I read an autobiography the other week: FREEDOM FROM FRED by Anna Magdalene Handley. Anna goes to my church; I’ve known her for some time now. She’s an amazing woman, with an incredible life story… but the line that hit me most was this:
Deep inside is our truest expression: the more we pretend the more we die.
I love, love, LOVE this idea. So much so, I shared it with my 100+ students this morning at school.
Why? Because they’re teenagers, most susceptible (and not succeeding in dealing with) peer pressure.
I have kids who, in my office and in a one-to-one conversation, will be in tears with how they ‘want to change, want to do the right thing, want to focus on their schoolwork and be the kid their Mum/Dad wants them to be’ – and it’s genuine.
Then they walk out, and within five minutes, they’re back with their friends, invisible mask firmly in place, and are being the exact same person that they don’t want to be anymore.
Interestingly, when I was telling them this story this morning, there was silence. You could hear a pin drop. They knew I was talking to them, as individuals, they could identify themselves in my story, and they were being convicted in the talking.
Then I mentioned how, back a millennia or so ago, when I realised that *I* could drop my invisible mask and just be myself, that my friends just accepted me for who I was anyway. And just being myself was SO much easier! I didn’t have to use up all my energy trying to be someone else, trying to remember what I was meant to be like at home, as opposed to at school, or in whatever situations I found myself in. I could just be me.
And how freeing was that!
Being true to yourself. Hard sometimes – but worth it.
Have a great week, dear Reader!