Monday, March 23, 2015

Defiance not Fear Part II

This post continues on the ideas presented in Part I

Monica Lewinsky

Recently Monica Lewinsky spoke about her experience with public humiliation at TED.  She messed up when, at age 22, she "fell in love with my boss."  The consequence was a traumatic loss of identity.  

In speaking out, she is now changing from weak to strong.  She says, its "Time to stop tiptoeing around my past … Time to take back my narrative."  (Source)  She is standing in honesty and that is a strong position.  But she is nervous about what the media will do with her next.  Her goal is to give hope to others that suffer from cyber-bullying by showing that she survived. 

What she is not doing is accepting responsibility for allowing a sexual relationship with a married man.  I don't think her stance is strong enough to repair her public reputation but it might work for private relationships.  

Standing in virtue is stronger than standing in honesty.  Monica is going to have a hard time proving her righteousness to the media.  In less public cases, a person can change and their friends and acquaintances see evidence of the change.  After the change, defiance of evil will not be regarded with skepticism.

What I'm getting at is that when a person takes a stand on an issue -- any issue, the casual observer must make a call.  Is this person credible?  After the person is evaluated, the observer takes a look at the issue.  Does this issue as presented have merit and deserve my public support?

You will never see a person take a stand in favor of an issue they have a problem with and for which their credibility will be questioned.  They may stand against the issue or even publicly ridicule those who do stand in favor.  The strength to stand is based on the foundation of truth you rest on.

The Eternal Perspective

Our Heavenly Father looks at things differently than we do.  He sees Monica's heart in three dimensional beauty.  He knows exactly where she is at in her walk to a holy place of strength and radiance. He doesn't need her to state that or prove it.  

He is truly empathetic.  Christ suffered public humiliation among friends and neighbors as well as at his trial.  He knows what it feels like to be regarded with skepticism.  He never condemned the sinner but encouraged them to change and "sin no more."  

He sees her overcoming her fear and speaking to her accusers (the public).  He knows how difficult that is.  We all do and we can all admire her courage.

Growing Stronger

Daring greatly is about owning the story and changing the ending.  In Brown's book, Daring Greatly, she says, "The space between our practiced values and our aspirational values is the value gap." The  path to strength takes us across this value gap.  

As we make our move, it is important to surround ourselves with people who are empathetic and encouraging.  The journey takes time.  It requires envisioning the future many times and committing to get there no matter what it takes.  I admire those who take the first step and the second step and persist even when the opposition mounts. 

"If you ask me what I came into this life to do, I will tell you:  I came to live out loud"  - Emile Zola

When Living Out Loud Requires Grace 

It is through grace that the Lord gives strength and assistance to those of us who would not otherwise be able maintain momentum if left to ourselves.

What I see is that staying the "victim" makes us relinquish our gifts and the good we can do with them in the world.  As Shakespeare so aptly put it, "Our doubts are traitors and make us lose the good we oft might win by fearing to attempt." Let's move past the past.

My biggest fear was to say the truth about a personal issue.  Once I said it, the door opened for me to live out loud.  I wouldn't say that I immediately flew free.  My experience showed me how my fear is debilitating.  The truth frees me.  The only thing stopping me from growth continues to be fear.  It takes courage to be honest and to face the consequences.  I know that grace multiplies my efforts to do the right thing.

This verse says, "Kick out the old man!"
"put off...the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness." (Eph 4:22-24)
And here's a video challenge focusing on fear -- of getting dirty.

IF YOU LIKED THIS POST TRY:  Fighting Valiantly 

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