Let’s face it, being human guarantees that we will make mistakes. Everyone has got “something”.
Everyone has fallen on their face before.
Everyone has a skeleton or two in their closet that they wish wasn’t there!
The world is one big crowd of messy misfits!
So, what does it mean to make your mess your message?
Simply put it means to make your difficult experiences into a productive and helpful message to benefit others.
What we do with our mess matters!
Why should we be the only one to learn from our mistakes? There are plenty of people out there that want to know that they’re not alone and that they’re normal.
I had an eating disorder in my late teens and into my 20s. I grieve the years the disorder stole from my life. It brought me shame, embarrassment, and guilt.
Once I overcame my disorder and began walking in freedom, I knew I had a choice. I could either make my mess messier by holding onto the guilt, shame, and embarrassment and let them disable me OR I could make my mess helpful and beneficial to others.I could either make my mess messier by holding onto the guilt, shame, and embarrassment and let them disable me OR I could make my mess helpful and beneficial to others. Click To Tweet
You have a choice too. Think of your trials, tribulations, setbacks, failures, missteps, detours, and horrific experiences. Perhaps your former mess looks like:
- Job loss
By all means, let go of your past, but don’t run from it. Use it to help others!
I love this quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson: “The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”
4 Steps to Get You There
- Take a Step Back In Time. Draw out a timeline. One end is your birth and the other end is the present. What defining moments and messes popped up along the timeline? Looking at old photos may be helpful as you do this.
Fill in these blanks:
I would never want anyone to go through ________ as I did.
It took me a long time to get over ________.
2. Embrace Your Ugly. Let go of the guilt. Let go of the shame. Let go of the embarrassment. Take back your power and know that someone else has inevitably done the same thing you have.
3. Share it. Speak it. Get vulnerable. Talk about “it”. Bring “it” to the light. When we bring things out in the open they no longer hold claim over us and they will lose their power.
4. Flip Your Failures Into Benefits. What teachable moments are hidden inside of your mess? Can you take those teaching moments and be in someone else’s corner? Can you walk another hurting person through the steps so they can find their own freedom? Shame can’t survive inside of them when you show empathy towards them. The saying “Before you judge a man, walk a mile in their shoes.” couldn’t be more applicable-you’ve walked a mile in their shoes!
Friend, your mess matters and what you do with it matters even more! Sometimes God redeems your story by surrounding you with people who need to hear your past so it doesn’t become their future.
Before I go, here’s a little homework for you:
Grab paper and pencil and create a list of the defining “messes” in your life. Now create a list of people you know in your life that currently have the same “mess” you once had. How can you help them? What are some ways you can show up for them and be in their corner?
Please don’t waste your mess. Turn it into your message and use it to help others.