Joy, Love

Stop Lying to Yourself

Honesty. It’s easy to recognize the value of honesty. Honesty earns you the title “trustworthy” from others. Honesty provides a crucial foundation for solid and healthy relationships. Honesty validates your integrity. Honesty always leads you down the right path. I am willing to bet that you would say that you value honesty. I bet that you would also consider yourself an honest person.

Stop lying to yourself.

Literally. I mean it.

I consider myself an honest person. I feel guilty telling even a little white lie. I am as honest as I possibly can be with my feelings. I hold honesty at the top of the list in terms of my core values. But I was hit today with a big fat truth that wasn’t easy to stomach. As honest as I aim to be, I lie to myself. A lot.

My lies often come in the form of sentiments like “I’m not good enough” or “I don’t fit in.” When I’m faced with something I want to succeed at, I sometimes lie to myself and tell myself that I will fail – before I even get started. I know I can’t be the only one out there that tells these stupid lies.

If we can see the value in honesty toward others, we also need to recognize the value in speaking truth to ourselves. Tell yourelf you are loveable, capable, smart, strong, worthy….and quit lying to yourself.


Leading with Light

I was at an event last week that featured a panel of speakers. The event was held in a large room, full of windows and flooded with light. I couldn’t help but be drawn to a long shadow that was cast across the floor – a shadow of the panelists. Every single one looked identical. In the shadow you couldn’t see skin color, gender, religious beliefs, political affiliations, clothing style, sexual preference, or age. All you could see was a human form.

What a powerful illustration, I thought, in regard to how we view others, and in regard to how we lead with love. “Leading with Love” is essentially “Leading with Light.” It’s being bold enough to shine our own light and share that with others. And when we cast our light on others by treating them with kindness, patience, love, and the like, it becomes harder to see the differences between us. What’s cast off of a person when you shine your light on them is their human form.

It’s much harder to judge someone when all you can see is their humanness. It’s much harder to hate someone when all you can see is their humanness. It’s much harder to fight with someone when all you can see is their humanness. It’s much easier to love someone when all you can see is their humanness.

When we are stripped down to our humanness, or our core, we are much more similar than we are different. At our core, I think we are all really looking for the same things: to be loved, to belong, and to feel connected. And when we can see that first in others, before our differences, it’s a beautiful thing.


Believe the Best

Belief plays a large role in “Leading with Love.” Our beliefs determine our reality: our present and our future. If you believe you are blessed, you’ll never feel like you’re lacking anything. On the flip side, if you believe you were dealt a bum hand in life, than that’s the life you’ll have. **Sidenote and moment of brutal honesty: as I am writing this, I am struggling to fight the belief that I wasn’t made to blog.

Beliefs don’t just affect our outlook on life and our situations. They affect people too, and our ability to connect with others and build relationships. We have to believe the best in people too. My boyfriend and I were on a train the other day and were blessed to be sitting next to a transit cop who shared a wonderful story with us about a young man who he had met on the streets. He ended up becoming a mentor for this young man and helped him turn his life around – they now keep in touch regularly. Instead of writing this young man off as a lost cause, the officer looked at his individual situation and offered a little tough love and encouragement instead. The officer refers to his method of policing as “enforcing with compassion.” I call it “believing the best.”

It’s easy to believe the worst in people, and that belief could be based off of one short misrepresentative interaction. The mom with an unruly child (bad parent). The quiet person at work (b*tchy and anti-social). The person with the opposing viewpoint (stupid – and wrong). The teenage kid who makes a bad choice (lost cause). The list could continue.

But here’s the beautiful thing. It’s just as easy to believe the best in people (and ourselves!). Noone is perfect, and everyone struggles with something. Sometimes, the difference between a bad day and a great day for someone can be as simple as one person choosing to believe the best in them. Be that person. Believe the best!