In Others’ Words: Choosing You

Beth Vogt In Others' Words, Life 19 Comments

Tension Proverb 2.27.14The 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? 


Friends don’t let friends be inauthentic Click to Tweet

Tension is who you think you should be Click to Tweet

Comments 19

  1. 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!

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  2. 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.

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  3. 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?

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      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. “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.


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      1. 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. 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!

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  6. 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!

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      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.

  7. 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. 🙂

  8. 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 🙂

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