Tag Archives: writing

Who is the REAL you?

“As a face is reflected in water, so the heart reflects the real person.”– A Proverb*‬ ‭

Who are you?

Do you ever ask yourself that question?

Who is the REAL you?

I am not talking about the social media you, the work or school you, the church you, the you you display for the benefit of others, or the you you wish you could be.

I am talking about who you really are?

When you are alone.
When no one else is watching.
When it is just you and your thoughts.
When you do not have to pretend anymore.

I really do believe that a big part of contentment comes from knowing who you REALLY are and what you believe about life, and then having the courage and integrity to be that person in EVERY part and place of your life.

Duplicity is exhausting.
Authenticity is freeing.

Authentic integrity comes when your boundaries, ethics and morals are the same in EVERY context. There is no need for lying, acting or pretense. You are not different with different people.

Because you know who you really are!!

“Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do. “– Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

Of course we need to learn what is required of us in different contexts. We will not be as relaxed with a group of strangers as we are with our families at home. And yet I believe that we can still be authentic in every situation, without telling people EVERYTHING! 

Authenticity is simply about being ‘REAL’ and genuine. It’s doing away with pretending. It’s linked to humility which is being honest about our reality – whether good OR bad.

You do not need to make yourself appear better or make yourself look worse. You are not trying to ‘impress people’ or trying to get them to like you. It’s just being honest in all you say and do …. however that makes you look, regardless of how others treat you!

from darkness

I have learnt a lot about humility since I started this blog! I really do believe some people think that people like me start writing publicly or similar, assuming they are good at it and that people will want to read what they have to say. Or out of pride – to get their ‘name’ out there in the world and share their opinions.

Of course that might be the motive of some!

But I have learnt how much humility and vulnerability it can take to write and launch it into the public realm. Particularly when you decide to write with brutal honesty about both the good and the bad times, the pain and the moments of celebration, your strengths and your weaknesses.

Writing has been a humbling journey for me. When I post my writing online the ‘insecure me’ whispers…. ‘why do you bother, is anyone actually going to read it, what if they don’t like it, will it really help someone else, are you actually achieving anything here or wasting your time?’ But the ‘courageous me’ tells my insecurity to keep quiet and says… ‘I am going to post it DESPITE all of the above. If it helps one person then it is worth it and if it helps me to work through my own thoughts, then it has purpose there too!’

You soon realise people who ‘put themselves out there’ to write, produce music, create artwork, go on TV or publish talks etc, ALWAYS do so facing the challenge of ‘public opinion.’ Sometimes it’s actually easier to stay quiet and hide in the background, than it is to put your name to something and post it for all to see. Particularly when you are revealing very real, and sometimes very raw, information about your life journey.

“To put our art, our writing, our photography, our ideas out into the world with no assurance of acceptance or appreciation – that’s also vulnerability.”
– Brene Brown

But if we want to truly connect with others, we need to share our WHOLE story, even when it makes us feel vulnerable or uncomfortable. The story of the REAL us. And that will always be a challenge in a world of ‘opinions’. It is hard to share your heart when you are unsure of others reactions, or if you fear rejection.

“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” – E.E. Cummings

It certainly takes courage to be bold in who we really are!! Regardless of what others think. To be the same person whether alone at home with our family or writing publicly for anyone to read.

And yet,

Sooner or later our true hearts will begin to show and be reflected through our actions and words. People around us will begin to see who we truly are anyway.

So why try to hide it?

Why cover it over and try to present a ‘better version’ of me! It’s better they see the ‘real me’ early on so it doesn’t instead creep up on them when they least expect it. If I pretend to be someone I am not, people will just get disappointed in the end – when they discover I am still full of faults and weaknesses.

I want to be known as a person of integrity. Someone who is solid and unchanging in every context. A person who’s true heart is openly displayed for all to see.

The good AND the not so good.

So that there is no duplicity, there are no unwelcome surprises for those who are getting to know me. If I am being kind – I really do mean it! I am not then going to say ‘unkind things’ about you when you are not around to hear it.

