“If I were untrue, I hope you know it was never to you.” ~ Leonard Cohen
Most of us have experienced the angst between wanting to please someone else—or make them happy—and being honest about how we feel, what we want, and what we need. In truth, often we aren’t even sure our self about the answer to those questions.
As someone who tends to be a peacemaker and people pleaser, I often get lost in the needs and desires of others. When I do this, the tension can be overwhelming. I know, intuitively, that something is “off”, but I can’t quite put my finger on what that is.
In these times, it’s important for me to take a step back—even if it means the “other/s” don’t understand and grow angry with me. I may even be angry with myself, or at least feel guilty for “letting down” someone else. I become as a wild horse, hobbled.
The world will hobble us, even while we’re too young to know it. Thus, our life work becomes to rediscover God’s original dream of us—even as our own hearts lean toward shame for tending ourselves. I John 3:20 tells us, “For whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything.”
Contrary to the internal angst between “me and thee”, the truth is I cannot genuinely give to another if I have not first examined my own heart—who I am and what I need—and then taken responsibility to tend those needs.
The world, culture, family, friends, academia, and even the Church often tell us who we are—and then expect us to perform accordingly. This is the opposite of seeing one another, as Hebrews 12 speaks of the “great cloud of witnesses” to who we are. Our task is to ask ourselves “Who did God intend me to be when he first knit me in my mother’s womb? What dream does he hold for me?”
Our vocation is not what we do for a paycheck, but rather, to be true to that vision. People may not understand and may count us as unfaithful when we do not live up to their expectations, but our task is to live from our true selves—our original beauty.
The only person we can ever really be unfaithful to is ourselves, for even if we do cause harm to another, it is not from our True Self. When we know who we truly are and live from that place, we make the world a better place. As Howard Thurman said, “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” And, the more we live from our true identity, the more we will bring joy to others, but it takes time alone to grow into that deep knowing.
In this week’s Thrive zoom, we’ll be sharing what that journey has looked like for us, including all the twists and turns along the gnarled path, and supporting one another along the way—what I call the Home of Me.
Please join us this Thursday at 11 a.m. Central as we help one another be freed from external expectations and open our hearts and lives to authentic living.
Hope to see you then. Here is your login info (you can save it because it remains the same each week): ANYONE CAN JOIN. IT’S EASY AND ITS FREE. Just jump online at the link below.
Meeting ID: 849 2870 2034
Love, your sister along the journey,