The fake girlfriend of Manti Te’o reminds me of the reality show Catfish. The host of this show tracks down a culprit in an online dating relationship to see if he or she is the person they are portraying in an online dating relationship. The show is a hit because apparently there are a lot of people in the world who would do or say anything to convince others that they are someone they are not.
It’s amazing in a day where many of the people who are singing and proclaiming, ‘They are born this way’, ‘Love the skin you’re in’ are spending most of their lives squirming restlessly in that same skin. There is often so much we don’t like about ourselves that by the time we are finished regrouping and redoing we resemble someone else altogether.
Years ago, when I first started writing I wanted so badly to write like Frank Peretti. He is an amazing Christian author, novelist who writes about demons and angels with the clarity and excitement of the vampire series. He struck gold with it and became an internationally best- selling author.
My first novel-to-be was much like his (or so I thought). It was one of the first full-length pieces I had ever written and it rambled on into eternity; basically I was saying a lot of nothing because the story took off on a life of its own and I didn’t have the courage or strength to chase it. Well as it turns out the best way to write like Peretti is to actually be Peretti.
Years later after much writing and some good ole fashion soul examination I came into my own. This kind of authenticity was far reaching because it meant getting to know myself and figuring out what I wanted to say and saying it as authentically as possible. There was no stilted dialogue or elaborate symbolism. It was just me.
The problem was learning to like who I am and remembering that we are all constantly evolving. This may be the problem with so many of us—the process of just learning to love us. We don’t like ourselves and are sure others will feel the same. We continually readjust to fit or to at least look the part. This gets to be exhausting. I know because I did it for a long time.
I am sure when God created us he knew a lot of us would possess this kind of self-loathing. But it’s only when we connect with him that we realize we are in possession of the perfect tools to get the job done (whatever that may be). Once we adjust to this we can begin loving and living in our own skin. We can begin to write, speak, dance with an authentic voice that shines and gives the observer, the admirer…the chills.
There is certain kind of attractiveness a person has when they are walking in the fullness of their true self. It’s kind of like that guy you meet, that short, odd looking dude who keeps staring at you from across the room and everything in you tells you he is not your type until he walks over and begins a conversation. He is funny and cool with his height and isn’t bent on trying to be the tall, dark, handsome one. He understands he is not tall and that handsome is in the eye of the beholder. Suddenly this guy you’d written off is holding your phone number (not the fake one this time) and you’re glad he had the courage to be himself. There’s something about being authentic that brings out the best because being our best really is good enough.