It is only then that I can know a depth of relationship and human connection with others that comes from allowing myself to truly be KNOWN. A love that allows itself to be seen and shown, regardless of how it is received. A grace that accepts and opens it’s heart to who others really are – regardless of their weakness too.

A heart that is tender and open. And welcomes others to freely join with me on our challenging human adventure through life. An honest journey of…

Up’s AND downs.
Joys AND pain.
Failures AND victories.

So that we can learn, encourage, cheer one another on and grow together. Because it’s in the TOGETHER that we will find our true strength!

Especially when our together, allows us room to be our true ‘exposed’ selves as well – and chooses to love and be kind regardless….. Whether we always agree with one another or not!

There is such beauty in our unique human diversity anyway?

“Art finds its deepest value when it is the authentic expression of a deep human experience. Art becomes profound when it exposes us, explains us, or inspires us.” – Erwin McManus


*Proverbs ‭27:19 from the Bible. 

Advertisements

Thoughtless words can wound as deeply as any sword

WORDS are sometimes easy to say.
Sometimes they are hard.
They can be too many.
Or too few.
They have the power to WOUND.
And the power to HEAL.

How do you use your words?

Each of us have different strengths and weaknesses when it comes to words.

We can be GOOD with them.
Communicate well.
Inspire, encourage and build others up.

Or we can be BAD with them.
Communicate badly.
Say the wrong thing at the wrong time and hurt people.

Communication isn’t always easy or simple. We ALL get it wrong at times, both intentionally and unintentionally. We can say too much or we can say too little.

It is not always easy to get right and even when we think we have, we can find that someone heard it all wrong anyway.

We know that good communication builds strong relationships and bad communication can tear them apart. But it isn’t always simple to navigate and it certainly takes a lot of wisdom.

Words can sometimes fly too freely from our mouths. It is not until later on that we might realise we didn’t think long or hard enough beforehand about how we communicated them. We gave too little thought to their consequences.

An old proverb says:

Thoughtless words can WOUND as deeply as any sword, but wisely spoken words can heal. (‭Proverbs‬ ‭12‬:‭18.‬ The Bible)

Can you relate to that Proverb?

I know I can.

WORDS copy

I can remember one time during my first or second year at secondary school (age 11/12). I had a friend that I would sit next to in my tutor group. We used to spend quite a bit of time together in and out of school. Then one day another friend told me that on that morning, as I came down the path towards the classroom, someone said “Becky is coming” and this girl had apparently responded, “Oh no, she is so annoying, I can’t believe I have to sit next to her.”

Someone I thought was my friend didn’t like to be with me.

Those words hurt.

They attack your confidence and your trust.

Our words matter.
They are not easily forgotten and cannot be taken back.
Badly spoken words can wreck relationships and hurt others.

We cannot change what we have said in the past. We also cannot change what others have said to or about us. But we can choose to use own our words differently, both today and in the future.

We can turn the tide and use more thoughtful and wise words to HEAL others.

Thoughtless words can wound as deeply as any sword, but wisely spoken words can HEAL. (‭Proverbs‬ ‭12‬:‭18‬. The Bible)

I have been thinking about how wise and thoughtful words can heal and how can we use them more. Here are some of my conclusions.

WORDS scripture copy

KIND WORDS BUILD PEOPLE UP
Using kind words can have more impact than you can imagine. In the same way that we remember words that hurt us. We can also remember significant kind words, especially when they are given during a difficult times.

I can remember times when a short message on a card or a text has meant a lot and held much significance.

Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless. – Mother Teresa

ENCOURAGEMENT COUNTERACTS CRITICISM
We all face negativity and criticism. It seems all too easy for us and others to complain, moan and point out all the faults in what others do. In a world that can often hear a lot more negatives than positives we desperately need people who choose to encourage. Who are thankful and appreciative of others. Who choose to see what is right rather than just what is wrong.

“Encouragement is the oxygen of the soul.” -John Maxwell

BELIEF RESTORES HOPE
Expressing your belief in someone can restore their hope and vision for the future. People find it all too easy to pull one another apart but the words ‘I believe in you and what you are doing’ can be life changing and counteract discouragement and disappointment.

