Valley Walking: Living Inside Out

I am trying to overcome one of the biggest shocks I think I’ll ever experience in my life. I’m trying to piece the fractured debris of my identity back together and fighting tooth and nail to survive this turbulent time that I am experiencing. Throughout this time, I have become very aware of something within me that has evolved. It’s to do with the way I connect with others and it may be one of the most important lessons I’ll ever learn.

In life, we can wear a mask of what we want the world to see. We are all guilty of it from time to time, providing the world with an edited version of ourselves. Like a promotional reel that displays only our best bits. We conceal the parts that perhaps we would rather people not look at. We may want people to see that we are successful, that we are desired or that we have it all sussed. The latter was me. I always wanted to portray this illusion that I had everything under control and had it all ‘sorted.’

The unearthing of my husband’s affair and his sudden abandonement of our marriage has destabilised my life in every way possible but alongside that, it has foiled any ability  to wear any sort of mask.

I have been left stranded, exposed and vulnerable.

During this time, ego has been non-existent, it’s a luxury I simply cannot afford. I have come to wear my sadness with honesty, without shame. I’m hurt and scared, I haven’t got this ‘sussed’ and absolutely nothing in my life is under control.

Somehow, this raw sense of self has meant a new way of relating to people and the way they relate to me. It’s more unguarded, stripped back and real.

My family and friends have enveloped me in true love and care and I have experienced something extraordinary. These precious people in my life have always been incredibly close to me but somehow, I have found a new connection that has been far deeper and far more real than anything I have experienced before. No ego, no masks, no restraints. Just raw love and care. The hugs feel warmer, the words more meaningful and the love more precious and sacred.

I feel as though I have been turned inside out, like all the nerves and sensory systems that used to be hidden away on my inside are now laying exposed on my outsides. I feel everything more sensitively, everything feels heightened and more loaded. Likewise, I think it has changed the way people have connected to me. In my being more exposed, I have seen others be more comfortable in opening up to me about the parts of their lives that they hide from others.

This open connectedness isn’t just the case with family and friends but with humanity in general. I relate to people’s pain in a new way, like we are all connected in our sorrows and our hurt. I feel more attached to people in general, than I ever have before and have a new respect for the human spirit.

A few weeks ago, a girl opened the door for me and smiled as I made my way out of a shop and it gave me a lump in my throat, it physically made me well up. This is the outcome of experiencing so much pain and ugliness from someone and then having a single act of simple kindness shown to me by a total stranger. She brushed against my ‘outside nerves’ and it moved me.

I would never want to go through this again but I thank God for the lesson He has taught me. Live life unmasked and people will see who you really are and will connect to you in a far deeper and more meaningful way.

I will spend the rest of my days living inside out.



19 thoughts on “Valley Walking: Living Inside Out

  1. Julie de Rohan says:

    This is such a beautiful piece of writing. I really like how you describe your fear of the “mask” slipping but when it did you found that you were able to relate to people in a much more authentic and meaningful way. I think so many of us can relate to this, thank you for sharing it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. 140 Character Christian says:

    I too have found that the trauma I have experienced in life has made me more open to people and more empathetic to others who are going through their own struggles. I appreciate you sharing your journey. Praying God will encourage you and deepen your faith. Psalm 91 has helped me. I particularly like verse 4: “He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge;
    his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.”

    Liked by 1 person

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