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The Discomfort of Action


When I was in high school, I was part of a mega church in the tiny town of Applegate, Oregon. It actually wasn’t even in Applegate – that’s a lie – it was in an even tinier town 10 miles down the road called Ruch that was basically only the church. At one point, they had a ministry training program at the church that only men were allowed to attend because women weren’t allowed to lead in the church. All of the hottest 20-something guys in the church went into the ministry training, and it soon turned into a marriage factory. One year, I went to 18 weddings. I learned to completely loathe weddings and showers of every kind.

But, I still always said “yes” when I was invited to one. I didn’t want to hurt people’s feelings; I wanted to be nice. I had all kinds of excuses.

Now, I pride myself on my honesty and integrity, and I have always felt like my integrity was a core part of who I am. But, you know what a people-pleaser actually is? A liar. I had to realize that if I am lying about what I want in order to keep other people from feeling negative feelings, I am outside of my integrity, manipulating them. When I was saying “yes” to things I did not want to do, I did it because I had developed a justification in my head that my lying about what I wanted was a noble sacrifice for other people. Somehow, I thought that lying was helping the people I was manipulating, instead of just protecting myself from discomfort.

On the other hand, when I went to law school, I wanted it. Like, I wanted it. I wanted all the late nights and anxiety and demeaning professors. I wanted the whole experience. When my friend