Getting Real

“We need to do life authentically to help people feel at home within their being.  When we liberate ourselves we liberate each other.” — Rev. Erin McCabe
 
Rev. Erin McCabe is the pastor of Unity Village Chapel. Although we do not live near Kansas City where her church is located, as an “online congregant” I consider her my pastor.
 
Recently Erin spoke on authenticity and our need to be real with each other. In this online age we seem to have trouble with that don’t we? Is what your online followers see only you at your very best?  Or maybe what they see is you “touched up” to cover up your “flaws.”
 
Dr. Melissa West, my online yoga teacher often talks about how the people we see calmly posed in contortionist poses are “yoga models.” She then goes on to explain that due to the way our individual bodies are put together, we may never be able to do some poses and that’s okay. Her focus is on “real yoga for real people” and she gets real in class even about what her own body will and won’t do.
 
We live in a world where we are pressured to be perfect, because of course everyone else is, right? Wrong. We all live in a world trying to be “better and better” because we do not believe  we are enough. So we strive and strive for that perfect body… job… house… life.. still feeling we are not enough.
 
I try to be conscious of this online, but I still get an occasional person who will say something like, “All this positive thinking stuff is fine for you, but my life is hard!” I try to let you see the real me struggles and all, but because I choose to not make my life about those struggles, perhaps they get lost along the way.  
 
So here is me getting real again. If you watch Espirational Live! on Facebook you will see me in all my natural glory just as I appear in real life  — graying hair, wrinkles, no make-up, those few extra pounds I carry, what some people consider a really obnoxious laugh and all. What some may see as our perfect retirement at the lake is like many peoples lives. We bought a nice house we can afford, but it is a manufactured home — a trailer. In the eyes of some that would make us “trailer trash.” The beautiful lake we love so much floods  — three times in the three years we have been here. We don’t always agree with our neighbors. Bob’s retirement many people envy was forced by health issues before we were “ready.” Like most people we are always looking for ways to bring in extra money to help make ends meet. In my young adult life I struggled to come out of a time of great physical and emotional difficulty alive and almost didn’t. But now 30 years later I can look back and thank God for where I am in this moment.
 
What makes us different is that we choose to focus on the good, the positive, the God in our lives. We know we create our reality with our thoughts so we try to make them good ones.  
 
We are all fellow travelers on the journey called life. We need to remember to share our stories, of hardship and survival as well as overcoming to encourage each other along the way while we keep moving forward in the light.
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