I majored in psychology in college and I planned to go on to become a psychotherapist but after kids, my plans changed (but hey, who says you have to be in a counseling group to do therapy; I do plenty here with my kids!). Even though I love what I am doing now and getting this amazing time with the two most adorable little people on the face of the planet, I miss the discipline. Some of my favorite practical authors in this area are Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend so I started reading their book How People Grow. It's been very interesting and even encouraging to me and I'd like to share one of the more profound points and what I've been thinking about it.
Dr. Cloud and Dr. Townsend make the point that truth is our friend. In spite of any uncomfortable realizations or even pain it brings when we acknowledge it, it can only help us. Oftentimes, we try to convince ourselves that reality is only a miss-perception and that we aren't at fault or something really wasn't the way that it looked or that it wasn't that bad but, this altering of reality in our minds, or denial, keeps us from being able to deal with it. Denial won't let us grow in our mistakes. It hurts at the time and no one likes admitting their faults or acknowledging a bad situation but, ironically, it is this acceptance of ourselves and our position that lets us see how much we need God and finally get us on our path to growth. It hurts a lot less than being stuck in our brokenness.
Sounds simple like most truths are but, hard to put into practice. I think that is why community is so important because if we don't have good and honest friends who really love us enough to talk about the not so fun stuff, it is hard to see it ourselves and easier to ignore it. Being honest about who we are isn't a bad thing; it is a mark of maturity that we all too often miss in our airbrushed world. It is refreshing and authentic. It is in our flaws that we see how God is strong. Quite literally, the truth will set us free.