I had firm plans to apply a generous amount of eye cream last night to prayerfully camouflage a good forty minutes of crying, put on a little mascara, work some magic with the best filters $2.99 can buy, take a bomb selfie and stroll into today as if yesterday never happened. 

But it did. 

It's Tuesday, which means yesterday was Monday and every emotion I felt was real and is now forever etched in the tapestry of history. 

I'm a lifestyle blogger. I have chosen to make a living sharing my life with my readers, and that means that I don't get to skip over the not so beautiful pieces. Yes, I can mold and sculpt how the intimate details of my heart are delivered, but I wouldn't be me if I just glazed over the moments that test me to the core. 

I got some really tough news yesterday. 

Now, exactly what the news was isn't important for the meat of this post. Nor is going on and on about the circumstances that led to it. Nonetheless, while wrapping up a meeting with one of my business partners in a private Facebook group the truth behind a lie I was unknowingly living hit me in the chest through a casual post from a friend. 

For about eight seconds, I felt like I couldn't breathe. My throat sank into my stomach, and I immediately wanted to vomit. was that serious.

I didn't know if I should cry, or scream, or race the to bathroom to find comfort with my head draped across the toilet bowl. 

I did neither.

Because before any other area in my life, I am a mother first. My children were with me and if you're a mom then you know we don't get the luxury of having childish breakdowns when things don't go our way. We have to toughen up, brush it off and keep going with our day. I sometimes feel like God gave me children just to stop me from doing 99% of the dumb ideas that come into my mind when I'm having a bad day. Diapers still needed to be changed. Snacks needed to made. My daughter was one squeal away from a complete meltdown if I didn't plug the iPad back up so she could finish watching Octonauts, and my son was napping so shrieking and sinking into a ball on the floor would have most likely woken him up; just sayin'. 

All of this may sound a bit dramatic, but I'm a poet; we're dramatic. 

I don't think we give ourselves enough permission to be dramatic when we are in pain. 

I spent the rest of the day trying to complete my regular "adulting", and not show any signs of what was going on in my heart. I taught yoga, I answered some E-mails, I spoke with some customers and even had a chat with a new SMM client. I was trying to just grab a piece of normalcy in the chaos. 

Until I couldn't try anymore. 

My kids spent the evening with my ex-husband, and I went home (with a brand new bottle of wine) to prepare myself for whatever I was about to unleash once I was finally alone. 

Nothing happened. 

I ate dinner. Watched a webinar. Did a little writing. But nothing happened. Now that I look back, I think when I first got home I was actually too afraid to really let myself become engulfed by the emotions I felt because I wasn't sure if I'd be able to turn the tears off. 

Then, it happened. One tear turned into a thousand, which turned into a scream, which turned into me on my knees before God next to my bed trying to recall the events that had led me to that point. 

"How in the Hell did I get here?!"

The wine bottle still remains unopened as I type these words. I questioned so many choices I'd made, and even questioned a few things that us good ol' Christian women should never question. 

...y'all know what I'm talking about.

And even though, in that moment, I felt completely broken and lost and confused and abandoned and weak and humiliated, I needed that moment. 

I needed to allow myself to feel every ounce of that pain. 

I needed to give myself permission to hurt. 

Walking through life pretending as if we don't experience things that pierce us to the core helps no one. Social media isn't the only place we present a highlight reel of our lives. We do it everyday at work, and at family gatherings, and when we're in the grocery store. I'm not saying it's a bad thing. We can't simply live everyday of our lives in sackcloths and covered in ashes. 

But there is a heavenly release that occurs when we properly flush out our feelings of despair. Just look at the Book of Psalms. We are able to see the pure anguish of King David, but also see how he knew exactly Who to take that anguish to. 

Your pain is real. Go there. Just don't stay there. 

Get up. Reapply your eyeliner. Find some good lighting in your bedroom. Genuinely smile from the comfort we receive in knowing that God will never leave us where our troubles may take us, and take that selfie. 

Smile, girl. 


Ashley Danielle