Real: Up Close and Personal

Surrender
Creative Commons License photo credit: preciouskhyatt

When the concept of surrendering and getting real began to surface in my life, I had mixed feelings. Mostly fear and excitement, but some anxiety and wariness as well.

When the excitement hit, I started envisioning a blog post. It was based on the fact that Christians are to confess our sins to each other, and failure to do so creates physical, emotional, and spiritual sickness in our lives. [Truth be told, over half of the sickness treated by the medical community today has a spiritual root, such as the failure to confess sins. (I would venture to say it is probably closer to 80-90%.)]

I began to think of how we are all afraid to reveal our weakness and failures, despite the fact that we each have them.  How powerful would it be if someone were to take that first step and say, “This is me, the real me. I fail, I hurt those I love, I do bad things when no one is looking. I struggle, I stumble, I think more of myself than I do of others. I lie, I cheat, I am the master of denial. I try hard, do better for awhile, then fail miserably. I am broken. I am human. I am a Christian.”?

If I could interview someone who was willing to be real, maybe others could see their faults are similar, and that it’s ok to be real with each other. But then the voice of reason chimed in and asked me where I would find such a person willing to submit themselves to public scrutiny- nowhere, that’s where.

Then, I got an email. Several emails in fact, from Lance at Jungle of Life. We were discussing surrender and getting real and I gave him the link to listen to my pastor’s sermon. He listened, and it hit him like it was hitting me. I never told him about my desire to do a “real interview”. I asked him to write out his thoughts on the sermon and see if we were both hearing the same thing. We were. And this is what Lance sent me:

Real.

What is that, anyway?

I am a Christian, a faithful servant seeking peace and love in this world we’re in.

Is that real? Is that how I live my life?

Or is it a little uglier than that?

I can get up on a Sunday morning and spend a couple of hours praising God. It will be all about showing love for Jesus. What happens, though, when I leave that moment I’ve had? What about the other 166 hours during the week? Am I continuing to show my love for God? Am I acting like the Christian I claim to be – one of love and mercy? Or perhaps, do I wear a different mask, one that fits the image I think society expects of me? And, if I’m doing this – wearing a mask over my true convictions – what does this say for being real?

Or maybe “real” is something altogether different.

What kind of barriers am I putting up every hour of every day? Barriers to protect the “who I really am”. Barriers to not let my guard down, to not let out any secrets that might not “fit” with the image others expect to see. I’ve worked hard to get where I’m at, and I don’t want to lose parts of that because I don’t match the standard people are expecting. How often have I “changed” just to protect an image. And how “real” is that?

Lies.

What about God in all of this? God loves us just the way we are. Are we perfect? Hardly. I’m a sinner (there, I said it!). I believe in a God who sent His son, Jesus, our Christ, to die for us. For these sins I’m committing. Yet, I hide behind walls to protect myself. What am I protecting? Am I concerned about what other might think? If they only knew…

  • I’ve yelled at my kids for no reason at all
  • I’ve shunned my wife because of my own selfish pride
  • I’ve belittled others for no reason at all
  • I’ve put on the face of a happy marriage, on days when things have been ugly
  • I’ve shouted obscenities to the driver in the lane beside me

…and surely worse. Does this change your view of me? …because I haven’t shown these characteristics before? It’s easy, here at computer and keyboard – to become who we desire to be. Is that real, though? Or is this just another way to put up walls. To protect that image of what we want to be known for? Secrets hidden, for a life we want to believe is us.

We are “real”, all of us. Yet, we hide that “real” all too often. It’s time to let the “real” you out, and trust that there are people out there who will encourage you, support you, trust you, and love you. Your life is meant to be lived, and that’s about being real and being authentic.

Real.

What is that, anyway?


85 Responses to Real: Up Close and Personal
  1. Brett Legree
    January 22, 2009 | 12:31 pm

    @Lance,

    I’m glad that you raised that point too, when you ask people “how are you?”, usually they say “fine” even when they are not.

    I started a while back asking instead “how’s your day going?” – and you know what, people actually seem to give a straight answer that way. As if “how are you? – fine” is a conditioned response.

    I ask everyone that – the guy at the gas station, my co-workers, you name it – and more often than not, you’ll hear them say “I feel ill today” or “my computer is acting up” or whatever. And you get a real dialog, and a chance to help out.

    It’s kind of nice actually – human.

    There was something else to my parking lot encounter too that I didn’t mention.

    I live in a small town (less than 4000 people) and when I thought about it afterward, I knew that I recognized the other fellow. We have not been formally introduced, but I worked with his wife many years ago – that’s how I recognized him, because I’ve seen them together around town.

    His wife is a very nice lady and on a personal level, when we lost a child back in 2001, she was the one who put together a little package of things for us (a gift card and some other things).

    I guess that’s why I try to remember how connected we all really are and after this incident and realizing how it could have gone the other way, I’ll just redouble my efforts.

    Had I said anything mean towards him, it would have made his day worse than it already was, it would have made my day worse, and it quite possibly would have affected someone who had been kind to me so many years ago.

    I’m going to think about this one for a while.

