Who Are We Really?

Who are we really?

I am currently listening to the audio book I Thought It Was Just Me by Brene Brown. She is a research professor at the University of Houston. She studies shame and the effects that we carry with us because of the shame messages we receive often beginning in childhood.

women, being real, who God created us to be, who am I, real women, fake women, how to be real women

She wrote this book, based on interviews she conducted with hundreds of women, in hopes of helping us all to recognize the many ways we are influenced by shame, especially the subtle ways via television, magazines and social media. She writes about ways we can alter those shame messages so we can be fully present in our relationships with those we care about.

She shared about a class she teaches for women only at the university. She asks them each to bring in their favorite fashion magazines. She supplies paper, scissors and glue and then instructs them to go through the magazines and find pictures that represent the way they want to look, including clothes, make-up, hair styles and all the body parts, making a collage with the chosen pictures.

These students eagerly cut and paste the perfect images that represent the way they each want to look. This part of the exercise is easy. Once complete they move on to the second half of the activity. She then tells them to look through the magazines and find pictures that represent how they really look. What they are wearing, how they did their hair and all the body parts. This half proves to be an exercise in futility. Some only find a pair of shoes to glue on the paper.

 

Who are we really?

Not the beautifully coiffed women portrayed on television. Not the perfectly sized and put together women who appear on the covers of these favorite magazines. Not the carefully chosen moments we see on social media feeds of the rich and famous, or even those we know personally.

Who are they really?

And then it hit me… this isn’t solely a woman issue. It’s a human issue. We long for our relationships to be like those unattainable ones we see in Hallmark movies or read about in the many romance novels, all the while knowing it isn’t reality, yet hoping that maybe it is…

Who are we really?

The perfect marriages-the couples always smiling and having fun together, traveling, driving nice cars, living in lovely homes? The put-together families-happy mothers, fathers and kids-who seem to have it all together all the time? The women who appear to effortlessly manage the monotony of the not-so-glamorous parts of mothering with the daily demands of careers, even in the most trying of times? The fathers and husbands who are attentive and fully present at the end of each long day?

Who are we really?

Certainly not the people manufactured by our modern culture. Shine it up and polish it to perfection and then roll it out, minute by minute, in hopes that woman and men, the world over will buy into the fallacy without question.

Who are we really?

We are unique, and beautifully created to be who God designed us to be. We are individuals, valuable and cherished by the Father who knows us intimately and loves us immensely. To be anything less is to dishonor ourselves, our God and our families.

Who are we really?

Spending time getting to know ourselves as we come to know God is the only way of finding the answer.

 

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Who Are We Really?

Who are we really?

I am currently listening to the audio book I Thought It Was Just Me by Brene Brown. She is a research professor at the University of Houston. She studies shame and the effects that we carry with us because of the shame messages we receive often beginning in childhood.

women, being real, who God created us to be, who am I, real women, fake women, how to be real women

She wrote this book, based on interviews she conducted with hundreds of women, in hopes of helping us all to recognize the many ways we are influenced by shame, especially the subtle ways via television, magazines and social media. She writes about ways we can alter those shame messages so we can be fully present in our relationships with those we care about.

She shared about a class she teaches for women only at the university. She asks them each to bring in their favorite fashion magazines. She supplies paper, scissors and glue and then instructs them to go through the magazines and find pictures that represent the way they want to look, including clothes, make-up, hair styles and all the body parts, making a collage with the chosen pictures.

These students eagerly cut and paste the perfect images that represent the way they each want to look. This part of the exercise is easy. Once complete they move on to the second half of the activity. She then tells them to look through the magazines and find pictures that represent how they really look. What they are wearing, how they did their hair and all the body parts. This half proves to be an exercise in futility. Some only find a pair of shoes to glue on the paper.

 

Who are we really?

Not the beautifully coiffed women portrayed on television. Not the perfectly sized and put together women who appear on the covers of these favorite magazines. Not the carefully chosen moments we see on social media feeds of the rich and famous, or even those we know personally.

Who are they really?

And then it hit me… this isn’t solely a woman issue. It’s a human issue. We long for our relationships to be like those unattainable ones we see in Hallmark movies or read about in the many romance novels, all the while knowing it isn’t reality, yet hoping that maybe it is…

Who are we really?

The perfect marriages-the couples always smiling and having fun together, traveling, driving nice cars, living in lovely homes? The put-together families-happy mothers, fathers and kids-who seem to have it all together all the time? The women who appear to effortlessly manage the monotony of the not-so-glamorous parts of mothering with the daily demands of careers, even in the most trying of times? The fathers and husbands who are attentive and fully present at the end of each long day?

Who are we really?

Certainly not the people manufactured by our modern culture. Shine it up and polish it to perfection and then roll it out, minute by minute, in hopes that woman and men, the world over will buy into the fallacy without question.

Who are we really?

We are unique, and beautifully created to be who God designed us to be. We are individuals, valuable and cherished by the Father who knows us intimately and loves us immensely. To be anything less is to dishonor ourselves, our God and our families.

Who are we really?

Spending time getting to know ourselves as we come to know God is the only way of finding the answer.

 

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