family members, clients, and here on the page. If you are willing to bring your authentic self to the table, I promise to bring mine. And if you can't, or won't, don't be surprised if I see through your outside to the inside waiting to be released and recognized.

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