Goooood morning, Mini-Women! You've done a great job of welcoming our newest members -- ERIN AND KELLAH -- and telling LIANNA, we're glad she's back after being gone for a while. I'm adding my cheers, too -- we love having you here and we hope you feel like part of the community right away.
You've arrived just in time for our Summer Series, which will take us through the alphabet with words that every God-lovin' girl needs to not only KNOW, but BE.
Wednesday I asked you to think of words beginning with the letter A (this is feeling like Sesame Street!) that we need to have in our vocabularies as mini-women of faith. You came up with an AWESOME LIST ...
ATTITUDE ABUNDANCE ACKNOWLEDGE ASSURANCE AWESOME AMAZING ACCEPTABLE ADMIT ALMIGHTY ADVOCATE AFFUSION (which means "baptism" -- something I didn't know) ADVENTURE ABIDE AMUSED
They're ALL hugely important and I could write a post on any one of them. The one I've chosen -- and both ANA and ASHER did too -- is --
That's where it all starts between us and God. Here's what I mean:
* You were created by God to be a unique, real person. That's your soul. That's who you are.
* The trouble is, as soon as we enter this world -- which tends to be separate from God -- we find out that being who we are doesn't always feel safe. So we start covering up some of our real-ness
* After a while we can't tell the difference between who we truly are and who we pretend to be so the world won't make fun of us, hurt us, reject us.
* Our life with God is all about returning to our true self so we can serve the world the way God intends for us to. The only power we really have is the power to be ourselves.
* Authentic is the word that describes a person who is REAL no matter what.
Now, because we're human beings, we aren't going to be perfectly authentic all the time. I've been working on authenticity my whole adult life and I'm not totally "there" yet. But I'll share with you what I do to keep myself real. I'll put it in steps that you can take. (You'll need your Talking To God Journal -- will someone explain what that is for ERIN and KELLAH?) This is Zooey's journal, which she's written in CODE! How cool is that?
STEP ONE -- In your journal, write about the last time you knew you were being fake -- not acting like your real self -- trying to fit in or impress somebody or just feeling awkward.
STEP TWO -- Draw or describe or find a picture that shows what that felt like and put it in your journal. It should be an image, like "One Big Clumsy Foot" or "the Incredible Shrinking Girl." When I'm not being my authentic self, I feel like everything on me is pointy -- kind of like this:
STEP THREE -- The next time you're in a situation where you feel that way, that picture will now come to mind like a signal, like a warning that says, "EVE, you aren't being your true self right now!" Or "LIANNA, drop the act. You can just be you."
It can be scary. After all, you wouldn't be trying to act all sophisticated like the girls you're with if you hadn't been teased by them. You wouldn't pretend not to be smart in math if the boys in your class hadn't put you down for thinking you were all that. You wouldn't get the over-the-top giggles at the worst possible times if you felt safe in those situations. Right?
So, yeah, being real can take you out of your comfort zone. And right into God zone. Trust me on this, my mini-women, there is nothing more attractive than a person who is at home with who she is. There's more to this than I can say in one blog post, so if you want to learn more about absolutely being your authentic self, you can read Everybody Tells Me To Be Myself But I Don't Know Who I Am. (If you look it up on Amazon, it will have a different cover but it's still the same book)
For now, there are two things you can comment on:
(1) Describe to us the image you found for your false self. Mine was "Pointy Person". Yours might be "Big Blob" or "Tiny Dot" or "One Large Mouth That Won't Stop Moving." If you've drawn or found a picture for your false self, please email me with your picture and I'll post it Tuesday.
(2) Tell us what B words you can come up with for our Alphabet for God-Lovin' Mini-Women.
And of course, have an AWESOME, AMAZING, AMUSING ... AUTHENTIC weekend.
I hope a whole BUNCH of you will be joining us for the Google+ Live Broadcast Hangout on Sunday. Submit your bullying and friendship questions to me by email and spread the word!