A while ago I wrote a blog post about authenticity, you know being your true self no matter what. I worked on it off and on for a few days. Edited some photos. Then hit publish and sent my wisdom about why we should strive for authenticity out to the world.
Then I spent the next little while trying to figure out "How the heck to I be myself anyway? What is the self of Sarah Scott?"
Thankfully providence shone upon me and when I went to the library to pick up the books I had on hold, Scary Close by Donald Miller was in my stack.
With a tagline like "dropping the act and finding true intimacy." I had a feeling something about this book was going to change my life.
My gut was right. The first big breakthrough came in chapter 3 when Don describes having lunch with a guy named Bill who draws a series of circles for him.
Bill goes on to explain that everyone is born a " completely healthy and happy little self." At some point we come to the conclusion, whether it's true or not, that there is something wrong with us. Shame makes us hide our true happy little selves.
It's because of shame that we create a false self. It's the self we believe others will love.
Seriously come to any family gathering with me and you will probably find me cracking jokes. Who doesn't love to laugh? And if I'm the one making you laugh then you must love me right? right?
Without that self we believe we will be unlovable.
Here's the kicker folks. If we are covering our real selves up with the false self we think other people will love way more... we can't actually absorb the love we are getting with that self anyway. There are too many layers for it to get through.
It's a terrible tragedy to be loved by a whole bunch of people who you don't actually know the real you.
This is where boldness and vulnerability come into play. Where one girds their loins (yup shit just got real here) and head into the deep conversations with our hearts on our sleeves.
Don't be fooled into thinking this scene will have a Hollywood ending where the person across the table will take you by the hand and thank you for being honest with them. You're taking a risk friends, but somehow I think it's better to leave the table licking your wounds, because the person across from you couldn't see your awesomeness, than to keep up the charade.
Fall and get up. It won't always hurt to be vulnerable. It's worth it to find intimate connection with others. It's only in being yourself that you can bond with other human beings.
Later in the book Miller shares a list with his readers that I plan to use as my jumping off point to rumble (I borrowed that word from Brene Brown) with my real self and have her come out of hiding.
I am willing to sound dumb.
I am willing to be wrong.
I am willing to be passionate about something that isn't perceived as cool.
I am willing to express a theory.
I am willing to admit I'm afraid.
I'm willing to contradict something I've said before.
I'm willing to have a knee-jerk reaction, even a wrong one.
I'm willing to appologize.
I'm perfectly willing to be perfectly human.
The possibilities that could arise from this experiment of showing you more of me is both thrilling and terrifying. But my purpose is to truly live and a big part of that is being loved as the real me, not the funny girl me I hide behind.
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