Saturday, February 20, 2010

Who Are You?

One of my favorite comedians of all time is Chris Rock. Chris Rock is raw and unfiltered yet he is also highly intelligent. I remember one of his stand up specials when he talked about dating. He said he hated dating because people always seemed to bring their "representatives." It got me thinking about how that can be true for most aspects of life. In this round and round dance of life we meet so many people along the way. However, have you ever asked yourself are the people you meet...well...are they really who they say they are?

I have been fortunate to meet so many special people in my life, but I have meet many folks who play a great game of poker in life. They present one set of cards when they really have something else in the cards they are keeping from you. Who are these people? Whey are they so evasive? And maybe, just maybe you should be asking that question of yourself...who are you? Do you develop relationships with others and bring the real you to the table or do you bring the you that hides in the dark and gives only glimpses of who you really are. Ask yourself another question...why would you hide?

The answer is one that lives deep inside our collective hearts as human beings. We do not want other people to judge our flaws and the actions that we have done that we are ashamed of. And to a certain extent I can see why we as people don't tell it all because telling it all and being the real you means there is nothing left to conceal. You are essentially naked emotionally. That is a very difficult road to walk, but one that I believe we all must walk in order to answer the question of who are we? Think about it. Who are you? What defines you? What drives you? What is your center? Do you even have a center? Your life, my life, our lives are about honesty, trust and a belief that we are being the person we are meant to be even if that means that we must acknowledge the people that we used to be.

I know in my life that I have experienced severe embarrassment. I have lied, I have hurt others and I have been wrong over and over again. I will not hide from it though. I will acknowledge that my flaws and my wrongdoings have made me stronger as a person. My past may have given me a sense of embarrassment from time to time, but I can't hide from it and act like it did not happen. What happened happened and in the end I am grateful to have experienced it. It has helped me become who I am today and it has helped me answer the question of who am I and who am I to others.

One of my mottos is no secrets, no lies. My wife and I have never lied to each other about the complexities of our marriage and we have never withheld any secrets. My wife knows the darkest parts of me from my past and she will experience my failures in our future and she will still love me for who I am...flaws and all. With her I am not afraid to be the mistake filled human being that I am because I am just that...human. No representatives here, no secrets, no lies. I can be me and I ask the same of those in my life.

Be real with me and be honest with me. Be honest with each other. Don't play games so people wonder who you are. Be a person of integrity, strong character and never ever be afraid to bear the truth of your transgressions to those that have your best interests at heart because if people truly love you then that does not fade. Love endures, loves conquers all that you think about while you sleep, all that you sweat about when you slip up, all that you obsess about when you hide away in your problems. Real people accept real problems are part of your life and they still care for you.

I'll leave you all with this story. My pastor at my church in Virgina told me a story that changed me forever about being open and being there for those who tell you who they really are. Pastor Dave and his family befriended a pimp who was dying from the various conditions related to his lifestyle. During the six months before this guy died, Pastor Dave and his family took this man into their lives and loved him even though he had done shameful things with women and to women. Pastor Dave and his family took this man out bowling with them and to other functions. They heard all of this man's stories about his life and what he had done. They heard horrible things, difficult things, but they never flinched. They never judged this man. You know what they did? They accepted this man. They brought him closer and they made him live up to higher expectations. They were tough on him, but always were there for him. I can remember Pastor Dave telling me this story and saying that even though this guy died eventually from his conditions that this guy lived a better and more honest life in those six months than he did in all of his years on the earth. He finally was able to be himself. No representative, no secrets, no lies. He was heart was free.

Don't you want to be free? Don't you want to have the courage to tell someone you care about all the stuff about you...the good and the bad? Don't you want to be able to show up in the lives of others in a real way even if that means you have to be tough sometimes?

Start today. No secrets, no lies. Just the truth.

Dr. D
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