Does the word truth scare you or excite you? The truth can be scary...sometimes to tell it and sometimes to hear it. Yes, the truth hurts but THE Truth heals.
In our online Bible study (hosted by Lelia) of Lisa Whittle's book Behind Those Eyes, we begin with chapter one "The Truth Hurts". As I began to write this post, I pondered on the television show Moment of Truth. If you ask me, that show is a disgrace that lines right up there with Swing Time. Yes, we are to be honest humans but there is a time and place for it. With millions of watchers, chancing for $500,000, is not the time to tell your husband that you don't want kids with him because he may not be the one. Come on. That's as low as sharing one's spouse on Swing Time. Trust me, I like me some tv but a minute or two of these and enough is enough. If I have to find out on national television the truth of my spouse luring at another with bedrooms eyes, then let me pay you $500,000 to keep your truth.
Okay, so that really isn't the kind of truth that I believe Lisa is referencing but I couldn't help but to think of this world's truth.
I loved the piece Lisa wrote titled Talking About Nothing. So, here's the truth...I don't like talking about nothing. You know...the conversations just to be pleasant. The person who walks into your office just wanting an ear on which to chew, seriously about nothing. You can tell when a person is making up words to just speak. I admit I have done this before when I just want to commune with someone. Yet, I long to talk about meat and not milk. I had never thought about my dislike for casual conversation until reading this section. Lisa hit it on the nose when she said her and her hair stylist were "talking about topics". That's it, I thought to myself. I don't like talking about topics either. Usually, if I do it is to get at a deeper root...that is to really know that person. I am the queen of questions and so if I ask a topical question or initiate a topical conversation, it is because I want to know more about that topic regarding that person.
When Lisa spoke about "females impersonating females", she said "We've perfected the fake laugh and the token smile." Yes, I admit I have a token smile, a fake smile. However, I'm pretty stingy with my laughs. For me to laugh, it is genuine. At times, embarrassing because of the loud haahhh that comes before it. The fake smile comes with our hiding our feelings right? I know it does for me. Those times when it does no good to disagree with another or to speak against what is being said. Why? Lisa says "our past experiences lead us to believe it is in our best interest to keep our true feelings inside." There have been many times I've kept my true feelings hidden. Has it been helpful or hurtful? I would suspect it's been helpful to the relationships and other people yet hurtful to myself. The truths kept hidden are situations where I see wrong occurring or where words and actions have hurt me. I don't want to be open and truthful to release my hurts just to in turn hurt the other person(s).
When we keep our true feelings hidden are we actually pretending or are we doing what's best? Lisa wrote about being Born Pretenders. Oh how this section reminds me of my two young nieces (5 and 7). They LOVE to pretend like no other little girls, especially the older one. Pretend to be a baby. Pretend to work. Pretend to be mommy (of her sister). Pretend to be Hannah Montana. Oh how I greatly dislike her pretending to be like another person. I try to express to her how she is unique and wonderful without being someone else (a blonde or a star or whomever). Unlike Lisa who was hiding her pretending (of winning the pagent crown) from her dad, my nieces love to pretend and don't care who watches.
"Make no mistake about it: women are yearning for something real. We're hungry for truth and authenticity. We crave honesty. We want someone to cut through the fluff and get to the bottom line." Lisa mentioned Dr. Phil and I once watched him for a period of months. Ironically at a time in my life when I was pretending. Pretending all the issues would go away. Pretending things would be okay. Pretending God would magically appear (like Lucky Charms). Pretending it wasn't that bad. Pretending I wasn't emotionally dead. Pretending I wasn't that deep in pain.
What you're after is truth from the inside out. Psalm 51:6 MSG. Lisa challenged us by asking if this is true in our lives and if we recognize the need for greater authenticity in the world and our relationships. Amen and Amen, yes! I'm trying to be real in my relationships without scaring people away. I believe my personality of being raw and real about my life and my feelings can be scary and maybe "too much" for others. I'm a rather "deep" person and for some maybe it can come across too deep and not light-hearted enough. It's there, trust me!! (My niece asked me why I have "tootles" at the end of my cell phone greeting...that's why...balancing depth with light-heartedness.) In my relationships, I try to create an atmosphere to pull out the authenticity of others--giving them the opportunity to be real and share the good, the bad, and the ugly without fear of rejection, judgment, or the town hearing it. I'm not accusing anyone of being "fake" but rather wanting to show people that it is safe to be authentic and real with me. I believe many women hide their true feelings and their authenticity because we don't know with whom it is safe to lay our heart and soul. We've all been burned, some beaten it feels, by the pain of relationships...and from other women at that. I desire to be real with others and thus them real with me. Society is not use to the realness of people - the raw, the real, the reality of human flaws and weakness. Rather, we're taught to hide the real, which is the weakness, sins, and flaws. We are to be strong, flawless, pure, without blemish. Per society, anyway. The Truth is, Jesus can only use the weak, the flawed, the blemished, the damaged. So that is what I want to be so I can be used by Him.
Lisa asked us how we define authenticity and how we see it. I wrote in my book genuine, real, what you see is what you get. Sometimes, it can be hard and deceiving to discern authentic people in our lives and to know "how" to see it. However, I base it on words, actions, intensity of words, expressions, tone, and the such. Of course, with longevity comes better discernment. I've never really pondered on the authenticity in others much but this really has me thinking about how I need to pray for discernment of authentic people in my life. Those who truly seek out to befriend me who care about me beyond the surface and regardless of what they find beneath. It's amazing how a trial in one's life really does reveal those true friends, those friends whose authenticity is revealed.
Wow...Lisa's last challenge question...what is your deepest soul craving? My deepest soul craving at FIRST thought...if you know me, you know what it is...a restored and thriving relationship with someone for His glory. However, at deeper thought, it would really be to have a deeper relationship with God, deeper longing, deeper knowing of God, His plan, and His desires for me as His child--not as someone's friend, wife, daughter, sister, co-worker. But, as His servant, His child, His beloved.
Just Tellin' the Truth,