Today’s guest post comes courtesy of an online writing friend of mine, Eileen Knowles.
According to Eileen, she prefers “The Scenic Route” in life – which also happens to be the name of her fantastic blog.
Eileen loves to write, run and consume copious amounts of coffee – just not all at the same time.
She is passionate about leaving a legacy for her son and encouraging others along the way who might need a dose of hope and grace poured into their weary lives.
Here’s her guest post:
Lately, my 8-year-old son has been learning a few of the hard truths about people and relationships. Here is one he learned a few months ago:
People often drift apart when their interests change.
Sometimes this is unavoidable and natural. We tend to spend our time with those we have the most in common. As we grow older, this still happens. Singles hang with singles, married folks hang with other married folks and couples with kids migrate towards other couples with kids.
It just happens.
Yet the other lesson my son is currently learning is one that is a little more painful to swallow:
Sometimes people will be one person in front of you and a completely different person in front of someone else.
My son has noticed this about one of the boys he has played with for years in our neighborhood. He will act one way in front of my son but as soon as a couple of other boys show up his personality changes.
I told my son that although this behavior is not right he will come across it again and again throughout his life.
Sadly, it’s unavoidable.
We can’t change how other people choose to behave.
My prayer for my son is that this lesson teaches him how not to act rather than influence him to react in the same manner. I want my son to grow up comfortable in his own skin.
I want him to grow up confident with who he his is, regardless of the people who are around him at the moment.
I wish I could say that everyone eventually grows out of this chameleon behavior, but not all of us do. If we are honest, I think we’ve all done this at one time or another in our lives. It stems from a lack of confidence and a desire to impress.
When I was a child (and a portion of my adult life too), I struggled with this. I was one those kids who could get along with a wide range of kids, but I didn’t seem to fit neatly into any group.
I was friendly with people who were popular, and I was friendly with those who were not. Yet sometimes there was a huge battle going on inside me whenever I was around my peers.
I had a hard time being myself.
I am ashamed to admit it now but I often worried about being ostracized if I spent too much time hanging with the “outcasts.” I was okay with never being considered popular in school. It didn’t bother me.
What I feared was getting too close to the opposite end of the spectrum.
Each time my son comes face-to-face with hard truths about people, it forces me to reexamine my own heart and my own actions.
How am I doing in this area today, Lord?
Am I the same person in one environment as I am in another?
What about you?
Do the people on Sunday morning know the same you who sits in a cubicle on Monday?
Do the people on Facebook or Twitter who read your witty tweets and polished status updates know the same you who sometimes loses her patience and lashes out in unloving ways?
I want to encourage you this week to do a heart check in this area. I want to encourage you to leave the chameleon behavior behind.
Shed the facade and just be you. The world needs your colors.
Question: Which facades could be shed in your life?
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