    Brett Legree´s last spectacular blog post..viking mondays? courage.

  2. Brett Legree
    January 22, 2009 | 7:31 am

    @Lance,

    I’m glad that you raised that point too, when you ask people “how are you?”, usually they say “fine” even when they are not.

    I started a while back asking instead “how’s your day going?” – and you know what, people actually seem to give a straight answer that way. As if “how are you? – fine” is a conditioned response.

    I ask everyone that – the guy at the gas station, my co-workers, you name it – and more often than not, you’ll hear them say “I feel ill today” or “my computer is acting up” or whatever. And you get a real dialog, and a chance to help out.

    It’s kind of nice actually – human.

    There was something else to my parking lot encounter too that I didn’t mention.

    I live in a small town (less than 4000 people) and when I thought about it afterward, I knew that I recognized the other fellow. We have not been formally introduced, but I worked with his wife many years ago – that’s how I recognized him, because I’ve seen them together around town.

    His wife is a very nice lady and on a personal level, when we lost a child back in 2001, she was the one who put together a little package of things for us (a gift card and some other things).

    I guess that’s why I try to remember how connected we all really are and after this incident and realizing how it could have gone the other way, I’ll just redouble my efforts.

    Had I said anything mean towards him, it would have made his day worse than it already was, it would have made my day worse, and it quite possibly would have affected someone who had been kind to me so many years ago.

    I’m going to think about this one for a while.

    Brett Legree´s last spectacular blog post..viking mondays? courage.

  3. Audra Krell
    January 22, 2009 | 1:59 pm

    Hi Lance,
    This is the king of all your posts. This, the real stuff is exactly what I’ve been waiting for. So how do I feel about you now, you ask? I respect and admire the courage and strength you have inside to be so authentic. I’m most appreciative of your realization, that your strength comes from one place alone, one God, Jesus the Christ. This type of authenticity is what the world needs a whole lot more of. This writing will reach and inspire people around the world. I encourage you to do more like this! Thanks Jamie!!

    Audra Krell´s last spectacular blog post..Truth in the Media

  4. Audra Krell
    January 22, 2009 | 8:59 am

    Hi Lance,
    This is the king of all your posts. This, the real stuff is exactly what I’ve been waiting for. So how do I feel about you now, you ask? I respect and admire the courage and strength you have inside to be so authentic. I’m most appreciative of your realization, that your strength comes from one place alone, one God, Jesus the Christ. This type of authenticity is what the world needs a whole lot more of. This writing will reach and inspire people around the world. I encourage you to do more like this! Thanks Jamie!!

    Audra Krell´s last spectacular blog post..Truth in the Media

  5. Mark
    January 22, 2009 | 2:29 pm

    This is a real conversation, great thoughts that you have shared about the “real” you. “What is real” is a great question. All that we are is “real” even when we are putting on a mask, the mask is part of the real us. Trying to say that putting on the mask is not the real self is interesting because it is our real self who dons the mask.
    One of the keys to accepting that we are “real” is to accept our imperfection and the beauty of our imperfection. Once we do this, we begin to drop the facade and we allow ourselves to be more real. Maybe being “real” is not the question, maybe it is more about not attempting to live up to expectations of others or even our perceived expectations of what God wants us to be. We must simply “be”.
    Great post, you have given us much to think about. Thank-you.

    Mark´s last spectacular blog post..A Witness to History

  6. Mark
    January 22, 2009 | 9:29 am

    This is a real conversation, great thoughts that you have shared about the “real” you. “What is real” is a great question. All that we are is “real” even when we are putting on a mask, the mask is part of the real us. Trying to say that putting on the mask is not the real self is interesting because it is our real self who dons the mask.
    One of the keys to accepting that we are “real” is to accept our imperfection and the beauty of our imperfection. Once we do this, we begin to drop the facade and we allow ourselves to be more real. Maybe being “real” is not the question, maybe it is more about not attempting to live up to expectations of others or even our perceived expectations of what God wants us to be. We must simply “be”.
    Great post, you have given us much to think about. Thank-you.

    Mark´s last spectacular blog post..A Witness to History

  7. Jewel/Pink Ink
    January 22, 2009 | 2:47 pm

    To me, being real means allowing myself to be imperfect, and not beating myself up over it.

    It’s making the most of what Heavenly Father gives me.

    It’s setting aside my brave face and letting others see my weaknesses.

    An intricate balance of sharing versus keeping some things close to my heart.

    I am still trying to figure this one out myself.

    Jewel/Pink Ink´s last spectacular blog post..Job Description

  8. Jewel/Pink Ink
    January 22, 2009 | 9:47 am

    To me, being real means allowing myself to be imperfect, and not beating myself up over it.

    It’s making the most of what Heavenly Father gives me.

    It’s setting aside my brave face and letting others see my weaknesses.

    An intricate balance of sharing versus keeping some things close to my heart.

    I am still trying to figure this one out myself.

    Jewel/Pink Ink´s last spectacular blog post..Job Description

  9. Dot
    January 22, 2009 | 3:13 pm

    Visiting from Lance’s blog. Coming from a very different spiritual place, and also from a psychological view of things, I don’t believe in “sin” or being required to confess them to others.

