Kevin Pauls asks: Vulnerability – what happens when the lights go out?

Kevin Pauls
Kevin Pauls

It has been far too long since I wrote anything. I have taken some time to realign myself. Spiritually, emotionally, physically – I am not the same person I was back in 2014, 2015 or even the start of 2017. Something changed. Something finally moved me to change. Real change. Real Change?

Yes…I can actually say real change. I don’t need to get into the entire reason, and all the specific aspects of change, but there has been a deep change in my spirit and my emotions, and this has helped to transform my physical (person).

I often would say to my bride, “The outside is more closely related to the inner spiritual well being than we think,” “The outside is often a reflection of the inner person.” I knew (or least I thought) there was a direct correlation between our physical well being and our inner spiritual and emotional well being.

Kevin Pauls on set at 100 Huntley Street

Now, obviously, there are circumstances that would make this theory seem impossible; however, no matter what your physical limitations are, I still believe this applies. It is not based on appearance, or physical prowess or ability. It is based on how we feel and see ourselves.

Now, let me get personal for a moment. Applying this theory to your own life will look very different than it does in my life. I just hope you resonate with the idea and perhaps it can lead you in a direction that can cause change, if that is what you are after.

For me, I have felt over the last 10 to 15 years that I was working on about 80% of my ability while feeling like I was working at 120% of my capacity. I allowed procrastination to start taking over. I avoided things that were uncomfortable. I avoided the unpleasant, which allowed my immediate circumstances to fool me into a belief that everything was going to be alright. I watched people around me hide.

I learned what it was to avoid conflict and thus carried all the burdens by myself. I did not want to burden my wife, (or) burden anyone else. Interestingly, when looking back, I realized that was not out of a motive to keep others from worrying, it was a very selfish motive; I did not want anyone to know how stupid I was being.

I lived with a knot in my stomach most days. I slept poorly. I was anxious. I was very rarely present in conversations or personal interactions. I missed a lot of great moments because my mind was elsewhere. I used all my creative energy figuring out ways to fix my problems rather than applying that creativity to my craft. I was slowly killing the joy in my life. I would get angry quickly. It affected how I talked to my wife and my kids; it was like a cancer in my spirit.

Late in 2015, when Wendy and I were in the middle of the “year from hell”, something hit me; it was called “rock bottom.” I could not see the light at the end of the tunnel anymore. I could not pretend I could fix this anymore; I was done.

It has been a long process, but the essence of the lesson was this: The more vulnerable I became, the happier I became. The more all my wounds and scars and screw-ups were brought to the light, the less I had to hide. In fact, I hid no longer. I owned my patheticness, my mistakes, my woundedness…the more broken I became, the more restored I felt.

I have never felt the hand of God more than I did when I allowed myself to be completely broken.

Kevin Pauls
Kevin and his wife Wendy Pauls

My relationship with my wife grew; it got better and better and better. We became a team. I felt as though I didn’t have to carry the burden alone…the light at the end of the tunnel has reappeared.

So, let me get back to the correlation between the outside me and the inside me. in January of this year, since I started at Crossroads and was on Huntley Street, things started to change…not because I was on TV but the effect of my vulnerability started to take over. My spirit started to feel different. My emotions were starting to heal.

My outside started to not feel aligned with my inside. I lost some weight, I radically changed my hair. I felt that my mind was clear for the first time in a long while. My attitude was different. I was present…change just started to manifest itself.

I wanted something different. I wanted to change. I had allowed myself to hide for so long…feeling like I was a loser, like I had not lived up to the potential I was told I had. Feeling less-than sucks.

It shows itself in many ways. Mine showed up spiritually, emotionally and physically. When the lights on the stage went out, I did not like myself very much. It took a lot for me to learn that. It cost me far more than I would have wanted it to.

However, now that I am on the other side, the light at the end of the tunnel is brighter. There is hope, there is a joy.

I am present. I love my family better. I am ready to live the second half of my life much better.

So, the lights are out and I am lying in my bed. And for the first time in a long time, I am okay with that!

By Kevin Pauls

Kevin Pauls is an on-air contributor and music producer at 100 Huntley Street, a daily Christian television program.  He is also a Canadian Christian vocalist.

Taken from “The Real Kevin Pauls” (November 7, 2017)

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