If you ever get to participate in Challenge Day by volunteering as an adult leader or just being a participant, I would encourage you to do so. Not knowing who has had this experience and who has not, I will not reveal to much about the process. Although, I have done it five times (same process) and have gained something new each time, including this week when I participated twice in the same week with the same Challenge Day leaders. One of the activities that most people are familiar with is called, "If You Really Knew Me...."
The "If You Really Knew Me" exercise challenges participants to push past their images and tell people what they would know if they saw all of the the aspects of that person hidden under the surface. Everytime I think I am showing my most authentic self, this activity makes me examine what else I am hiding from others. It doesn't have to be all bad things. as a matter of fact, listening to what others go through (especially children) will really make you want to be more vocal about the part of your life for which you are grateful.
It's not about telling a group of strangers all of your business, but it is about sharing more of yourself than the superficial. I remember in my early twenties, I almost had a breakdown because I had so many images that I had no idea which one was the real me. Now, I have very little problem showing the real me. I am actually quite transparent, but I do have my secrets that only those closest to me will know because I don't believe everything should be revealed. However, if we have things in our lives that would help someone better understand how we operate, we should not be ashamed of those things, specifically if it is something we survived or are surviving. And, if we have experiences that will help those around us, why should we let them feel alone in what they are going through? Do we not remember what it feels like to face tough times while feeling lonely?
I believe the world could be a better place if people were not afraid to be 100% real, flaws, failures and all! So, I encourage you to finish the line, "If you really knew me, you would know that...." Then, think about sharing it with those closest to you. Admittedly, it is probably easier to do this with complete strangers for many of us than with those with whom we have our closest relationships. Still, maybe there is some part of you that they just don't understand and by sharing, you can start a dialogue that brings you closer together. If nothing else, finish the line for yourself, so that you have an idea of what if feels like to be the real you and you can live in the identity and personality that God has planned for you. If you really knew me, you would know that I write as an escape, so that the feelings I have inside do not fill me up so much that I explode. Knowing that most of my thoughts are public makes it easier to just be myself. Now, it's your turn. If you want to you can leave yoursMs. EV