Deception in any form kills intimacy. (pg 103)
If you’ve been lurking around here at all in the last 18 months or so, you’ve probably realized that I’m working on living an authentic life. A lot. I don’t think that’s meant that I was living in deception before, but that I am working to tear down walls that have built up over the years as a result of being hurt, being deceived by the world’s wisdom that we must protect ourselves so we don’t get hurt. While I suppose a measure of my last comment is true, that we must protect ourselves, I also believe protecting ourselves can turn into a form of manipulation and deception. This is what I’m working on. And I’ll be honest, I feel like I’m screwing it up. Because it shouldn’t hurt this much, should it? People shouldn’t have this much power to hurt each other, should they?
But they do. And one of the many ways we do this to each other is identified in chapter nine as five categories of manipulators:
The False Hero
I’m wont get into the details of describing each of them. Some are self-explanatory, yes. But as I’ve mentioned before, I want you to read the book. J
I’ve read through this chapter several times, searching for myself, even trying to label people in my life as one of the five. I don’t know how wise this is… I worry how it might cause me to fear and mistrust people, looking for things that aren’t there. The one that seems most likely to be me is the Scorekeeper, but if you remember this post, I am great and keeping score. But I never keep score in order to call in those favors when I want to control a person.
That said, it’s pretty easy to find yourself in bits and pieces of all five manipulators. Perhaps they are like hidden parts of our personalities that surface during certain situations. (Or certain people bring it out in us.)
Here is why all this stuff about manipulators is so important, and he says it in the next chapter. “The deeper you fuse your soul to somebody, the more damage you do when you become a bomb.” (pg. 125)
When people hurt us and make us feel like we are less than, a bother, not worthy of them, it’s easy to fall into a terrible trap. A belief that we are not good for people. Several years ago, during the birth of the internet, I was totally hooked on one of those quiz websites and I remember taking a quiz called, “What’s your biggest fear?”
Turns out mine was not being good enough.
As Don has grown with his wife and learned how to love because of her, she helped him believe that he wasn't just good, but great for people. “I realized that one of the reasons I’d been so isolated was because I’d subconsciously believe I wasn’t all that good for people… I wonder how many people are withholding the love they could provide because they secretly believe they have fatal flaws.”
Page 129 has a few ripples on it. These ripples were from my tears. Big stuff here.
I’ve been trying very hard to figure out how to be okay with not being good enough for people. I've been trying to learn how to be ok with failing them and screwing things up. I try to make it up to them… make amends with them… and, as I’ve written about before, I try to “hustle.”
I want to be done with all the trying and hustling but unfortunately it’s not in my nature because of my biggest fear. There is such a lack of gospel truth in this, it’s shocking. I get it all now, because Don has shown me that I am withholding love because I have fatal flaws.
Lots and lots of big ripples.