The other day, I came across

an old picture of myself.

I was smiling.

My teeth were exposed so much that

it caused my eyes to crinkle.

I was glowing.

My hair was longer

I was 20 pounds lighter

My body was toned as a testament

to all the working out I had been doing

As I stared at myself

I shook my head

and whispered

“Look at how sad I was.”


It was in the eyes


I hid behind happy facades

the way a child hides under the bed

Just trying to feel safe

Afraid that if I moved

All those monsters I

had hiding in my closest

would come out and find me


Until one day

I realized that my mask

was not a fence that kept me protected

But a prison

Then suddenly my craving for freedom

became greater than my need to be

perceived as the perfect house

with tidy closets


Life began

the day I crawled out from

my hiding space and

went out in the open

When I stood there vulnerably and

trembled as I cried out

“Here I am, Fear!

Now come and get me!”


As the dark secrets came

out to face me

Grotesque beings of insecurity and

a painful past

I found that they were not able

to overtake me

I discovered that the boogie man

was only able to intimidate me

from behind hidden doors

But in the light of day

He was powerless


Thats when I learned that

Our tears

Our pain

Our brokenness

is nothing to be ashamed of

Theres no need to be afraid

of whats buried deep in the

back corners of our hearts

Even the ugly stuff

when brought to the light

loses its power

To be free is greater

than to be known as perfect

To be a genuine mess

is greater than a deceivingly neat

appearance of joy.


The other day I saw a picture of myself

My hair was a mess

My lips were sealed together

as though I had been caught off guard

not aware that my picture was being taken

I looked tired

I had a baby in my arms

two kids pulling on my legs

and huge bags under my eyes

my stomach pooched out as

a reminder that 3 months ago

somebody lived there

I shook my head

and whispered

“Look at how happy I am.”


It was in the eyes.