This is what I do, don't try to understand how I do it; I don't really know either

Archive for March, 2018

Pretending vs Faking

I can’t stand fakers. I really have no patience  or empathy for someone who fakes life, their intentions or who they are. One of my core values is integrity and faking goes directly against that value. It’s like scraping nails on the chalkboard of my inner being.

Today I had to spend a lot of time pretending and I thought it important to note the difference. There are things in my life right now that mean that for quite some time to come, any day can be detailed at any moment. One email, one phone call and I fall apart. That happened this morning. It started with an email that led to a phone call, and I fell apart. I was a weeping ball of mush, self questioning, life questioning and wanting to run away. Intense pain will do that. I liken it to being a scared kitten. You might scratch at things that are good and trying to help you. You might make sudden and erratic movements. It’s important to move slowly and breathe. I took the breathing part too fast though and ended up with an anxiety attack 10 minutes before I am supposed to be on a video conference for work. Fun times.

So I pretended. I got on the video call and did everything I could recall from my theatre classes in high school and I pretended to be ok. I fought tears for the first 20 minutes but I eventually gained a good hold and the minute I got to click the end button it all came out, but I made it through what I had to do. I wasn’t faking, but I was pretending and there is a difference. I dont think fakers are very honest with themselves so how can they be honest with others? Someone who pretends does it out of necessity. It is permissible to not tell everyone you encounter that your not ok, but it’s not healthy to not tell anyone. Someone has to know, hopefully more than one person, but people who you can trust and who can help.

It does not cross the value of integrity to pretend so you can still function as a mom, as a businesswoman, as a friend – as whatever you need to be. I think we err on the side of pretending too often (especially to our kids) but there are necessary times, because unfortunately life doesn’t grind to a halt to let you fall apart and have time to recover. So while your in that stage, you can pretend just to get through. You do need to take steps to recover though, or your just faking.

Don’t be a faker.

so speaking of recovery, I’m going for a run.


Companion to My Soul

I felt very alone growing up. I didn’t have a really close friend until high school. There was no one to share my thoughts, hopes, dreams or fears with. I needed someone who could see my heart.

The relationship I yearned for is the relationship I see between Jesus and John. J. Philip Newell describes John as one who listened for the heartbeat of Jesus, and Jesus showed the secrets of his heart to John. They had a mutual indwelling: John 15:4 – Abide in me as I abide in you. John was the disciple whom Jesus loved, as he self described himself. Johns gospel is very, very clear about his relationship with Jesus and the intimate love he felt.

Newel uses a term, “Companion of my soul” as someone who has kissed you into greater wholeness in your life. Its like, “looking into one anothers heart to release depths that hitherto we have not known.” He says that “when you find someone who looks into your soul, it releases streams of yearning for life and creativity and peace”. Someone who looks into your soul hurts with you, they experience joy with you, they live life with you. They can be a friend, a mother, a brother, a grandfather or a lover.

I am so blessed, beyond blessed, to have as many companions of my soul that I do. As I mentioned, it wasn’t always this way. I know what it feels like to have no one to share your soul with, to bare your soul with. I also am very aware that not everyone has that either. Some don’t even have one companion to the soul and that is the feeling of sheer and utter aloneness, emptiness, unworthiness. I think the Goo Goo Dolls encapsulate this in their song.


And I’d give up forever to touch you
‘Cause I know that you feel me somehow
You’re the closest to heaven that I’ll ever be
And I don’t wanna go home right now

And all I can taste is this moment
And all I can breathe is your life
When sooner or later it’s over
I just don’t wanna miss you tonight

And I don’t want the world to see me
‘Cause I don’t think that they’d understand
When everything’s made to be broken
I just want you to know who I am

And you can’t fight the tears that ain’t coming
Or the moment of truth in your lies
When everything feels like the movies
Yeah, you bleed just to know you’re alive

And I don’t want the world to see me
‘Cause I don’t think that they’d understand
When everything’s made to be broken
I just want you to know who I am

I just want you to know who I am
I just want you to know who I am
I just want you to know who I am


We are yearning for someone to look into our heart, to know who we are, to be a companion to our soul.

What if the pain in the world comes from a lack of companions of the soul? What if that’s what we need to heal? This is not an easy solution because to find a companion, means you have to be one. You have to risk vulnerability and opening your heart to share what is there in order to have that connectedness. Too often people have taken that risk, been rejected and shut down. There is no other easier solution than to risk again. Find the right person and take the leap of faith. It’s worth it. My life is better because of these relationships. No amount of wealth could compare to the richness of having a companion of the soul.

I don’t want to fit in – ever, anywhere

Through my life, I have consistently felt like the ugly duckling. The one who doesn’t fit in; I’m too loud, to firm, too blunt, too different. Anytime I found somewhere that accepted me, I have clung to that deeply. I think the first time was when I was 14 and I sat in the back row of a church and a boy in that church decided that he wanted to be friends with a girl who would show up at 14 in church alone. He’s been my best friend ever since.

My husband has family in Mexico and the first time I ever met them they made me feel like a part of the family, not because I was married in, but because they accepted me and wanted me. When my husband and I divorced, none of that changed. We actually grew closer. I had somewhere that I belonged.

Brene Brown has written about the difference of fitting in and belonging. She says, “Fitting in is about assessing the situation and becoming who you need to be to be accepted. Belonging, on the other hand, doesn’t require us to change who we are; it requires us to be who we are,” (The gifts of imperfection).

Dear Church Leaders – knowing the difference is CRUCIAL. In school I always tried to fit in. I felt that who I was would never be good enough. Because I had been abused and grew up in a dysfunctional family, I didn’t believe that who I was had value or worth. So I constantly tried to change who I was to fit the group I was around. This resulted in me hating myself even more. I compromised who I was, to try and get acceptance and ultimately would reject myself. I often wasn’t accepted that way either anyways, so my efforts were wasted.

But isn’t this EXACTLY what the church does? We expect people to change before we make them a part of our group. You have to fit in, in order to be a Christian – at least that’s the theology people actually practice. It’s 100%  contrary to the Bible and we NEED TO STOP THIS!

Christ taught belonging. Come to me, as you are, who you are and I accept you. Christians panic because they think this is a permission to sin, but it’s not. It’s permission to be real, to be honest, open and vulnerable. That sometimes I act in ways that God never created me to, but He loves me anyways. He has already planned for my mistakes. My sin didn’t take me off course, because God already knew my sin and he has planned for that. He is still going to use me even though I mess up.

Can we as Christians not also do the same? Can we also not accept people for where they are at, show them unconditional love and know that God has a plan?

Brene also writes, “We are biologically, cognitively, physically, and spiritually wired to love, to be loved, and to belong. When those needs are not met, we don’t function as we were meant to. We break. We fall apart. We numb. We ache. We hurt others. We get sick.”

I was not functioning as I was meant to, because my needs hadn’t been met. Too often I found churches that wanted me to “clean up” before I could be accepted by them. I couldn’t clean up because my needs weren’t being met. If we meet peoples needs for love and belonging, then their behaviors will change. It was true for me. It was a long process, but as I found more and more people who loved me for who I was, and I felt I didn’t have to try and change who I was for them to accept me, I had less pain to numb. They loved me even though I was loud and blunt and different. God made me this way. I have to know when to temper those things, but it’s who I am at my core.

Stop trying to make people fit in, when God created us to belong. We all belong to Him.