Free at Last, Free at Last

by melissakiefer

Not everyone likes it when I put my heart on a plate.


I had an epiphany a few days ago after my mother made me mad and, immediately, a nosebleed streaked down my face and puddled on the floor. I think maybe I don’t communicate or experience emotions correctly. I believe this hypothesis even more because while reading the first chapter of Unglued by Lysa Terkhuerst for a Bible study, I still couldn’t understand why the cover has a raging crazy woman bent over and screaming into a bag. Who gets that angry? Well, I think I do. I just don’t know how to get it out, so my body sweats and freezes and trembles and hurts and bleeds and panics and vomits. So. Attractive.

In high school, I often wished I would die and hoped someone would care enough to go through my stacks of journals and finally understand me. An unlocking of an entire soul. They would read everything I couldn’t say. (And then all of my little poems that didn’t make sense would get published and I’d be known as a little psycho Emily Dickinson).

Then along the way I realized we don’t have to take our truth to our graves.

I will not apologize for the truth. I don’t write for shock value. I don’t write deep family secrets to disgrace and destroy. I write because I don’t like façades. I’m very tired of being careful, of being guarded. My gorgeous model-sister poses for pictures. I refuse to pose in life.
My sister told me to keep being raw. She said if I went back to writing sweet cliché stuff that made people gag, she would punch me in the face. “Be the real you. I do not expect anything else. I will not accept anything less.” Yeah, she’s a pretty cool sister. She also has a vicious right hook. So I have to do what she says.  

When we are all on our deathbeds we will regret words we didn’t say.We will wish we would have cut out all the crap and lived much more authentically even if it was hard at the time. So I choose to vulnerably go into the arena again. For you. For me. For all of us. And just as my body purges pain, my mind and heart are cleansed by words. And so are yours—I know this fact is true. I have a dream someday you’ll wake up. I know the deepest part of all of you knows truth sets free. So live free. At last.
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