Friday, October 28, 2011

31 days || twenty-eight: faking it.


 "I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength."

- Philippians 4:13

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My mother has this saying she used to tell me and my brother growing up. 

If there was ever an event we didn't want to attend or a task we thought we couldn't accomplish, my mother would pop up in the background. 

"Fake it ‘till you make it!" she'd shout.

Meaning, that party you’d rather not attend? Put a smile on your face and pretend you’re having a good time.

That task you’re insecure about performing? Smile and act like you know what you’re doing.

Fake it ‘till you make it.

The beauty of this advice was that often — in feigning enjoyment, in wearing a smile instead of a scowl — the fake became real, the attitude genuine. Before we knew it, the party was fun. The task was complete. The joy was made whole.

I firmly believe that true celebration blooms out of an attitude of contentment.

When we finally become at peace in our circumstances, we can celebrate. We can rejoice.

Sometimes, though, that peace doesn't feel natural. It's not our gut impulse or our immediate reaction.

It must be fought for and practiced. And sometimes, I believe it must be faked.

Aren't there moments, days, months, when you just don't feel like rejoicing? 

Your best friend gets a job the day you lose yours. 

The house you wanted gets bought by someone else. 

You're throwing a party, and everyone cancels. 

You're single, and all your friends are married. 

You're married, and all your friends are pregnant. 

You're pregnant, and you miscarry. 

You have children, and you're stuck at home, wishing for just a moment of rest and quiet. 

Your children are grown, and you wish you could have them back. 

Life is hard, and our tendency is to make it harder. 

Because misery is hard. Self-loathing is hard. Anger and irritation and impatience are hard.

Wallowing in self-pity feels easy, but it's hard. 

Sure, take a couple of days. Drown yourself in a pint of Ben and Jerry's. Call out to the Lord in agony. Fall to your knees and cry in the shower. 

But for rejoicing to return, there has to be contentment — there has to be gratitude — in your circumstance. 

Depending on the day, that contentment may feel forced. 

Force it anyway. Fake it anyway. 

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These 31 days of blogging have not been easy. 

I am burnt out, and the words are running dry. 

I am tired and slightly irritable, and I'm producing a wedding tomorrow that inside, I'm a nervous wreck about. 

But my mother's words ring true in my head. 

"Fake it ’till you make it."

Not because I don't believe in authenticity. Not because I don't believe in showing my friends and family the truest version of myself. 

But because I believe that sometimes, our friends and family deserve our best. 

The person throwing that party you don't want to go to? They deserve your smile. They need your support. 

The newly-engaged, newly-married, newly-pregnant? They need you to say "congratulations." They need your hugs and your laughter and your care. 

The task you've promised to complete? It needs to get done, and it needs to be done well. 

Fake it ’till you make it. 

Soon, your contentment, your gratitude, and your joy will become real. 

Faking it won't be fake anymore. 

It will be real. It will be authentic. It will be genuine. 

It will be true celebration.

photo via Wit + Delight

10 comments:

ashleycartwright said...

I really ,really needed this today! Thank you for all your words of encouragement this month and always on your blog! Hope we get a peek at the wedding you planned, your parties always inspire me.

lowercase letters said...

i'm sure the wedding will go wonderfully, annie.
i love your thoughts here. i'm currently reading the book one thousand gifts through for the second time and learning some of the same lessons expressed. i'll always try to remember to "fake it till you make it."

Grace-and-Glory said...

Thanks for posting, Annie! I found your blog through Annie's Musings {again... I think I've popped over here a couple times before...} I have been struggling with finding joy in my work as well, and it's true. Sometimes you just gotta fake it. Be faithful and the joy will come in the process... =) Good thoughts and thank you for sharing!

Erin said...

this is good, Annie. It is not about being a pretend person. It is about training your heart.

Erin said...

p.s. I am in desperate need of training my heart right now. I am grateful for your reminder!

Kristin @ The Chronicles of Kristin said...

Great wisdom there. I'm in the task category you mentioned at the end. I'm still going to do my best when I work on the tasks at hand, but my normal enthusiasm for it isn't there. I'll be faking it. ;)

Annie said...

i think this fits with what i've posting about the past few days, too. when your discouraged, frustrated, about using your gift, fake the enthusiasm until you cultivate again, as a means of persevering.

Mom said...

Dr. Paul Faulkner, marriage and family counselor and author of the book "Making Things Right When Things Go Wrong" put it this way: "Act yourself into a better way of feeling". It's a sweeter way of saying "fake it 'til you make it". So glad you learned the true lesson; that is, that for the most part, we actually do feel better and enjoy our circumstances when we work through our attitudes.

I love you! Great job this month!!!

Mom

Richella said...

WOW! This is just exactly what I needed to read. Thank you, thank you, thank you for linking this particular post to the 31-day round-up. I thank God that you did. You'll never know just how much I needed to read these words today.

I'm writing this down to remember: "True celebration blooms out of an attitude of contentment." Amen!

Liberty said...

found you through richella, and so thankful I did. Love this post, and am completely empathetic to words running dry...
what struck me the most is the Take this bread book you're reading...WOuld love to know your take on it..life changer/religion shaker-upper..
Blessings!
http://bit.ly/nzd1s1