Did you ever play ‘Truth or Dare?’ I only did once. I was eight and it was the first slumber party I’d ever gone to. Considering the age of the girls involved, our game of ‘Truth or Dare’ was pretty tame. Things like “Who would I kiss?” Or “Who do I think is cute?”…silly stuff. It was pretty scandalous for our little minds at the time. I remember being asked if I “liked” this boy in school. Ugh…I immediately wanted to vomit. How could I’ve committed to this stupid game and now risk having to share to the world (these 8 year olds were pretty much the world for me) my crush of the third grade? It never dawned on me to just lie. I think I panicked and went for the dare…I don’t remember. It was a traumatic experience. Much later I was invited to play the game again…might’ve been high school party or college party… Either way, I couldn’t decline fast enough. I was an extreme introvert during those years of my life and the thought of having to share any opinions or secrets brought on a severe case of nausea.
The game is pretty simple…ask someone in the group any question you want. They, in turn, must tell the truth . If not, they have to perform a dare that the initial “question asker” sets. (That’s how we played…I’m sure there are other versions of the game) Anyhow, as you can imagine the questions range from the ridiculous to the downright embarrassing. Mostly, that’s why I detested the game. The idea of having to share a truth (secret is more like it) that would haunt me for the rest of my life completely crippled my mind. No, that game was not for me and I avoided it all costs.
The whole concept behind truth or dare is to ask a question so embarrassing that the other person becomes uncomfortable. Pretty much it’s the child/adolescent version of torture. Sadly, as we become adults, the landscape doesn’t change too much…only now instead of someone else asking us to share a truth, we keep secrets of all sorts…inadequacies, embarrassing moments, addictions, failures, frustrations…the list is endless. We hide for fear that someone might find out that we “ate an enormous bowl of ice cream drizzled with half a bottle of nestle chocolate syrup”…or maybe it’s more serious. Maybe we don’t want anyone to know that we spent the afternoon crying because…’insert whatever you want.’
About two weeks ago my washing machine went on the fritz. As I waited to get a tech scheduled to come out and fix it, I had to go to the laundromat. I was preparing to have out of town guests and I had very little spare time. My husband told me I should just drop the laundry off and let them wash it (this was an added service that our local laundromat offers). The thought horrified me. No way was I going to let anyone see my family’s dirty laundry. The idea of someone else having to handle my dirty clothes was embarrassing. Why? I guess mostly because I didn’t want anyone to see that I get my clothes dirty. No joke. It’s one thing for my 10 year old to have stains from ketchup he dribbled down his shirt. It’s a matter all together different when his 40 year old mom also sports ketchup stains on her shirt.
Why are we embarrassed to share our stains when the truth of the matter is… when the truth comes out and our stains are on display, we are far more relatable. I know I’ve written about this before, but it keeps bubbling back up in my life. Truth is so precious. Sharing the truth of who you are and not hiding it is beyond valuable. We, all of us, are desperate to hear the truth. Tired of correctness & hungry for the raw, honest-to-goodness truth. Sometimes the truth hurts to hear &, frankly, that’s a topic for another blog. But, for now…don’t hide your stains. Never be afraid to share the truth…for all you know, the struggle you are facing will equip you to bring healing to someone else.
“…I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! …” Matthew 5:14 (MSG)