    I also don’t believe, as it seems so many commenters do, that there’s anything wrong with getting angry. That, too, is a part of being real.

    But I do believe in being real. For me, it’s been a process over a long time. Having been harshly punished for expressing emotions as a child, it’s stll a process I’m going through. I strive to be as real as I can, and the feedback I get is that it’s working.

    I don’t think it’s always appropriate to be real, though. In situations where the other person isn’t trustworthy and will betray, mock or insult you, it’s probably a better idea to protect yourself than to be vulnerable. But in loving, safe relationships, being real keeps the relationship healthy.

    Thanks for this post, Jamie and Lance.

    Dot´s last spectacular blog post..Question for Subscribers

  10. Dot
    January 22, 2009 | 10:13 am

    Visiting from Lance’s blog. Coming from a very different spiritual place, and also from a psychological view of things, I don’t believe in “sin” or being required to confess them to others.

    I also don’t believe, as it seems so many commenters do, that there’s anything wrong with getting angry. That, too, is a part of being real.

    But I do believe in being real. For me, it’s been a process over a long time. Having been harshly punished for expressing emotions as a child, it’s stll a process I’m going through. I strive to be as real as I can, and the feedback I get is that it’s working.

    I don’t think it’s always appropriate to be real, though. In situations where the other person isn’t trustworthy and will betray, mock or insult you, it’s probably a better idea to protect yourself than to be vulnerable. But in loving, safe relationships, being real keeps the relationship healthy.

    Thanks for this post, Jamie and Lance.

    Dot´s last spectacular blog post..Question for Subscribers

  11. Karl Staib - Work Happy Now
    January 22, 2009 | 3:44 pm

    Being the “real you” takes guts. We are afraid of being judged by others. We don’t want to be shunned from the crowd. The funny thing is the people who embrace their “real selves” are the ones that people gravitate towards.

    Karl Staib – Work Happy Now´s last spectacular blog post..Open and Honest Communication

  12. Karl Staib - Work Happy Now
    January 22, 2009 | 10:44 am

    Being the “real you” takes guts. We are afraid of being judged by others. We don’t want to be shunned from the crowd. The funny thing is the people who embrace their “real selves” are the ones that people gravitate towards.

    Karl Staib – Work Happy Now´s last spectacular blog post..Open and Honest Communication

  13. Jenny Mannion
    January 22, 2009 | 4:40 pm

    Nice to meet you Jamie! Hi Lance!
    Wow – this was beautiful. I think we have all done one or all of the things you mentioned Lance. In consciousness we become aware of those things either right before or as they happen — I’m working on it – but I still have my lapses! No one expects anyone else to be perfect but yet many put that expectation on themselves… it is unfair and in self love and self acceptance we realize everything can be a learning experience. I think the world of you Lance and I think YOU are about as “real” as they come.
    Love, Jenny

    Jenny Mannion´s last spectacular blog post..Interview with James Sinclair, Director of “What If?” Part I

  14. Jenny Mannion
    January 22, 2009 | 11:40 am

    Nice to meet you Jamie! Hi Lance!
    Wow – this was beautiful. I think we have all done one or all of the things you mentioned Lance. In consciousness we become aware of those things either right before or as they happen — I’m working on it – but I still have my lapses! No one expects anyone else to be perfect but yet many put that expectation on themselves… it is unfair and in self love and self acceptance we realize everything can be a learning experience. I think the world of you Lance and I think YOU are about as “real” as they come.
    Love, Jenny

    Jenny Mannion´s last spectacular blog post..Interview with James Sinclair, Director of “What If?” Part I

  15. Jennifer
    January 22, 2009 | 5:49 pm

    That IS as real as it gets. I’m almost speechless. Thank you to both of you, Lance and Jamie.

    We feel so free when we are real. We feel so free when we are around others who are real. Yet, I hide too.

    I’m a Christian and I’m a sinner and I’m forgiven because of Jesus. So why do I sometimes hide. I suppose it’s the same reason everyone does. We want to look perfect.

    My frustration usually gets taken out on my dog – poor guy, but that’s MUCH less frequent than it used to be. He still loves me. I don’t always treat my husband with the respect he deserves – or others either. It could go on an on. I try very hard to do the best I can and I make improvements all the time, but still I fail and I make mistakes – LOTS of them. Am I as real in “real life” as I am on the computer? In many ways yes, but in other ways…..Who is? I strive to be and as I write and interact with everyone in the blogosphere I find that my “real life” meshes more and more with my identity online. I think in a lot of ways, my identity online is who I want to be and the longer I have been online the more it has spilled over into my life in every way. It’s kind of my journey to who I am striving to become. But, still I fail. I’m real too and I make mistakes. Period.

    Thanks again Lance and Jamie.

    Jennifer´s last spectacular blog post..Do Bad Things Happen to Good People?

  16. Jennifer
    January 22, 2009 | 12:49 pm

    That IS as real as it gets. I’m almost speechless. Thank you to both of you, Lance and Jamie.

