Saturday, October 8, 2016

Transforming Your Mess into a Message

A few weeks ago, I wrote that God is a tough sell. In another article, I reminded you that tough doesn't mean impossible, and that the key to selling God is to be willing to share your personal faith story with them so that they can see God working in your life and open up to the possibility of letting Him work in theirs. And I also reminded you that the story needs to be open, honest, and completely vulnerable in order to be effective.

Your Mess Is Where Your Message Lies.

That means you have to be open with others about the mess that's in your life. If I ask the majority of people whether their lives are a mess or not, they are going to vehemently deny that there is any mess there. Why? They don’t want me to judge their mess.

However, until they can be completely honest about their mess, they can’t discover their unique message – the one that they, and only they, can offer the world. If you want to build a successful business, if you want to be able to successfully evangelize, you MUST be honest about your mess.

We ALL Have a Mess.

We all experience moments of cataclysmic failure. We all experience the pain that comes from being hurt or betrayed. We all experience times when we realize we’ve hurt someone else in a way that we can’t gloss over or even ignore. We can either allow those things to haunt us, and eventually destroy us, or we can confront them and transform them into tools that can help us and others.

Don't Be Afraid of Your Mess.

Don’t be afraid of your mess. Your mess has powerful lessons to reveal to you that you can then share with others. Every failure was a lesson learned. Every pain you healed brings you an opportunity to give hope to those who are going through that same thing now. Every time you hurt someone else brought you a reality check and changed the trajectory of your life. Your mess is POWERFUL. It is your true power.

Hiding Your Mess Does Not Make It Go Away.

Many of us are taught to fear vulnerability. We don’t want to dump our pain on someone else’s shoulders. We don’t want to show our weaknesses or let other people see where we’re hurting. We don’t want to admit that we’ve done terrible things.

And so we cover up our past and bury it in the backyard. We lie about its existence not only to others but even, and especially, to ourselves. But the lies don’t keep our subconscious minds from knowing the truth. So we spend the rest of our lives worrying that someday, someone’s going to dig all of that up and figure out who we really are, and then we won’t be respected, we won’t be admired, we won’t be loved, and we will be rejected.

Hiding Your Mess Keeps People From Loving the Real You.

Love is so powerful a need that we will do anything, absolutely anything, to get it. However, the truth of the matter is that all the hiding of our past and the burying of our secrets is exactly what makes us less lovable. People can’t love you for who you are, where you are, exactly as you are until they KNOW who you are, where you are, exactly as you are.

If you’ve ever read a fiction book, you know that this is true. The more you know about the villain of the story and why they became what they became, the more you start to empathize and even sympathize with their choices and decisions because you see too much of your own pain, your own choices, and your own mistakes in theirs to truly hate them. You condemn their actions and you say – rightfully – that those actions are terrible, but you don’t hate them. You can’t. It’d be like hating yourself.

Open Up and Let Love Into Your Life.

To be loved,you must let people into your life and allow a light to be shone over the top of it so that, in seeing your mess, they can become comfortable with letting you into theirs. You must have the courage to open up and allow yourself to be seen for exactly who you are, where you are, without holding back any part of yourself.

Until they are comfortable enough to let you into their mess, you won’t know what you can do to help them. You won’t know what their true needs are. And as long as you continue to hold them at arm’s length, you’ll always have to guess at what it is they really need from you. You’ll never know for sure, because you’ll never know who they really are.

Tomorrow's Post: Look for the Lessons

Every bit of your mess has useful lessons to offer, things that you can share with someone else to help them. Tomorrow I'll show you how to take your mess and shake it down to get the juicy goodness that's hiding in there out where you can put it to work for you instead of allowing it to keep working against you.

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