“Worry weighs a person down; an encouraging word cheers a person up.” -The Bible: (Proverbs‬ ‭12‬:‭25‬)

KIND WORDS ARE GENEROUS
We often think about generosity in terms of money or gifts. But we can also be generous with our words. Offering someone a kind word, compliment or encouragement can be a form of generosity because it puts that person first and shows that you are thinking about them. It takes time, effort and humility to reach out to someone with kindness.

One of the best gifts you can anyone is encouragement. If everyone received enough the world would blossom beyond our wildest dreams. – Nicky Gumbel

WRITTEN WORDS CAN BE HELD ON TO
When someone writes thoughtful words down for you, you can re-read them, hold onto them and treasure them. I am sure many of us hold onto particular cards and letters with messages that really spoke to us at that time.

These can be invaluable during difficult times in our lives. They remind us that someone, somewhere does care.

USING KIND WORDS BLESSES US TOO
When we give a gift of kind words to others we find that we get blessed too. Good communication builds strong relationships with others. It encourages others to use similar words back. It helps us to feel good in sharing them. We get the focus off ourselves and think about how we can help another and that always helps us to feel better too.


The Proverb is so true. Thoughtless words DO wound deeply, but thoughtful, wisely spoken words DO heal.

Good words not only build others up but they can also heal the wounds inflicted by other thoughtless words. That is why our words are so powerful. They really can change lives.

Would you rather be a person who wounds or one that heals?

I know who I would rather be!

Be generous with your time and your resources and with giving credit and, especially, with your words. It’s so much easier to be a critic than a celebrator. Always remember there is a human being on the other end of every exchange. – Maria Popova

How do you think words can heal? Do you have any examples from your life?

Pressing on…..Regardless. My journey to starting a blog in 2015.

It’s a new year. A new day. A new season. What will it bring? What changes will evolve or be thrust upon us this year? What new challenges will we face? And what new adventures shall we embrace?

At the start of 2015 I have decided to put to paper (or I should say screen) what I have felt for a while in my heart. I am going to start to write. Everyone who knows me well knows that I love words. This is because I believe that words are powerful.

Words have the power…
to uplift,
encourage,
inspire,
motivate,
and touch people deeply.

Words can also….
take away,
hurt,
damage,
control
and wound people deeply.

Words, whether used rightly or wrongly, are powerful. So at the start of 2015 I have decided to start writing. This year that ‘writing’ begins in this blog.

I have been considering doing this for a couple of years. But when I have thought it through I have usually dismissed the idea asking:

Who am I to write?
Who wants to listen to what I have to say?
What am I going to write about?
What if no one reads it?
What is the point of writing if not to be read and heard?

However, then as we approached 2015 I felt that prodding again in my heart. To PRESS ON REGARDLESS!

writing

Regardless of:
Who wants to listen.
The impact quantified.
The applause given.
The approval gained.

Because none of that is important. (It feels important at the time but the importance gained is only temporal). When your heart says write. You should write. When God says write, you should listen, and respond…… Regardless!

Because life is not about:
The approval gained.
The applause given.
The impact quantified.
Who wants to listen.

It is about following the still small voice in your heart that knows you better than you know yourself. The one who knows the future panned out for you. Who created you for a purpose. The author of life. And the architect of words.

So in 2015 I choose to write. And primarily I write for an audience of one. Because that is what is right. Because that is all that really matters.

And yet….
If anyone else is inspired, encouraged or challenged by these words. Let it be so. I write because this is who I am. I write because this is who I was created to be. And in 2015 my resolution is to write.

Regardless of the ifs and buts.
Regardless of the results.

So today, I invite you & others to join me on this personal journey of courage (it is taking a lot of that) as I explore life with words, thoughts and observations. As I attempt to somehow convey some of the complexities, perceptions, questions & thoughts that fly around my mind.

I do still hope that some of you might connect with the words. Be inspired. Be encouraged. And maybe at times even challenged.

And if I do look for a response – let it be this: That you will also find the courage to pursue what is impressed upon your own hearts. Regardless of the ‘results’.

writing