    We feel so free when we are real. We feel so free when we are around others who are real. Yet, I hide too.

    I’m a Christian and I’m a sinner and I’m forgiven because of Jesus. So why do I sometimes hide. I suppose it’s the same reason everyone does. We want to look perfect.

    My frustration usually gets taken out on my dog – poor guy, but that’s MUCH less frequent than it used to be. He still loves me. I don’t always treat my husband with the respect he deserves – or others either. It could go on an on. I try very hard to do the best I can and I make improvements all the time, but still I fail and I make mistakes – LOTS of them. Am I as real in “real life” as I am on the computer? In many ways yes, but in other ways…..Who is? I strive to be and as I write and interact with everyone in the blogosphere I find that my “real life” meshes more and more with my identity online. I think in a lot of ways, my identity online is who I want to be and the longer I have been online the more it has spilled over into my life in every way. It’s kind of my journey to who I am striving to become. But, still I fail. I’m real too and I make mistakes. Period.

    Thanks again Lance and Jamie.

    Jennifer´s last spectacular blog post..Do Bad Things Happen to Good People?

  17. Lance
    January 22, 2009 | 7:17 pm

    @Cricket/Tammy – I, too, remember when you began your new blog — and I was drawn in by your honesty there. You helped to give wings to this post, Tammy. Being in the moments of life, and being true to yourself in those moments… We are who we are – the good, the bad, the ugly. You are an inspiration Tammy. Thank you for everything here, and for all you write…

    @Davina – Thank you, Davina. Your words are both humbling and comforting. This was hard to write, and harder yet to send to Jamie. What I’m hearing here – that is making this all okay. I’m not perfect, I never have been – and that’s just fine…

    @Brett – I may just try that – “How’s your day going?” – and see what response I get. A slight twist might be enough to elicit what is really going on, and generate some real and honest discussion. And, thanks for sharing the rest of the story about the parking lot. While I can’t imagine what losing a child is like – I do know that in times of need, the assistance of freinds/family/strangers is greatly appreciated. And when we experience moments like that, connections do get stronger. What’s interesting is that as we look at this – how many people could be affected by this one small act. And not for the better. Which leads along something I wrote about earlier this week – the idea that no gesture is really a small gesture. We just never know what affect it may have downstream of us. Brett, thanks for sharing this very personal story, one which fits so well with being real.

    @Audra – Just reading your words, I feel my heart pounding a little harder. Why? I think it’s because in what you’re asking – this does still challenge me. As okay as I feel right now with what I’ve written here (I’ve gotten to okay because of a caring and supportive community here) – it still feels so risky to continue to step out of these imaginary boundaries I’ve put up. Audra, your words here today DO challenge me – and thank you for that. I need to be challenged to step away from these walls… Just as Jamie challenged me with this. Thank you for all your encouragement, for everything…

    @Mark – Well, yes that is true. We are real all the time. What are we hiding behind the mask? What imperfections do we not want to be seen? And how can we begin to accept those imperfections. “Be”ing – being our true selves – in God’s eyes, in our own eyes, in the eyes of everyone who sees us – getting to the point where these are all aligned, what a place to get to. Thanks, Mark, for these thoughts today – I have much to really think about here…

    @Jewel – “Allowing” is such an important word in this conversation on “real”. In allowing ourselves to be real, to show our imperfections – we connect not only with our Father in heaven, also with those around us. I’m seeing that today, very strongly. Thank you, Jewel, for being “you”…

    @Dot – Being real. That is that we do get angry sometimes. We all do. I’m not sure that real means you have to confess your sins to the world. It’s about not putting up those walls that shield a part of us. You bring up a good point, Dot, about if it’s always appropriate. I think I tend to agree with you that in some situations, maybe it’s best to keep a wall up and just move on. Hmm…that’s a tough one. Thank you, Dot, for making me really think about this in a little different light…

    @Karl – Being judged, yes that’s the feelings I was having as I was sent this to Jamie. Being seen as different – will we not be accepted for who we are? And yet, as you say, people really are drawn to authenticity… Thanks, Karl, very much, for this.

    @Jenny Mannion – Hi Jenny. I think we all have lapses. And yet, if we keep that bottled up, and everyone else keeps their lapses bottled up – no one realizes just how alike we are. Getting to the point of self love and self acceptance is a major step in really accepting who we are – just the way we are. Jenny, your words are too kind. It has been a joy and honor to get to know you, and you shine of real-ness yourself. Just like my friend, Jamie…

    @Jennifer – …and I hide as well, Jennifer. I hide for fear of what others think. I hide because of embarrassment. I hide because I don’t fit a “norm”. I hide because I’m insecure. Yet, I can’t hide from Jesus. He sees…always. I’m sending a virtual pat on the head to your dog! The idea of your real life and your online life meshing – I think that’s an excellent point Jennifer. Maybe we can be working our way toward where we desire to be – and there’s a level of safety doing that online? It is a journey. And a journey worht being on. Jennifer, I can’t thank you enough for everything you’ve done for me on this journey, for your words of truth here, and for you being real and authentic in everything I’ve seen. Thank you.

