In Others’ Words: Choosing You

Tension Proverb 2.27.14 The best of friends call us out on things.

There was the day my friend Faith saw me caught up in a swirl of expectations — my expectations for myself, as well as all the imaginary and real expectations that other people had for me. I allowed the unspoken should’s and ought’s to overwhelm me and distort me into some sort of misshapen is-everybody-happy? woman.

I was tense, worn out, hollow … fake.

My friend taught me a valuable lesson that day: Friends don’t let friends be inauthentic.

Faith’s whispered question — What is going on with you? —  helped me step out of the tension of who I thought I had to be. I relaxed … and remembered who I was.

In Your Words: Where’s the dial set on your life today: TENSION or RELAXATION? Are you being who you think you should be … or being who you are? 


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  1. February 26, 2014, 6:41 am   /  Reply

    Oh, wow! Hollow. I needed that word today to describe a character. As for me, I am learning to relax in the middle of chaos. God knows my deadlines. My job is to do what he called me to do. Take a deep breath and r.e.l.a.x. He has it!

    • February 26, 2014, 12:58 pm   /  Reply

      So glad I could help you find the right word today, Pat. And yes, relax, known God has this … He has you!

  2. February 26, 2014, 6:46 am   /  Reply

    Authentic is such a good word, an original, not a fake. I’m thankful for good friends who sometimes see clearly and help me define who I am and where I’m going more authentically than my own appraisal–if I go to them. If I don’t, I’m in the world of hurt many Proverbs describe regarding those who don’t let counsel and truth from others enter their lives.

    • February 26, 2014, 12:59 pm   /  Reply

      As I’ve gotten older, I’ve surrounded myself more and more with those who allow me to be my authentic self. Such freedom in the choosing.

  3. February 26, 2014, 7:45 am   /  Reply

    Beth, you always make me think, and so often hit topics that I’ve been considering in my own heart!

    I’ve got no choice now but to live authentically. Not enough time for anything else, and for that I’m grateful. I don’t always like the authenticity…I didn’t realize that sometimes I’m like someone with Tourette’s on permanent send, a holdover from contracting days…but I have to admit that even though I don’t like it, it does make me smile.

    As it recently made a pastor smile, when I unthinkingly ended a prayer with a heartfelt affirmative expletive rather than “Amen!”

    It was a good belly laugh for both of us, and relaxing sense of relief, if that makes sense.

    So maybe our authenticity helps others?

    • February 26, 2014, 1:01 pm   /  Reply

      I do believe our authenticity helps others — sometimes we make others smile … and sometimes we give others permission to be their true selves.
      Can I get an Amen?


  4. February 26, 2014, 8:34 am   /  Reply

    “Friends don’t let friends be inauthentic.”

    Brilliant, Beth. That’s what I feel like you do here on your blog. You’re so truthful and honest, it makes me feel like I can be myself and not have to put on the mask society tries to push at me. The world today doesn’t seem to want to see the real us, but we must give it to them anyway.

    Today, I’m feeling relaxed. I’m being me. As soon as I’m done on the net this morning, I’ll be working on my wip for the first good time since the Olympics. Oh, it’s going to feel great, getting back to my writing.

    Thanks for always posting things that get me thinking. It’s that challenge I appreciate when I come here.


    • February 26, 2014, 1:04 pm   /  Reply

      Thanks for the encouragement, Andreas — but then, that’s just natural for you!

      • March 3, 2014, 10:31 am   /  Reply

        It may be natural for me now, but it didn’t used to be! I’m glad it is now, though. It’s something I’ve worked on since I was around 10 or 12. God still works miracles, let me tell you. 🙂

  5. February 26, 2014, 9:37 am   /  Reply

    When I chose Discipline as my focus for 2014, I discovered an unexpected benefit. Focusing on God’s calling and drawing on his strength to be obedient erased any desire or energy to focus on expectations – either mine or others.

    It’s not been easy but so freeing!

    • February 26, 2014, 1:04 pm   /  Reply

      Love this, Sherry!

  6. February 26, 2014, 10:39 am   /  Reply

    Whether “Faith” is a real person or “your faith” … faith is truly our friend. Thank you, Beth.

    • February 26, 2014, 1:05 pm   /  Reply

      Faith is indeed a very real person, Shelli — and a truly precious friend.

  7. Susan Tuttle
    February 26, 2014, 12:20 pm   /  Reply

    I’m definitely more relaxed than I used to be. I think some of that comes with age. There’s so much I’d love to go back and tell myself, especially in regards to being who I thought I should be based on others’ expectations:) But all those lessons are what finally got me to here. Really like today’s quote, Beth!

    • February 26, 2014, 1:06 pm   /  Reply

      Learning to relax and be me has come with age — definitely agree with that.
      And it has also come with learning who I am in God’s eyes — and not looking for approval from others.

  8. February 26, 2014, 2:09 pm   /  Reply

    Wise, thought-provoking words, my Friend. I’m so thankful for honest friendships instead of “yes-men.” Those friends keep me real, grounded, and loved even when I’m prickly. 🙂

  9. February 27, 2014, 5:52 pm   /  Reply

    I was tense, worn out, hollow … fake.

    Beth, this post is brilliance expressed in an economy of words. More importantly, it is capital-T Truth that we must embrace in community. So well said, sister Beth. Timely too.
    And that quote–perfect. I would love to meet C. Proverb. He’s got a lot of good insights 🙂

  10. February 27, 2014, 7:57 pm   /  Reply

    I love when friends care enough to ask “What’s going on?” Sometimes that’s all it takes to bring down the walls. Love this, Beth.

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