Embracing the Real You

medium_217189119Last week we ask, “Do others know the real you?” We talked about some signs of a person who is not showing others who they really are. We also laid out the first step in the process of letting others know who you are really, which is to know thy self.

Today we will explore the second step in the process, embracing the real you.

It is one thing to know thy self; it is quite another to embrace what you know about yourself. You really cannot effectively make yourself known to others if you have not embraced who you are.

The struggle to embrace the real you may have come from a number of different places.

Do Others Really Know You?

Do others really know you? By that I mean, do they really know what you want; your likes and dislikes; your dreams, desires, wants, values, preferences and personal goals?

I have a feeling that for many, the truest of true self stays hidden from those closest to them.

Marriage and the workplace are the two most common areas where others tend not to know who you really are. In marriage you may be tempted to say you want the best for your spouse. The way you do that is to not let your spouse know who you really are, but only focus on your spouse’s needs. You tell yourself that if your spouse really gets to know you, it will make them sad or indifferent because some of your wants, desires and goals may differ from theirs.

When Excitement Masks Your Pain

happy sadRecently, as I coached a leader, we discussed how difficult life had been during the past year but was now on the upswing. I then asked her to reflect on what had made the past year so tough and why the present was different?

The leader is involved currently in something that is very new and exciting, and she is passionate about it. So I asked the question, “How much of a difference is your improved situation tied to your involvement in something that you’re passionate about and is new and exciting?” The leader was quick to point out that although this new and exciting thing did help, it was not as big a reason as one might think.

‘I May not be Perfect, but Parts of Me are Excellent’

I recently attended a seminar, “Middle School: The Inside Story.” Yes, I have daughter who started middle school three weeks ago and I need all the help I can get.

During the presentation, one presenter shared this quote by author and cartoonist Ashleigh Brilliant: “I may not be perfect, but parts of me are excellent.” As I heard that statement my mind immediately went to work on the truth of that statement. And yet many of us do not live out this truth.

We live in a society, both secular and in the church, which tends to focus so much on our imperfections that our excellence is ignored or downplayed.

In Psalm 139:14 the Psalmist declared, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” The writer of Genesis tells us we were created in the image and likeness of God (Gen.1:27).

From Crazy to Casual: How to Live Unhurried in a Hectic World

medium_8127339450Without a doubt we live in a fast-paced, crazy-busy world today. The word casual is rarely used to describe life – except for how we dress. Occasionally, my wife will invite me to attend a work-related function with her, and I will ask how I should dress; the reply usually comes back, “casual.”

I often wonder where a phrase like this has gone: “Let’s go for a casual walk.” Now we go for power walks, trying to burn as many calories in as short a time as possible. Or what about having “a casual conversation,” rather than competing with each other to tell as much as we can about ourselves (or