    Lance´s last spectacular blog post..As Real As It Gets

  18. Lance
    January 22, 2009 | 2:17 pm

    @Cricket/Tammy – I, too, remember when you began your new blog — and I was drawn in by your honesty there. You helped to give wings to this post, Tammy. Being in the moments of life, and being true to yourself in those moments… We are who we are – the good, the bad, the ugly. You are an inspiration Tammy. Thank you for everything here, and for all you write…

    @Davina – Thank you, Davina. Your words are both humbling and comforting. This was hard to write, and harder yet to send to Jamie. What I’m hearing here – that is making this all okay. I’m not perfect, I never have been – and that’s just fine…

    @Brett – I may just try that – “How’s your day going?” – and see what response I get. A slight twist might be enough to elicit what is really going on, and generate some real and honest discussion. And, thanks for sharing the rest of the story about the parking lot. While I can’t imagine what losing a child is like – I do know that in times of need, the assistance of freinds/family/strangers is greatly appreciated. And when we experience moments like that, connections do get stronger. What’s interesting is that as we look at this – how many people could be affected by this one small act. And not for the better. Which leads along something I wrote about earlier this week – the idea that no gesture is really a small gesture. We just never know what affect it may have downstream of us. Brett, thanks for sharing this very personal story, one which fits so well with being real.

    @Audra – Just reading your words, I feel my heart pounding a little harder. Why? I think it’s because in what you’re asking – this does still challenge me. As okay as I feel right now with what I’ve written here (I’ve gotten to okay because of a caring and supportive community here) – it still feels so risky to continue to step out of these imaginary boundaries I’ve put up. Audra, your words here today DO challenge me – and thank you for that. I need to be challenged to step away from these walls… Just as Jamie challenged me with this. Thank you for all your encouragement, for everything…

    @Mark – Well, yes that is true. We are real all the time. What are we hiding behind the mask? What imperfections do we not want to be seen? And how can we begin to accept those imperfections. “Be”ing – being our true selves – in God’s eyes, in our own eyes, in the eyes of everyone who sees us – getting to the point where these are all aligned, what a place to get to. Thanks, Mark, for these thoughts today – I have much to really think about here…

    @Jewel – “Allowing” is such an important word in this conversation on “real”. In allowing ourselves to be real, to show our imperfections – we connect not only with our Father in heaven, also with those around us. I’m seeing that today, very strongly. Thank you, Jewel, for being “you”…

    @Dot – Being real. That is that we do get angry sometimes. We all do. I’m not sure that real means you have to confess your sins to the world. It’s about not putting up those walls that shield a part of us. You bring up a good point, Dot, about if it’s always appropriate. I think I tend to agree with you that in some situations, maybe it’s best to keep a wall up and just move on. Hmm…that’s a tough one. Thank you, Dot, for making me really think about this in a little different light…

    @Karl – Being judged, yes that’s the feelings I was having as I was sent this to Jamie. Being seen as different – will we not be accepted for who we are? And yet, as you say, people really are drawn to authenticity… Thanks, Karl, very much, for this.

    @Jenny Mannion – Hi Jenny. I think we all have lapses. And yet, if we keep that bottled up, and everyone else keeps their lapses bottled up – no one realizes just how alike we are. Getting to the point of self love and self acceptance is a major step in really accepting who we are – just the way we are. Jenny, your words are too kind. It has been a joy and honor to get to know you, and you shine of real-ness yourself. Just like my friend, Jamie…

    @Jennifer – …and I hide as well, Jennifer. I hide for fear of what others think. I hide because of embarrassment. I hide because I don’t fit a “norm”. I hide because I’m insecure. Yet, I can’t hide from Jesus. He sees…always. I’m sending a virtual pat on the head to your dog! The idea of your real life and your online life meshing – I think that’s an excellent point Jennifer. Maybe we can be working our way toward where we desire to be – and there’s a level of safety doing that online? It is a journey. And a journey worht being on. Jennifer, I can’t thank you enough for everything you’ve done for me on this journey, for your words of truth here, and for you being real and authentic in everything I’ve seen. Thank you.

    Lance´s last spectacular blog post..As Real As It Gets

  19. Mindful Mimi
    January 22, 2009 | 8:22 pm

    Jamie,
    What a great rope you threw out there. And what an amazing catch you found in Lance :-) Thanks for sharing with us.

    Lance,
    I am catholic but mainly because it was a religion chosen for me at my birth. I am spiritual but not in a religious way.

    I love your ‘confession’. And you know what? If you find ONE person that is NOT guilty of all of your bullet points, give me a call because I must come over and see this for myself. I sure am guilty of that behavior. But realizing that it’s not our best behavior is already a step in the right direction. It does not make us a bad person. It makes us human.

    We are being taught a certain behavior from early childhood on: this is good and this is bad. Boys are told they need to be strong and crying is for babies so they end up being men with a macho side and unable to show they real feelings.

    Girls a being taught that roughhousing is not ladylike so the become women who have trouble standing up for and taking care of themselves.

