Appearing - August 7, 2021 - "The Journey of a Lifetime Series"

Appearing as I really am.

I am committed to a better version of myself, I really am. I'm constantly moving, changing, growing, and transforming. At the same time, right now, I can't make myself any better than I already am. Heck, I wouldn't even know where to begin. The problem is, I never hesitate to dabble in that nebulous place where the real me is never real and the needed improvements are never-ending.


How many times have I tried to appear better than myself, smarter than I am, or better or more successful, or just different than I know I am just to control other people's opinions of me? Here's the thing. What if being better isn't what's needed from you or me at all? What if being better at my work or more sincere in my relationships, or smarter with my finances really just doesn't matter when compared to the importance of just authentically being me as I am right now. The real me.


In truth, the people around me actually really need me (and you), desperately. Not because of my superpowers or wonderful personality. Not that at all. They just desperately need me to show up as I really am. That's it. The brilliant, funny, kind, wise, broken, insecure, sometimes sarcastic, I can't believe you said that, me. When I can do that then at some level they can feel equally safe and confident showing up in a similar fashion. It's like they have permission to be just the way they are in fullness too. Regardless of what it looks like. The beautiful best and the wonderful worst. The thing they most certainly don't need is another cardboard cut-out person that looks real from a distance but is completely two-dimensional on closer inspection.


They don't need a better me. They need a "REAL" me so that when they see how afraid I am and realize that I'm not running away, then they have the opportunity to find their own courage to stand there, too. When they see compassion flowing out of me despite my own need then maybe they have permission to reach outside themselves and do the same. The real question isn't whether I'm willing to be myself. The question is, am I willing to pay the price for doing that. Often it means being criticized and rejected or misunderstood. A lot of the time I'd rather be accepted than be real. When I do walk in the place of really appearing as I really am there is a ripple effect that travels to the horizon and further than I could possibly imagine. It is much more than a stone tossed in a pond. It's more like a boulder splashing down into the still waters of eternity and rippling out across all time.


So the challenge I am facing today is more severe than I ever quite imagined. I need to change and transform. At the same time, I need to move away from the prospect of being better than I am and embrace the prospect of being the real fullness of myself at this moment. Who I am today. The real me, wherever I am and whenever I am. No more photoshopping myself as being something else, something different. Not only that I must relentlessly and recklessly pursue real authenticity for myself and become a safe place for others to do the same.


Scripture to consider - 2 Corinthians 6:8 - We serve God whether people honor us or despise us, whether they slander us or praise us. We are honest, but they call us impostors.

(NLT)

Reflections

As you walk this journey today, how do you sometimes appear differently to others than you really are? How have you wrestled with the difference between how you really are and how you wish you were?

What would it look like if you were authentically yourself with everyone and with no apologies?

How will you invite God to guide you in this endeavor of appearing?

Quotable Perspectives

“Courage is being scared to death... and saddling up anyway."

John Wayne

“Be happy with being you. Love your flaws. Own your quirks. And know that you are just as perfect as anyone else, exactly as you are.

Ariana Grande


“There is only one thing in life worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.

Oscar Wilde


"I am a being of Heaven and Earth, of thunder and lightning, of rain and wind, of the galaxies."

Eden Ahbez


“I have never been lost, but I will admit to being confused for several weeks."

Daniel Boone

A simple prayer for Appearing:

Father, thank you for revealing yourself to me and for loving me just the way I am. Help me to become the fullness of everything you intended when you made me. Teach me how to love myself so that I can love others the right way and show me how to cooperate with you as I am being transformed.



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