“But, You Don’t Understand…”

I have had the pleasure of being mentored by some wonderful men and women, including my wife who has mentored me in developing curiosity and imagination. The people who have made significant impact on my life are the ones who are accomplished at being curious about those moments when an in-congruency between who I say I am committed to being and how I am showing up is revealed.

However, I have noticed I employ a powerful strategy to protect the romantic sensation, flattering view or grandiose sense I have of who I am. It starts with me saying, “You don’t understand…

  • I didn’t mean what I said
  • I’m not like this with my friends, wife, pastor, any others
  • I’m not like this at work, home or anywhere else
  • I’m not like this in other circumstances
  • I didn’t understand what was going on

This strategy protects me from exploring my inconsistencies, being humbled even humiliated and getting acquainted with how my ways of being actually keep me from living as my word. C.S. Lewis offers a very sobering insight into what is being exposed when I do this:

“Surely what a man does when he is taken off his guard is the best evidence for what sort of a man he is? Surely what pops out before the man has time to put on a disguise is the truth? If there are rats in a cellar you are most likely to see them if you go in very suddenly. But the suddenness does not create the rats: it only prevents them from hiding.” C.S. Lewis – Mere Christianity