What lies beneath your surface? What I see – what you’re willing to show me – when you present is about 10% of the real you. What lies beneath?
What is it that you are covering up? What do you fear? What about you nags at you that you truly don’t have what it takes?
Why do you pose? What motives lie beneath this false front you’ve created? Say that again – what motives lie beneath?
Motives. Think about that. What is your motive for presenting this “I’ve got it figured out” false self? What is your motive for snapping like a rattlesnake when your wife questions you?
We all have this false self we present. It is elaborate, sophisticated and practiced. It is habit. It is habituated – like software, it just boots up.
We’ve worked so hard to create this persona, this image that we want to present that our default is that it is automatically going to boot up and run. We have to work hard to stop it. We need to disentangle.
The false self becomes less and less efficient at producing life and as we discussed last week, it doesn’t draw people in. It pushes people away. We present this image and in reality, it is a buffer, a shell to keep people away. We desperately fear letting people in to see the true self. So we hide and we present.
It is an addiction and like any addiction, it never truly delivers. Just like booze or drugs or porn or an affair – they all promise an end to the pain and a deliverance but in reality, they snag you deeper into despair and isolation. So it is with the pose. It draws you in and – at all cost – you will maintain it lest anyone see you as a failure. The more you nurture it, the more addicted you become to it and the less and less it works. And, the more isolated you become.
A friend last night – “I’ve got about 10 guys all across the country that I can get on the phone or take a trip with and just be real. I have no one here locally. Why is that? What’s wrong with me? You know I can call up any of these guys and lay it out and confess I’m really struggling with _____ and yet, then right before I hang up, I can toss out this great closing that covers it up and smoothes it over and makes it look like life’s just great for me. What’s that all about?”
We are hiding. Each and every one of us.
Aware that we are not what we’re meant to be and desperately afraid of exposure, terrified of being seen for what we are (or are not), we run off to the bushes to hide and emerge with a shell around us. We hide at work. We hide at the gym. We hide behind our spirituality or our rigid, rules-based life. We hide behind our income or our title or our “manliness” of rugged, hard-scrabbled, hunting, country boy-ness. Most of what you encounter when you meet a man is a façade, an elaborate fig leaf. A brilliant disguise.
You only see the very tip of the iceberg.
Everything we are after in this study – after the wild at heart, the adventure, the beauty to fight for, the posing, the wounds – everything is about one thing, being fathered by God. That’s it. That’s the “secret” of Wild at Heart. It’s all about being fathered by God. By knowing, I mean really, truly knowing you are God’s beloved. That He adores you. That He’s proud of you and dreams great dreams for you. To truly feel that – to feel and know God loves you – that’s what we’re after.
One man said the other night at a gathering where we were sharing about out experience with Wild at Heart – “Is it OK that I take from all this simply a renewed focus on loving others? I mean can I just come out of this and just be better at loving my wife and my kids and others?” Yes, you can but the key thing you are going to miss if, that becomes your mission, is knowing and feeling and deeply enjoying that God himself truly loves you.
What God cares about in that iceberg at the top of this page is not the 10% above the surface that you let everyone else see. No, He wants the 90% below the surface. In fact, He wants the deepest, most painful parts, those parts buried in the very deepest waters of your soul. He wants the pain, the shame and the hurt. Drop the pose and offer up to God your deepest pains and your deepest longings and let Him father you in those.
Carrying these poses is very much like lugging around that iceberg every day. Freedom, great freedom, lies on other side of dropping the pose and no longer having to present this false front. It is honesty and transparency and integrity. Carrying the pose is exhausting. It will wear you slap out.
Aren’t you tired? Aren’t you ready to give up the pose and be authentic? Aren’t you ready to be washed clean and know God adores you? “Be still and know I am God.” Get quiet this week guys. Find a solitary place and go answer those questions from last week.
Be still and KNOW that you are God’s beloved.