February 12, 2020
Mansion (Round Two)
By Barry Rudesill
All right, last week I posted the lyrics to the song “Mansion” by NF. Now some of you noticed that I posted the EXACT SAME message on every Trek-related Facebook page. It really wasn’t “cheating”; I believe this song can be powerful to anyone going through The Trek, anyone who wants to see how God fits in, and anyone who wants to Facilitate for The Trek and help others.
Because of that, I will be unpacking this song in three different ways on three different pages. (The blog page on thetrek.com and The Trek Facebook page will be the same message.) Also, please realize that this is my interpretation of someone else’s message, so take it for what it’s worth.
For our first round, I just want to take a look at part of the chorus:
Broken legs but I chase perfection
These walls are my blank expression
My mind is a home I'm trapped in
And it's lonely inside this mansion
When I heard this, I was reminded of a conversation I had recently. In it, the person told me, “But I should be farther along.” This matches other conversations where people have told me, “It shouldn’t hurt anymore, right?” “I should be over it by now!”
We have this Expectation – and it IS an Expectation – that when something critical happens to us, we SHOULD just bounce right back from it. In fact, our society does a pretty good job of reinforcing that message. We hear phrases like:
- “Time heals all wounds!” (Go look up what Rose Kennedy had to say on that topic!)
- “Let go of the past and focus on the future!”
- “Pull yourself up!”
- Or, the ever-popular, “It’ll be all right!”
Great messages, right? Motivating. Encouraging. Simple and easy to say. (Which is a bonus!) And we at The Trek agree with these sentiments...to a point. Where we differ is in the timing!
Honestly, if you’re legs ARE broken, don’t try to stand up! Why? Because ignoring the pain, trying to pretend that you aren’t hurting, attempting to move on “broken legs”, is only going to cause more damage. You CANNOT “chase perfection” if you cannot stand in the first place!
The Expectation that you SHOULD be “better” - whatever “better” happens to be – is simply creating more stress. It’s an easy step to go from “I SHOULD be better!” to “I’m not better, so I must be messed up!” And, if you take that step, welcome to negative Self-Talk and possibly a new Core Belief, as well! (This, by the way, is the opposite of progress!)
Even worse than trying to stand on broken legs is pretending that everything’s all right while you’re doing it! I think that’s what he mans when NF says, “These walls are my blank expression.” Even though I’m hurting, I put up my walls, I hide behind a “blank expression”, and when anyone asks me how I’m doing, I respond with the word “Fine”. Why? Because I can’t ever tell anyone that I AM hurting, because it might mean that something is wrong with me. (Again, we’re back to some pretty damaging Expectations!)
If everyone on Earth simply took down the walls, removed the masks, and admitted how they really felt, we would be a long way toward healing the wounds! I also firmly believe that if this ever happened, we would be amazed at how many people have experiences similar to ours, who have felt the same level of hurt, who have reacted the same way we did. And, while we never want someone else to hurt, there can be some measure of comfort in knowing that we’re not alone in our struggles. (That’s why we love Trek groups!)
To be free from the pain in your past, you have to deal with the pain in your past! It really is as simple as that. Otherwise, as NF says in the chorus, “My mind is a home I'm trapped in / And it's lonely inside this mansion.” By not dealing with my past and, at the same time, trying to move forward, I’m going to remain exactly where I am: trapped!
This week, if you’re hurting, acknowledge the hurt. Don’t downplay it, don’t say things like, “Well, others have it worse.” Instead, admit to yourself – and others, if it’s safe – what you are really feeling. Then, don’t stay where you are; seek help to heal and begin the process of moving forward again. But, no matter what, do NOT get trapped in the “Should’s”.
We hope you enjoy your journey!