Our False Selves

mom lectureHello, Tribelet of Precious Mini-Women!

First of all, welcome Johnna. You are absolutely a member of the Tribelet, just by being here and participating.welcome-2

Second of all, don’t you all just LOVE Hannah? If you haven’t read last week’s post, you definitely should because it’s written by our newest Tribelet Elder.

hannah You’re going to be seeing a post from her every other week AND she’s great about responding to your comments. Aren’t you just so jazzed?

In her post, which kicked off our new series “Just Be Myself? Really?” Hannah asked you to “confess” to that thing you sometimes use an excuse — your “That’s just the way I am.” I love the way you admitted to those so honestly (and I think that’s because you know this is a safe place). You filled in the blank with —

     * overreacting to small things

     * putting yourself down (especially in sports and math)

     * being shy or way quiet in new situations shy

     * pointing out other people’s mistakes

     * being rough with boys (not that they don’t deserve it …)

     * speaking before thinking

     * losing your temper (or exploding it!) temper

     * manipulating people into doing your chores

     * being hard on yourself

     * what-iffing (what if I fail, what if I get hurt, what if no one likes me)

     * saying “I hate ____” (usually something we’re not good at)

     * being dramatic drama-queen

     * being nosy

     * mothering younger siblings

     * being fragile (easily moved to tears) crying

     * embarrassed to share tough feelings

Our new series is partly about getting rid of those excuses so we can be our true selves — so we know what to do when somebody says, “Just be yourself!”

  How do we do that?

We start today with understanding that when we say, “That’s just the way I am!” we’re talking about our False Self. Here’s what I mean:

     We’re made in the image of God, right? So we’re created good and beautiful and true. Seriously, have you ever seen a mean baby?mean-baby

    But we’re born into a messed up world — a world that’s hard to get along in. So as we start growing up we automatically develop habits just to cope and survive. Two-year-olds pitch fits to get what they want. Three-year-olds snatch toys because they don’t want to share. Four-year-olds lie so they won’t get in trouble. You see what I mean?

  After a while those habits start to seem like they’re part of us. We start seeing ourselves as greedy and dishonest and angry. That’s what we call the False Self. God doesn’t make us that way. We make us that way because we have to deal with other people who have false selves too.mask

Not all of the things we take on in order to make it in our world are “bad.” Or at least they don’t seem like it. For example, I grew up in a family that jumped on every little thing I did wrong, so I developed a “perfect” self. I didn’t argue or even say what I really thought most of the time because I might get in trouble. Everybody thought I was so sweet and good — but inside I sometimes wanted to scream, “Could I just make a B? Can’t I just say ‘no’ once in a while?”

We all develop different kinds of false-self habits because the beautiful personalities we were born with are all different.

  * If God created you to be quieter than other people, your false habit might be to hide your feelings and be frightened of new people. There’s nothing wrong with stepping back and figuring people out before you throw yourself out there and say, “Want to be best friends?!” Asher's tween girlThat’s true for you. What’s false is to say, “I don’t talk. That’s just how I am.”

  * If God gave you a big personality and a gift for acting, your false habit might be to over-react and put on a huge display of emotion every time the smallest thing happens. healthy girlThere’s nothing wrong with having true feelings, big feelings. That’s true for you What’s false is to say, “I’m always dramatic. That’s just how I am.”

We (Hannah and I) are going to help you figure all of that out and more in our new series. For now, let’s start with getting a picture of your False Self.  When I’m being my False Self — loud and show-offy and snarky — it looks like this in my mind:

show-off

Here’s what to do:

     (1) Write in your Talking To God Journal, asking God to show you  the self that isn’t really you.

    (2) Draw (in your journal if you want to) or find a picture that reminds you of that False Self.Ana's journal 2

   (3) In your comment, tell us what that image looks like. We would love it if you would take a picture of it with a digital camera (camera on a phone works great) and email that picture to Nancy at nnrue@att.net. It will appear in next week’s post!

Just so you know, I’m not making this up. The New Testament talks about it ALL the time. Here’s just one place —

“Whoever did want him (Jesus), who believed he was who he claimed and would do what he said, He made to be their true selves, their child-of-God selves.” (John 1:13-14 The Message)

And you know what? I love your child-of-God selves.

Blessings,

Nancy Rue

 

Advertisements

Hannah on Being Yourself

embarrassed-3Hello, precious Tribelet of Mini-Women! Yesterday we talked about what to do when things are awkward and at the end I told you I know how hard it is to laugh off embarrassment at this point in your life. Today,  HANNAH, our newest Tribelet Elder, is here to help you with that. If you didn’t read yesterday’s post, definitely do that so you’ll know who Hannah is. Although after you read her post, you’ll not only know more of who SHE is, you’ll know more about who YOU are!

Blessings, Nancy Rue

 

 ********

be-yourself

That’s what everybody says.