    So I think that all this ‘bad’ but oh so real behavior we have is us when were children trying to come out and say: look at you! Will you let this happen? Will you let someone else dictate how you should feel, what you should be? Will you let other people’s judgements affect you in a deconstructive way?

    As long as we communicate with the ones we love about our behavior and try to learn from it we’re on the right track. I am sure your wife knows your selfish pride by now and more than likely knows how to handle it :-) because she knows it will pass.

    Thanks for sharing. The real you is better than any fake.

    Mindful Mimi´s last spectacular blog post..Information: a source of learning or a burden?

  20. Mindful Mimi
    January 22, 2009 | 3:22 pm

    Jamie,
    What a great rope you threw out there. And what an amazing catch you found in Lance :-) Thanks for sharing with us.

    Lance,
    I am catholic but mainly because it was a religion chosen for me at my birth. I am spiritual but not in a religious way.

    I love your ‘confession’. And you know what? If you find ONE person that is NOT guilty of all of your bullet points, give me a call because I must come over and see this for myself. I sure am guilty of that behavior. But realizing that it’s not our best behavior is already a step in the right direction. It does not make us a bad person. It makes us human.

    We are being taught a certain behavior from early childhood on: this is good and this is bad. Boys are told they need to be strong and crying is for babies so they end up being men with a macho side and unable to show they real feelings.

    Girls a being taught that roughhousing is not ladylike so the become women who have trouble standing up for and taking care of themselves.

    So I think that all this ‘bad’ but oh so real behavior we have is us when were children trying to come out and say: look at you! Will you let this happen? Will you let someone else dictate how you should feel, what you should be? Will you let other people’s judgements affect you in a deconstructive way?

    As long as we communicate with the ones we love about our behavior and try to learn from it we’re on the right track. I am sure your wife knows your selfish pride by now and more than likely knows how to handle it :-) because she knows it will pass.

    Thanks for sharing. The real you is better than any fake.

    Mindful Mimi´s last spectacular blog post..Information: a source of learning or a burden?

  21. B J Keltz
    January 22, 2009 | 10:27 pm

    @Jenny I wonder how many of us deal with that self love problem. I know I do. Typical first born female with a shame based personality, lol. I take on all the faults (as in “sorry, my fault,” and always view others as higher or better than myself.

    You’ve given me something to think about. Thank you.

    @Brett It works well, doesn’t it? I hate hearing “fine,” though I’m not always patient enough to listen to a laundry list. :/

    B J Keltz´s last spectacular blog post..Zap!

  22. B J Keltz
    January 22, 2009 | 5:27 pm

    @Jenny I wonder how many of us deal with that self love problem. I know I do. Typical first born female with a shame based personality, lol. I take on all the faults (as in “sorry, my fault,” and always view others as higher or better than myself.

    You’ve given me something to think about. Thank you.

    @Brett It works well, doesn’t it? I hate hearing “fine,” though I’m not always patient enough to listen to a laundry list. :/

    B J Keltz´s last spectacular blog post..Zap!

  23. Laurie
    January 22, 2009 | 11:16 pm

    @Dot, there is nothing wrong with being angry, but the problem comes in how is anger expressed? Being in the psychology field, you are very aware that suppressing anger leads to depression and other issues. Going back to Lance’s faith, even Jesus was angry with the money changers in the temple and he is seem as the only example of a sinless man.

    Whether someone calls it sin or doing the wrong thing, there are behaviors that are wrong. Christians call these sin. You can call it whatever you want but the purpose of confessing them to God, (or others) is to free yourself from them. As Christians, we confess our sins to God as a way of agreeing that what we did wasn’t right and then we give it over to God and ask for forgiveness. It is a way to not carry the baggage with us all our lives. A little grace goes a long way.

    I also love to be real. The last job I had didn’t work out because I was who I am and didn’t fit their mold of who they thought I should be. Should I always be real? Yes. I should always be myself but that doesn’t mean I should always share personal information. If I am an outgoing person, I shouldn’t act shy to gain approval. If I am a Christian, I should hide my faith because someone might be offended. It doesn’t mean I go preaching to everyone but I will not hide my beliefs either. I think you can real but not be vulnerable. There is more to being real than just exposing yourself. Take Lance for instance. Lance has been real on his blog. He believes everything he professes to believe. Here though, he was more vulnerable in that he shared some things in his closet. He is real in both places but more vulnerable in this place.

    Dot, your comment gave me lots to think about, thanks for that. Have a “real”ly great day! (tongue in cheek)

  24. Laurie
    January 22, 2009 | 6:16 pm

    @Dot, there is nothing wrong with being angry, but the problem comes in how is anger expressed? Being in the psychology field, you are very aware that suppressing anger leads to depression and other issues. Going back to Lance’s faith, even Jesus was angry with the money changers in the temple and he is seem as the only example of a sinless man.

    Whether someone calls it sin or doing the wrong thing, there are behaviors that are wrong. Christians call these sin. You can call it whatever you want but the purpose of confessing them to God, (or others) is to free yourself from them. As Christians, we confess our sins to God as a way of agreeing that what we did wasn’t right and then we give it over to God and ask for forgiveness. It is a way to not carry the baggage with us all our lives. A little grace goes a long way.

