Letting your deepest hurts rise to the surface might sound like the most frightening idea imaginable, but doing so in a trustworthy setting is a crucial step toward discovering freedom from the shackles of despondency.
~ Philip Newman
It was the best lunch ever and it had nothing to do with food. I don’t even remember how I met Phil. One day he just appeared on my Facebook page. We’ve only met in person two other times. I know he’s around my age. He’s a believer. He’s married with kids. He’s witty and he plays basketball. I liked him right away.
I asked him to lunch because of a blog he wrote about depression, specifically these words: “I am on a journey of trading the depths of despair, anxiety and shame for the heights of hope, joy and peace.”
I love how raw this letter is—how real. The courage it took for Phil to put himself out there was like an explosion of color in a black and white world. It wasn’t so much the topic as it was the realism. Phil took a wrecking ball to the façade. In a world filled with B.S., Phil’s words rang true. I wanted more.
For a little more than an hour, Phil and I talked—I mean really talked. Not about last night’s game. Not about our wonderful careers or latest accomplishments. We talked about weakness, shame and the talent it takes to hide a numbing pain. We talked about God, the need for men to know Him, and the absence of truth all around us.
Don’t get me wrong. This wasn’t an Oprah cry-fest. In fact, it was hilarious. We mixed talk of suicide with dad stuff, football, and Obama’s golf game.
As I drove off. I heard these words in my head: Take a break from the fake. And that’s what I just did. I experienced authenticity. I drove straight to the office and bought the URL Takeabreakfromthefake.com. I have no idea what I’ll do with it, but dammit, I own it.
I am on fire with energy over this. I want to start a movement. Ask someone out to lunch, coffee or drinks. Tell them you want to take a break from the fake. You want to talk about what matters. Not about who got the rose, who’s sleeping with who, or who got kicked off the island. Let’s hang out and talk about that time I failed to be a man, that stupid thing I said, and that battle I face every day. Talk about solutions, things that work and ways you found peace.
Try truth. You need a break from the fake. We all do.
Read Phil’s entire letter here.