And for the most part, I agree!  Those things that make you different from your friends, from your family – those are the things that you make you special, make you unique, make you YOU.        different

You don’t need to feel weird if your hobbies and interests aren’t what everyone else is doing.  You hate makeup – your friends love it.  No worries.  You love drawing – no one else in your family can draw.  No problem!  Believe me – be yourself.

No one is supposed to be exactly the same.  How boring would that be?!

But there’s one more piece of the puzzle,purple puzzle piece one more word of that phrase: “Be yourself”, one secret that the world won’t usually tell you, but I’m gonna let you in on it today.

Be your BEST self.

Got that?  The best person you can be – THAT’S what you chase!

See, the advice about being yourself is great, because it makes sure that you realize how unique you are, and that you don’t try to fit yourself into a box that isn’t quite right.

But that advice can also have an ugly side.  Here’s how.

Sometimes people use that phrase to be… not so great.  Maybe you’ve done it.  I know I have.  Here’s what I mean:

“I’m not being rude, I’m just being myself.  I always tell it like it is.”rude.png

“I hate doing chores; I just like lying on the couch all weekend – that’s how I am.”weight issues 4

“I don’t need to try healthy food – I’m a cookies and mac ‘n’ cheese girl!”  (To be fair, aren’t we all?!)

Let’s be honest – we’ve all said stuff like that.

But check this out:

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.  (Psalm 139:14)

 Yeah, we’ve all heard that verse right?  But think about it.

You, you reading this right now – you are wonderfully made.  The coolest new cell phone, the most delicious looking cake (with buttercream frosting falling off the side!), the best new outfit with the perfect pair of shoes – you’re more wonderfully made than all of them.aSHER'S FRIENDS DRAWING

Because God made you.

Do you know how valuable that makes you?

Sometimes we use the phrase “Just be yourself” and what we really mean is, “Just be who you are right now.  No need to improve – you’re perfect just how you are!”

You ARE perfect when it comes to how God MADE you.  But listen to this:

 “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10)

 That’s Jesus talking.  He’s saying that he wants you to have your BEST life.  Not your normal life, not your “just the way I am” life.  The best!!!

He wants you to be kinder to others (more kind than you thought you could be), more helpful to your parents (more helpful than you thought you could be) and try the healthy food so you can fuel that wonderfully-made self, not just stuff your face.Ashers health drawing

He doesn’t want you to settle for less than your best.  A wonderfully made person doesn’t do that.

If there is something about you that you’ve noticed (or others have mentioned – ouch, isn’t that so tough?) that isn’t so good, just know that Jesus loves you and wants to HELP you change that.

Because He wants you to be more than yourself.

He wants you to be your BEST self.

Asher's tween girl

So my question for you mini-women – what’s one “that’s just how I am” thing that you could maybe stand to work on a little more? If you want to comment on today’s post, tell us. (Remember that this is a safe place. Nobody will put you down)

I’ll go first – mine is sarcasm.  I am so good at it.  I can fling the best comment right back at someone, and I’ve said before, “That’s just how I am!  I’m a sarcastic person, and some of my comments are funny!  I’m just funny like that.”

Good try, me.  Good try.      Can’t wait to hear from the rest of you!

And your Talking To God Journal is a great place to ask God for some help with that “just how I am” thing. Ask, and you’ll receive. Every time.

Hannah

profile-pic-hannah-f

 

What To Do When It’s AWK-WARD!

ashtons-october-13-pic Hello, my Tribelet of precious Mini-Women! While I have NOT been posting regularly (more on that below), YOU have! Not only have you been helping each other with emojis and praying for one another and supporting everybody through broken bones and concussions and sicknesses and tests (big breath) — you’ve shared so much of your private stuff in answer to my question about embarrassing moments so nobody feels alone with their red faces. You. Rock. (And as she so often does, ASHER created a new drawing for us. Is she gifted or what?)

Besides THAT you also welcomed our new mini-women, ADA and LAUREN. TAYABALLERINA, are you a newcomer too? welcome-2We’re really glad you’re here, and if you have any questions about how we do things here on Tween You and Me, just ask and one of us will help you.

Speaking of which, there are now going to be MORE people to help you. Here’s how:

* Elder Melle (we love her) did a quick post to let you know that we won’t have the “Ask the Elders” feature on the Join the Tribelet website any more — where you could ask the older girls questions and they posted answers. melle But Melle (her actual name is Melody) has “archived” all the answers, which means all the old ones are available for you to look at any time you want.

* I’m sure you’ve noticed that I haven’t been posting as often these past several months as I used to. There are a lot of reasons for that and NONE of those reasons have to do with you and how awesome you are. cropped-nancy-tween.pngI love reading your comments and responding and finding new ways to help you with the stuff you struggle with and wonder about.

