“What if the opposite of good wasn’t bad? What if the opposite of good was real?”

Claire Dederer

My friend Krista sent me that quote. It took me a hot second to digest it. Huh? Real? Then I thought about good, and these statements came flooding into my mind.

 Be good.

Do good.

Think good thoughts.

Focus on the good.

Be a good girl.

Be a good Christian.

Be a good mom.

Yikes, a few of those statements struck my heart. They sting my heart so much that I could cry. What one of those statements makes you take pause?

I had lived 30 some years, making sure that I was good at everything. If I had died during that era, I’m 100% that my tombstone would have read:

“Here lies Holly Michele Davis

A good woman.”

I would have been proud of that statement.  Who doesn’t want to be good and do good? Good is being nice, approved of, pleasing, quality, worthy. But when good super-cedes your ability to be real, that’s when the lies enter in. When wanting to prove your worthiness more than admitting it’s hard to be a human who hasn’t figured it out, that’s when real becomes bad. And good becomes the opposite of real.

Being good lead me to lose my identity and greatly fearing my own emotions. I didn’t know how to express myself. I sure as heck was not being authentic! My fear paralyzed me from voicing my struggles because I couldn’t be good and struggle; at least, that’s what the lies were telling me. My desire to be approved of and called worthy left me wearing a backpack filled with some mighty heavy stones to lug around.

Let me rephrase those statements.

Be real.

Do real.

Think real thoughts.

Focus on what is real.

Be a real girl.

Focus on what is real.

Be a real mom.

Be a real Christian.

It’s about balance. Authenticity is a balance of both good and real. It’s about being good and kind and moral, yet struggling along the way of life’s journey. Some days being your true self doesn’t always look pretty, but it will always encourage others that they are not alone. And then every third Wednesday, being authentic is a triumphant moment of living your purpose and giving courage to others that they can do the same.

Take pause and do an inventory of your life. Where is good overruling your true self? Where have in your life are you sitting in a valley of self pity, forgetting to be kind to others? 

Journey Well,