Would I Lie To You?

psalm-9-verse-10Some of my readers may remember this epic Eurythmics song, a foot-tapping, hard-rocking, sing it at the top of your lungs song that was popular in the 80s. In short, it’s about Ms. Annie Lenox kickin’ someone to the curb for lying to her and her emphatic proclamation as she walks out the door that she will be just fine.

It’s likely all of us can relate to this song at some point in our lives. You’ve probably been the recipient of a variety of untruths – whether it was from a friend, spouse, co-worker, boss and even our government. But I’m not going there today. Like you, I’ve enough of the “g” word lately.

Who do you trust? Who do you believe? What is your truth?

These are big questions I’ve had to face – and perhaps you have too. Like me, you may have been lied to once or twice, let down by those in your life who you thought you could trust. Perhaps it wasn’t even people but things you trusted. We’ve all experienced the crushing blow when we unwrap that new trinket only to find it is broken or worse, a piece is missing. (Can you say kid’s toys on Christmas Eve?)

For me, trust is the foundation of any relationship. I consider myself to be a trustworthy and loyal person. If you share something with me, it will never leave my lips unless you’ve given me express permission to do so. Because of this strongly-held belief, I’m a bit dogmatic when someone breaks that trust and I or a loved one gets hurt. It’s likely my “mama bear” instinct protecting the cubs in her life.

This is when I have to work hard to separate the person from their actions or in other words, separate their “who” from their “do”. We are very much a “do” society – judging others by their accomplishments, their titles or their status. We are so awed by this that when these people fall from grace, we are left scratching our heads wondering what happened. What happened is that their “do” was more important to them than their “who”.

Many years ago, I worked with a life-coach to help me figure out my “who”. For more than 3 decades, I had defined myself by what I had done. College degrees, promotions and fancy titles were the basis of my self-worth. If I wasn’t crossing off endless items on a to-do list, I wasn’t being a good mom. If my house wasn’t spic and span, I wasn’t being a good hostess. If I didn’t follow all the rules, I wasn’t being a good team player at work.

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Take all of those “do’s” away and I was left floundering, questioning my value on this earth. I’m reminded of a phone conversation I had with my Mom when I turned forty. Through my tears, I said, “I’m forty years old! What have I done with my life?” It was clear as a bell to me that I equated my value with my accomplishments. Sadly I don’t recall my Mom’s response, but I can guess with her advancing age that she said something like “40? That’s young!”

Given the longevity gene my family has, it’s likely my 40th birthday meltdown was the beginning of a mid-life crisis. It’s taken me more than a decade to leave behind my “do” list and start to concentrate on my “who” list. Can you say “work in progress”?

After being laid off twice, it’s clear that my treasured “do’s” were not valued enough to keep me employed. In fact, as job application after job application go unanswered, I’m discovering that all of my “do’s” are likely hurting me as companies don’t want to pay for people with a lot of experience. Putting my trust in my “do’s” is not likely to land me the job of my dreams. It’s my “who” that may be the ticket.

But how do you put your trust in who you are? How does that work actually? For me it boils down to one simple truth that I have held on to like a dog on a bone. It’s a truth that many have forgotten in my opinion. It’s a truth that if reclaimed, might actually be the answer to millions of questions. It’s a truth that if embraced in your guts could turn your life around. It’s a truth that was oddly uttered by Mufasa in the Disney movie, “Lion King” to a confused and lost Simba.

“Remember who you are.”

I may have done a lot of things in my time on earth, but who I am is a child of God. A child of the creator of the universe who loves me beyond all comprehension, who values me more than all of my “do’s”, whose trust is unwavering, whose forgiveness is never-ending, whose promise to never forsake me will not be broken.

This is where I choose to place my trust, not in humans or organizations or things that will fail me. It’s His voice I hear in my heart each morning that I know is my truth. That’s the voice I listen to because it’s the only voice I trust.

What are the voices you are trusting in your life? Are they worthy of your trust? Or are they lying to you as they did Ms. Lenox? I encourage you to take stock of the voices you are allowing to guide you. Unless they are telling you to listen to the voice in your heart, where all truth and love resides, it’s likely they are steering you in the wrong direction.

“Those who know your name trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you.” (Psalm 9:10)

Jen’s Gem: Separate your “who” from your “do”. That’s your truth.

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Jennifer Covello, Copyright 2011-2024