To Fake or Not to Fake

To Fake or Not to Fake

This week I’m looking for inspiration from you! It’s been an odd week of ups and downs. The ups were so high – a visit from my son Peter for Mother’s Day weekend. Thank you, Pete, for making the weekend so special!

And the lows have been unusual ones – nothing urgent or dramatic or requiring hospitalization. (Thank heavens!) Mostly, it’s been an unsettling sense of change, unwanted but perhaps necessary change. In a nutshell, after one particularly intensive incident, I came to realize that I have four members in my immediate household: my dog, my house, my paralyzed parts, and my non-paralyzed parts. When they all misbehave at the same time, it’s pretty much a disaster.

Although I survived that day (which someday I’ll write about when it finally becomes funny!), the experience settled in deeply and would not stop needling me. A foreboding sense of uncertainty began to take hold.

I started to lose my mojo.

Predictably, my father’s words came to mind:

Sometimes we have to act our way into the new way of thinking.

Yet, I didn’t feel like it. I didn’t feel like getting out of bed. I didn’t feel like having coffee. I didn’t feel like getting dressed.

I didn’t feel like being with people.

But I had commitments.

So, I got up. Had my coffee and quiet time. Got dressed, did my hair, put on makeup and jewelry. It was a fight, but I pressed on.

Then I called my sister and told her, “I’m gonna fake it till I make it, Sissy!” And sent a text to prove it.

It worked that day. I’m glad I kept my commitment to lunch. I deepened a new friendship and it felt strangely refreshing to be out and focusing on something besides uncertainty.

A few days later, I found this quote from happiness expert Gretchen Rubin:

To change your feelings, change your actions. A “fake it till you feel it” strategy may sound hokey, but it is extremely effective.

I guess Dad wasn’t alone in that line of thinking.

But I wonder, is it healthy to fake how we feel? To pretend life is good when underneath it all we are struggling?

Scott Peck’s first line in his book, The Road Less Traveled nails it: “Life is difficult.”

Yet, we have a choice about how we get through it.

Of course, we keep our inner circle of family and friends aware of our struggles, and involve professionals along the way. (I’ll always be grateful for the good docs and therapists who routinely help me problem-solve, and the patience of my family and good friends who listen, and then listen some more.)

But they can’t make that in-the-moment decision for us. We have to figure it out.

So tell me, what do you do when you start to lose your mojo? How do you know when to push through the feelings and fake it till you make it? How do you decide? What gives you the strength?

Tell me about it, I’d love to know.

It’s your turn today. Inspire me.

My best – always,

Becky  (Nana B)

P.S. So excited (for real!) about next Wednesday’s Rethinking Possible talk, May 23rd, 7 p.m. at Central Presbyterian Church. Thanks for asking me back for book readings, reflections, and discussion. All are welcome so I hope you will come if you are in the area. A surprise book “character” will be joining me! Bring your questions!

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