In 2017 I did something that I hadn’t ever done before in my 43 years.
I was 100% completely and utterly honest with myself… and about 5 others in a small change group in my church.
What does that mean? Does it mean I lied to myself for 43 years? Uh, yeah. That’s exactly what it means. We will come back to this in a bit.
This change group is geared to help people with an addiction. I thought – “Sure, I’ll sign up its something at church that must be good! I have things in my life I wanted to change, but I am not addicted to anything. But I’ll join.” I walked in the first night and during introductions when I needed to share what addiction I was going to overcome I said “Nope! I don’t have any!”
Thanks, ladies, for not laughing at me.
When I was asked again what my addiction is (in a really sweet, caring but “Patti, stop fooling yourself” manner), I murmured “I don’t know, I guess I might be addicted to being busy”.
Well, I didn’t realize how right I was. At the time I was saying yes to everything, the ultimate people pleaser and doing all the things. Through this process I learned a lot that has put me on the trajectory to where I am now 5 years later.
I learned we are all addicted to many things. I am still working through some addictions. Some addictions are life threatening and some are socially acceptable (and sometimes the same behavior can be both).
I learned how to hear God’s voice in my life.
I learned started to learn that I need to be intentional.
I learned the importance of accountability, even though sometimes it sucks to be held accountable.
I learned that we can overcome negative behaviors that we thought were “just how we are”.
I learned that change is REALLY hard sometimes (ok, most of the time), but it is worth staying in the process because we come out better and stronger.
And this may have been the most important in my life – I learned that Jesus is here for me and has been there for me in all of my good, bad and ugly. That His word is true and combats all of those lies that we tell ourselves.
Since 2017 I have had a busy life. However, looking above at the #2 thing that I learned, I have now been busy with God’s plan and not Patti’s plan. It is a way better busy. He forces me at times to stop and remind me that He is in charge, not me. I had confirmation in many ways for each of the things I have been blessed to accomplish.
In 2018 – I started my master’s degree.
In 2019 – I earned my master’s degree (18 months later). And then I paused. I prayed. I listened.
In 2020 – I earned my coaching certification (while working full time in healthcare, at the height of the pandemic. I remember signing up for training the day that the “world closed”).
In 2021 – I started my business. I changed full time jobs to allow me to spend more time on my business and with my family (needing balance in my life was a big thing for me). I ended the year with more than double the number of clients and revenue as I expected.
In 2022 – I had my first, and second, speaking engagements. I took a pause because I was trying too hard. This blog is one of the first intentional things this year to get me back on track. Only after stopping to ensure that it was God’s voice I was hearing and not the busy bus again.
I hope the string you see through all of the last 5 years of “busy” is the thread of God’s divine power and guidance. I wouldn’t have been able to do this without He who gives me strength (and the gentle push every once in a while)!
This is my why. This is why I have to tell my story. It has been powerful to go through all of these steps in learning and growing very intentional. My hope it is powerful for you to hear the story.
Please know that I am fully aware that I do NOT have all of the answers. What I do know very clearly is where my path has taken me. I do not know where exactly it is going. That is for God to show me – One. Step. At. A. Time.
My business, blog and what I do is to help others by sharing the path I have taken in a very down-to-earth manner. I will share the lies I tell myself, struggles of the world and the thread of God’s voice and hand throughout.
Here’s the first practical piece I want to share. What we identify with matters!
Back to those lies I mentioned earlier. I still have lies I tell myself. My hunch is you have lies you tell yourself too.
Let’s see if you get a “Spidey-sense tingle” from any of these that I have told myself. Do any of these feel true to you?
I am always going to be like what others have said I am. It’s not worth trying.
______ is just who I am. Overweight, wine drinker,
I could never ___lose the weight or wear that smaller size again___ because I am older and it just happens.
I have never known anything different. I’ll always just be ___a nurse, heavy, in debt___.
Negative things from my childhood don’t affect me now, it was too long ago.
I don’t have to forgive anyone; I am strong enough to get by on my own. It happened so long ago it doesn't matter anymore.
I’m not like __(my sister, my friend, my coworker, that person on social media)____ so I’ll never have _(the house, the car, the faithful husband, the peace, the faith)___.
You may want to review that list again, or add your own! You can fill in the blanks with your flavor of lie about Career, Family, Relationships, Health, Wealth, Spiritual, whatever area of life. There are words to fill in those blanks for each of these areas.
When you ponder or read those we may not immediately think they are a lie. One way to know if you are still lying to yourself is that you may immediately find yourself justifying by saying or thinking any of the following:
well, yeah that happened, but ... (insert lie).
Patti’s crazy she doesn’t know MY situation (you are correct, but my hunch is our lies are too far off, even with different situations and circumstances.)
... But my trauma wasn’t as bad as others, so it doesn’t affect me.
… But my family loves me and I come from a pretty decent place, my life can’t have negatives.
These BUTS are a good indication there's a lie in there.
Prior to 2017 I had a dream in which there were bathrooms that I needed to get into. However, once in there it was like a huge locker room, and all the facilities were in one large room and they were really nasty and unclean.
I was bothered by this dream, but after I while I realized that is how I felt on the inside. Not worthy and unclean.
I was identifying with all the negative things in my head. All of those lies. It was just normal, and who I thought I was. Don’t get me wrong – I could say the “right” answer back then. “I know who I am - I am a child of God” or “I am not my job/habit”.
But, uh, deep down... that voice that you don’t tell anyone about. Those things that you don’t ever say out loud? You know that place that you don’t let anyone see? That’s where I was lying to myself. I WAS my job. I wanted the title. I was ambitious and driven to do more. I WAS a "bad mom" that didn’t make great decisions (aka: was spending too much time at work) and may cause 1,000’s of hours of therapy for my child in the future. I WAS the bad things that happened in my past. I WAS all the shame, All the bad things. This is what I was identifying with in that place that no one else sees.
That is - until I was honest. 100% completely honest with that deep down part. Then I actually had to face it and deal with it. I dealt with all of the emotion, all the lies, all the baggage around all of the things (or at least some of the things). I replaced those things with truth (John 8:32).
If you are thinking – oh man that sounds awful. It was. It was the hardest thing I had ever done.
It was also the best thing I ever did! During that time and after that time I LEARNED so much. I RELEASED so much. Most important I FORGAVE things I didn’t think I could, and I asked for forgiveness for things I thought I would never talk about. I won’t share all of those gory details, at least not today. I’ve learned to never say never (see the list of lies one more time).
My hope for you today is that you can start to THINK about being honest with yourself. Where would you start?
What lies are you telling yourself?
Who/What are you identifying with?
Do you like that?
Do you WANT to identify with that?
If you identify with the negative things and don’t feel like you want to change - YOU ARE NORMAL!!! IT is ok!! And I am here to start sharing my stories about how I changed in hopes that you will come to know it IS possible to change from where you are.
I am Patti and it is my mission to share my story about change and to help others become their TRUEST and most honest version of themselves so they can be a positive impact in the world.