    I also love to be real. The last job I had didn’t work out because I was who I am and didn’t fit their mold of who they thought I should be. Should I always be real? Yes. I should always be myself but that doesn’t mean I should always share personal information. If I am an outgoing person, I shouldn’t act shy to gain approval. If I am a Christian, I should hide my faith because someone might be offended. It doesn’t mean I go preaching to everyone but I will not hide my beliefs either. I think you can real but not be vulnerable. There is more to being real than just exposing yourself. Take Lance for instance. Lance has been real on his blog. He believes everything he professes to believe. Here though, he was more vulnerable in that he shared some things in his closet. He is real in both places but more vulnerable in this place.

    Dot, your comment gave me lots to think about, thanks for that. Have a “real”ly great day! (tongue in cheek)

  25. J.D. Meier
    January 23, 2009 | 8:09 am

    There’s a ton of power in congruence.

    I like the power and strength that comes from keeping things real. All that really means to me is simply not trying to sustain things that are fake.

    J.D. Meier´s last spectacular blog post..Avoid Mental Burnout

  26. J.D. Meier
    January 23, 2009 | 3:09 am

    There’s a ton of power in congruence.

    I like the power and strength that comes from keeping things real. All that really means to me is simply not trying to sustain things that are fake.

    J.D. Meier´s last spectacular blog post..Avoid Mental Burnout

  27. Brett Legree
    January 23, 2009 | 1:17 pm

    @Lance,

    Very happy to share our story – of course, there is much more to it, but that little snippet seemed appropriate.

    Yes, do give it a shot – just today, I asked a lady at the cafeteria, “how is your day going today?” – and she told me all about her planned trip next week to Australia. We had a really nice chat about that part of the world (I’ve not been to Oz, but my wife has family there, and we’ve gone to New Zealand).

    It was much nicer than the “how are you? fine” thing.

    -Brett

    Brett Legree´s last spectacular blog post..viking mondays? courage.

  28. Brett Legree
    January 23, 2009 | 8:17 am

    @Lance,

    Very happy to share our story – of course, there is much more to it, but that little snippet seemed appropriate.

    Yes, do give it a shot – just today, I asked a lady at the cafeteria, “how is your day going today?” – and she told me all about her planned trip next week to Australia. We had a really nice chat about that part of the world (I’ve not been to Oz, but my wife has family there, and we’ve gone to New Zealand).

    It was much nicer than the “how are you? fine” thing.

    -Brett

    Brett Legree´s last spectacular blog post..viking mondays? courage.

  29. Wendi Kelly- Life's Little Ins
    January 23, 2009 | 2:45 pm

    Lance and Jamie,

    great post. John and I did a play about this subject a few months ago at Church. It was about a man in his office on the phone. On one line was a very important business deal that he was NOT going to lose. He was speaking harshly ,wheeling and dealing, using rough language and pushing the person around. On the other line, was the Paster of his church, and he was quoting scripture to his pasture and discussing the upcoming sermon that next week. The two messages that he was giving to the two different men were the opposite and of course he got the phone lines mixed up at the end! It was a comedy that forced everyone to look at the way we switch back and forth between the various roles in our lives.

    I live in the same small town I have lived in since I was a little girl. My sins have been been right there for all the world to see for 48 years. drug use when I was a kid, teen pregnancy, marriages and divorce…whatever. The point is you wake up every day and God gives us the chance to start over, look into his LIGHT, Praise him and say- HE is Perfect, I am NOT, I don’t have to be, I just have to keep working TOWARD it and not give up the good fight. Thank God he is there to catch me when I fall cause I am clumsy.

    Wendi Kelly- Life’s Little Inspirations´s last spectacular blog post..Inspired Movies

  30. Wendi Kelly- Life's Little Inspirations
    January 23, 2009 | 9:45 am

    Lance and Jamie,

    great post. John and I did a play about this subject a few months ago at Church. It was about a man in his office on the phone. On one line was a very important business deal that he was NOT going to lose. He was speaking harshly ,wheeling and dealing, using rough language and pushing the person around. On the other line, was the Paster of his church, and he was quoting scripture to his pasture and discussing the upcoming sermon that next week. The two messages that he was giving to the two different men were the opposite and of course he got the phone lines mixed up at the end! It was a comedy that forced everyone to look at the way we switch back and forth between the various roles in our lives.

    I live in the same small town I have lived in since I was a little girl. My sins have been been right there for all the world to see for 48 years. drug use when I was a kid, teen pregnancy, marriages and divorce…whatever. The point is you wake up every day and God gives us the chance to start over, look into his LIGHT, Praise him and say- HE is Perfect, I am NOT, I don’t have to be, I just have to keep working TOWARD it and not give up the good fight. Thank God he is there to catch me when I fall cause I am clumsy.

