lying is no way to impress anyone

I dreamt last night. And in the dreaming I was lying, manipulating. It was a group setting–people I know from different parts of my life–and we were each asked to share what it means to us to be vulnerable. People shared. And they were honest, authentic. Their very act of sharing was a beautiful example of vulnerability. Not hiding. Not pretending. Not faking. Peeling back layers of the heart to reveal the naked beautiful truth underneath.

Yes, it was beautiful.

Specifically, we were asked to share times in high school and in college when we demonstrated vulnerability. And in the dream, I am panicking. I not only want to be vulnerable; I want to do a rock-star job of being vulnerable. And what is so weird is that, in the dream–rather than confessing truth (and actually being vulnerable); I share lies.

I want to impress the people in the room with my level of vulnerability. So I share things that make them feel sorry for me. I am not going to type them up here because, well, they are not true.

I wake up from the dream disappointed that I felt the need to manipulate people–that I felt that vulnerability meant playing the victim, working to make people feel sorry for me.

I am wondering how often I do this–seek attention by playing the victim. I am learning I live with the mindset of God’s love being scarce–that there is not enough love for me. So I seek validation from external sources–a search that leaves me empty, depleted, and more alone than when my search for love began.

Father, I want to press into you now. Show me when this started–when I began to believe the lie that I am not enough; that I need to impress people and manipulate people’s emotions to get them to love me. Show me when my desire for love became about what I do rather than who I am.

(I stay here with him, and the memories–snapshots of me as a little girl–begin flooding my mind, my imagination, my heart. This can take a while, friend . . .)

Jesus, I break the lie that what I do determines my worth. I send this lie to the foot of the cross, and it is destroyed. Your love, Jesus, binds up the brokenhearted. Will you bind up this heart of mine now?

This post is the third in a series on self-condemnation. Subscribe to get notified when the next post is up. I’d love your company here, friend.

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  • Hello, thanks for sharing your story. I’m looking forward to your future blog posts, and I am rooting for you! I’m sure you are aware, but I wanted to point out that it takes a very strong and mature person to admit their faults, even to themselves (let alone the world!)

    I’m so glad I was led to your blog, as I am facing a similar ordeal. I recently reconnected with an old friend at a vulnerable time in my life (just not happy with where I am in life, despite having achieved the superficial trappings of “success”), and I heard myself lying to them to impress them. I also heard myself minimizing my accomplishments. I felt immediately ashamed, but I couldn’t stop. Years ago, this person had revealed themselves to be superficial, and since that is the person I was expecting to show up, I believe I tried to cater to that. A few weeks after that conversation, God revealed to me that my childhood was abusive, with the emotional abuse encompassing all 18 years of my childhood. Sadly, because I didn’t recognize it as such, this emotional abuse continued until I was 38. My therapist told me I was depressed (I had no idea, just went in because of the revelation). I’m still on the journey to healing, and I know now that my need to seek validation externally is caused by the sense of inferiority I carry in my heart. I know and accept it is a lie, but it takes a lot of hard work and time to change. So, here I find myself in the middle. It’s helpful to know I am not the only one fighting to build my self-confidence. I hope others find their way here, so they too know they are not alone.

    • Rachelle, thank you so much. I am so grateful for your sharing your heart here. It encourages me greatly to keep going, keep pressing into Him. There is so much more He has for us. And freedom and joy from knowing we are loved are gifts we get to claim! Let’s go all in, sister! Thank you.

  • Sis,
    Thanking God for your works you do in His name. This is so on time because this is trult me. Consider me going on this walk with you. Bless you.????????

  • I used to lie to cause anyone to feel that I had as exciting a life as anyone else, but, in my journey towards God, I’m just plain old worn out, funny maybe, but too worn out to lie. I think mostly I just want to go hide for 6 months or so and rest, but I want to hide from everyone, even family. I’m very grateful for this blog, as I was for your previous one. I am grateful for your open honest approach to share with anyone who will read and share and cry and be joyful with you.

  • Hi Jennifer your honesty is brave and refreshing. I too have been dealing with this issue and it too started in childhood. I’m over fifty now and only just found the courage to face it. I am really happy that you are facing yours at an earlier age so you’ll have more freedom for longer. Keep going you have my prayers with you and Our Father wants nothing more than your freedom and salvation. Thank you for your posts as I have often found them poiniant and encouraging x I look forward to future blogs x

  • Your vulnerability is beautiful beloved, we are not so very different on our journeys, nor in the lies we believe about ourselves that we are not enough, not good enough, not smart enough, not interesting enough…..
    He says trust your heart, I have given you a new heart, it is where you find me, deep calling to deep…..
    And yes, I have difficulty trusting my heart, because I long to create beautiful things with Him, He says I made you for this, it’s where we are together, you enjoying me and I enjoying you, He’s so right, but the lies that I cannot make a living out of art are strong chains,
    I ask you Jesus at the foot of your cross,to break those chains ,I surrender to your way, nothing is impossible with you…..
    In returning and rest is our salvation, in quietness and trust our strength
    Godbless beloved

  • Every single word describes how I have felt every day of my life. Thank You for sharing this