* And I don’t want to give up the tween blog. I mean, seriously, this is family. You don’t just tell your kids you can’t hang out with them any more! So I started praying for a way to keep it going so you have a safe place to do all the things I just complimented you for in my opening paragraph. I did what I always tell you to do when you’re trying to make a decision. I opened my Talking To God Journal and prayed. And guess what? …

*  I got an answer. One of my jobs is mentoring (teaching/coaching, you know) people who want to be writers. Some of them are young — like in their 20’s — so I asked them if they’d like to be part of our Tween You and Me community. One of them said YES! And then she sent me some posts. I loved them, I love her and you’re going to love her too. (AND you’ll love the awesome YA book she’s writing when it’s published.) Her name is HANNAH, and you’re going to meet her tomorrow.

* So here’s how that’s going to work –sometimes I’ll post. Sometimes Hannah will. But you WILL have a post every single week (and sometimes some extra ones in between). We will BOTH respond to your comments. You’ll still know just what to comment ON because it’ll be in red as usual, and both of us will always give you things to think about and write about in your Talking To God Journal.

*Again, you’ll meet HANNAH tomorrow, but here’s a sneak preview — profile-pic-hannah-f Doesn’t she just LOOK like she belongs here on Tween You and Me? I know you’ll give her a big ol’ Tribelet welcome.

NOW — about today’s post. You sure have had some embarrassing moments! They seemed to fall into four categories:embarrassed-2

      (1) Bras — itchy ones, siblings talking about YOURS at the tops of their voices in the store, people saying stuff like “You’re wearing a bra?” or (the worst) “What is it for?” Poor Ana. Her mom bought her, like, 11 of them and piled them up on the counter for the entire WORLD to see. bra choices

(2)  Periods — everything from getting yours when the toilets weren’t working at school (it may not GET any more embarrassing than that) to your best friend asking LOUDLY in the cafeteria why you have the pads she needs when you haven’t started yours yet.

(3)  Boys — whether it’s your crush finding out you like him and then not speaking to you for three years to brothers in generalboy laughing

(4) Other body issues — one of you precious mini-women accidentally peed your pants at a party, and several of you have had people point out in public how hairy your legs and arm pits are. I mean, REALLY.kitty legs

There really is only one thing to do when those kinds of things happen and you want to crawl under the nearest table. ASHER (and a few others) already figured it out.

 You just have to laugh.

laughing

  Seriously. You just look at the people who are staring at you and put them all at ease by throwing your head back and letting out a big ol’ guffaw. Or making a joke —

“I KNOW! Don’t I just look like ape woman? I gotta start shaving.”

“Yeah, it’s a bra, all right. I have them in several nice colors.”

“Did I just pee? Okay, I have to stop laughing so hard.”

“Can you believe people are making such a big deal out of a simple crush? Seriously, why wouldn’t I think you’re cool? But nobody said I wanted to MARRY you! Yikes!”

That’s called diffusing the situation. We do it for a couple of reasons —

(1) It stops everybody else from feeling awkward embarrassed

(2) It makes the person who embarrassed you (if there is someone) know they messed up, without you yelling at them. 

(3)  It shows that you’re comfortable with yourself no matter what happens. Why wouldn’t you be?  You’re a girl just like every other girl, with bras and hairy legs and periods and even pee.

Okay, yeah, that’s easy for me to say. I’m not 11 years old any more. OF COURSE it’s embarrassing when you’re just getting used to your new undies and your changing body and you do NOT want other people pointing it out to the rest of the planet. But this is a chance to experience the other part of turning into a woman: you have grace and class and style. You don’t have to put a bag over your head just because somebody else doesn’t think before he or she blurts something out.

Oh, and if your friend or a family member is the one who puts you in those awkward situations, take that person aside later and say, “Um, that really embarrassed me. Could you not do that any more?” And if your brother is the culprit, just go to your dad and ask him to have a talk with the ALC. (That’s Absurd Little Creep for those of you who just joined us). sibling-rivalryIf it’s your dad, for Pete’s sake tell your mom! After all, she’s a girl too. She knows how it is.

Yikes! This was a long post. Just two more things, Mini-Woman —

     Number One: If you want to write in your Talking To God Journal, tell God about somebody in your life who doesn’t seem to take your feelings into consideration before he or she speaks. Ask for help. It will come.Asher tween you and me logo

     Number Two: If you want to comment on today’s post, tell us what you’re going to say the next time somebody embarrasses you. I always say it’s good have that one-liner ready!

See you tomorrow with our first post from HANNAH.

Blessings, blushing Mini-Women!

Nancy Rue

Elder Answers Archive!

Hello, mini-women! We did a lot of great work on the So Not Okay, Join the Tribelet page! While the focus of that page is changing from interactive to instructive (How to form a tribelet!) we wanted to make sure that you have access to all of the amazing questions and answers that we discovered together, so we created an archive on THIS site. (You can find it in the navigation bar at the top of the homepage.) You’ll have a library of sisterly advice at your fingertips, whenever you need it. Thanks so much for being a part of something that was so special for us all. Love you, mini-women! -Elder Melle