    Wendi Kelly- Life’s Little Inspirations´s last spectacular blog post..Inspired Movies

  31. Lance
    January 24, 2009 | 11:51 am

    @Mimi – An excellent point about the societal norms we face. I’m a guy, so I need to always portray strength and lack of emotion (especially emotions related to hurt) – or so that’s how I can feel. And letting go of these societal norms is not easy. This is all such a powerful thought – the norms we follow because we think we should because of what is “accepted”. Yet, if that’s not real, if that’s not us – it’s time to break the chains that hold us back (that’s something Jamie shared with me a while back). And to those that matter, to those we love in our lives, they should see us for who we really are. Even through the facades we sometimes put up. So, does my wife see through all of that? See the real me? Yes. And as we’ve grown to where we’re at today, this is a good place to be… Mimi, thanks so much for your comments, and for all your continued support.

    @J.D. – Once we get over the fear of being truly “real” – I think you are right, J.D. – there is power and strength that comes from this. It may be inner power and strength – where we are able to really hold true to our convictions – and this is powerful in itself. Thanks for stopping by!

    @Brett – I’m sure there is much more here, yet what you’ve shared really did paint the picture of what was going on – I appreciate your openness. And a great example of the “how are you? fine” typical response. That’s a good connection you had going on – and it makes me think about how one question like this, to the right person – really can trigger a conversation and build a connection between two people where there previously was none – all by one question, and some heartfelt listening.

    @Wendi – The play you did really does fit how we live our lives sometimes. And “real” becomes distorted as – which is the real you? And do we really need to do this – to switch back and forth depending upon who we’re talking to? If we’re truly being real, then no we should just be who we are. And thank you, Wendi, for sharing part of your story. If we are working toward the life God desires for us, then we’re moving in the right direction. If we’re being real while we’re doing this, then how much more meaningful life is for us! God is our light in the world, and He shines brightly! Thank you for all of this Wendi – your words continue to bring comfort and provide light in the darkness…

    Lance´s last spectacular blog post..Are These My Skinny Jeans?

  32. Lance
    January 24, 2009 | 6:51 am

    @Mimi – An excellent point about the societal norms we face. I’m a guy, so I need to always portray strength and lack of emotion (especially emotions related to hurt) – or so that’s how I can feel. And letting go of these societal norms is not easy. This is all such a powerful thought – the norms we follow because we think we should because of what is “accepted”. Yet, if that’s not real, if that’s not us – it’s time to break the chains that hold us back (that’s something Jamie shared with me a while back). And to those that matter, to those we love in our lives, they should see us for who we really are. Even through the facades we sometimes put up. So, does my wife see through all of that? See the real me? Yes. And as we’ve grown to where we’re at today, this is a good place to be… Mimi, thanks so much for your comments, and for all your continued support.

    @J.D. – Once we get over the fear of being truly “real” – I think you are right, J.D. – there is power and strength that comes from this. It may be inner power and strength – where we are able to really hold true to our convictions – and this is powerful in itself. Thanks for stopping by!

    @Brett – I’m sure there is much more here, yet what you’ve shared really did paint the picture of what was going on – I appreciate your openness. And a great example of the “how are you? fine” typical response. That’s a good connection you had going on – and it makes me think about how one question like this, to the right person – really can trigger a conversation and build a connection between two people where there previously was none – all by one question, and some heartfelt listening.

    @Wendi – The play you did really does fit how we live our lives sometimes. And “real” becomes distorted as – which is the real you? And do we really need to do this – to switch back and forth depending upon who we’re talking to? If we’re truly being real, then no we should just be who we are. And thank you, Wendi, for sharing part of your story. If we are working toward the life God desires for us, then we’re moving in the right direction. If we’re being real while we’re doing this, then how much more meaningful life is for us! God is our light in the world, and He shines brightly! Thank you for all of this Wendi – your words continue to bring comfort and provide light in the darkness…

    Lance´s last spectacular blog post..Are These My Skinny Jeans?

  33. Brett Legree
    January 24, 2009 | 12:43 pm

    @Lance,

    It is an interesting thing, when you have these experiences. I am an engineer by trade, yet, I seem to be able to initiate these conversations with almost anyone.

    I’ve done some of those personality tests and the results seem to indicate my strengths are elsewhere, the more human and emotional side (like a counselor of some kind, perhaps). Never too late to change careers :)

    Brett Legree´s last spectacular blog post..a perfect storm.

  34. Brett Legree
    January 24, 2009 | 7:43 am

    @Lance,

    It is an interesting thing, when you have these experiences. I am an engineer by trade, yet, I seem to be able to initiate these conversations with almost anyone.

    I’ve done some of those personality tests and the results seem to indicate my strengths are elsewhere, the more human and emotional side (like a counselor of some kind, perhaps). Never too late to change careers :)

    Brett Legree´s last spectacular blog post..a perfect storm.

  35. Sean
    January 6, 2010 | 8:16 pm

    Mare's right. It's way too easy to be whoever we want to be, brazen behind the keyboard, but we are each human. No more, no less.

    I love being Writer Dad because he is an idealized version of who my wife and children see, but Sean is human and makes the same mistakes as everybody else.

    Great post guys.

    <abbr>Sean´s last spectacular blog post..The Best Writer on the Net</abbr>

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