LaKeisha Rainey Collins: Beauty for Ashes Column
The danger of faking it ‘til you make it: Get real with how
you feel so you can heal
Blog by Lakeisha Rainey Collins
Posted June 12, 2017
Fake it ‘til you make it.

I’d heard it so much throughout my lifetime,
especially in church, that I adopted it as my mantra
and faithfully lived by it in my everyday life.

Now, I have such a love-hate relationship with that
phrase. On one hand, I get it. There are times when
you have to piece it together even when it’s all
really falling apart, or act like you’re making it when
you’re honestly not.

I mean, you can’t acceptably just be out here an
emotional wreck, spilling your issues everywhere
you go, right? On the other hand, faking it teaches
you to suppress things, cover them up, or, in a
sense, slap a band-aid on your wounds and keep it
moving. Well, that only works temporarily and
ultimately makes things worse.
Credit: Getty/Blend Images JGI/Jamie Grill
I know it all too well.

I was the queen of faking it. I had mastered putting on a good face when all kinds of hell was breaking
loose in my life and in my mind. Even though I wanted to assume the fetal position, pull the covers
over my head, and cry and throw all types of tantrums in the dark all day, every day I showed up
looking as if my life was perfect and ideal. I pretended for so long that I started to believe my own
façade. I became numb to the pain I once felt inside because of the pretense I’d made my norm. I just
didn’t want anyone to see my pain and judge my life.

I’d almost succeeded at convincing myself that I was okay, until all of the issues that I’d suppressed
rose up and nearly choked the life out of me. Then, I had no choice but to stop faking it and really
face my problems. At that point, what anyone would think of me was irrelevant, because when pain
becomes unbearable it doesn’t matter who sees how much you’re hurting. All you want is whatever it
takes to heal.

The thing about suppression is that you’re only hiding the problem, and hidden things almost always
show back up. Think about it – putting a bandage on a cut doesn’t stop it from bleeding, it just stops
the bleeding from spilling all over the place. The bandage works for a little while, but if you leave it on
too long, the wound will likely become infected because you never uncovered it to clean it or air it out,
which is necessary for it to heal.

See where I’m going with this?

Sis, it's time for you to heal for real. For long enough, you have painted on this happy face to look
good for people who probably couldn't care less about your happiness. You've pretended enough for
those who aren't even real with you.

In your mind…

You can't let them see you sweat.

You don't want them to think you don't have your stuff together.

You don't want them to judge you.

You can't let them think you need help and treat you like a charity case.


You refuse to be caught with your face not beat, your hair not slayed, and your outfit not looking like it
came straight off the runway.

You give looking the part so much effort, but you have breakdowns in the shower and you cry yourself
to sleep every night, if you sleep at all, because underneath all of that faking it, you're hurting and
broken. You're unhappy and emotionally unhealthy.

You're cute and all (And I’m not insinuating that you should be in these streets looking a whole
wreck!), but, friend, there’s nothing really cute about masquerading as whole when you’re shattered
inside.

What you're hiding beneath that pretense needs to be uncovered so that the true essence of who you
are can be recovered. As I mentioned before, putting bandages on top of wounds so no one else will
see them or to pretend they don’t exist does not make them go away. No matter how much you dress
it up, sex it up, shop it up, party it up, over-achieve it up, or however you cover it up, until you reveal
it, you will never heal and the pain will only grow deeper and stronger.

Jesus didn’t die for you to live this way. The abundant life He came to give you, mentioned in John 10:
10b, is not one that is full of pain, dysfunction, and brokenness.

One of the most beautiful things about God is noted in Hebrews 4:15. It says, “For we do not have a
high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses…” Your pain is a weakness, and God
understands. It’s okay to reveal it to Him, because Hebrews 4:16 assures us in this way, “So let us
come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace
to help us when we need it most.” You don’t have to hide anything from Him. You can go before Him
and bare it all, and right there in all of your messiness and brokenness, His mercy and grace will wrap
you like the comfort of your favorite blanket.

God heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds (Psalm 147:3), and He will restore you to
health (Jeremiah 30:17).

Pray.

Fast.

Journal.

See a therapist.

Seek Christian counsel.

Reach out to a trusted confidant.

Uncover it so that you can begin to recover from it. You can’t fake it forever. It’s time to get real with
how you feel so that you can heal.


Read last week's blog: "From Loss to Wholeness: God will make it all beautiful in His timing"

LaKeisha Rainey Collins is an Mobile, Alabama-based wife, mom of three boys and one girl, Founder
of Beauty for Ashes, Inc. and author of two books --
Beautiful Me and My Baby Has Wings. Learn
more about her
here.

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