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March 30, 2021 33 min

Virginia Woolf once said, “If you do not tell the truth about yourself, you cannot tell it about other people.” Let me repeat that, “If you do not tell the truth about yourself, you cannot tell it about other people.” That is rather scary if you think about it.

Four years ago, I went through a life-changing, radical, character-defining, unnerving transition. I’m not going to tell you exactly what it was because I am not ready to get that vulnerable, but I will say to you: I am not the same person as I was four years ago. I thought it was just a choice, until every day I found out something new about myself.

Here is the strange about it. Of all the things in life I might have doubted, one thing I did not doubt was I was the world’s number one expert in John Bash. Nobody knew me as well as I knew me. How could they? Isn’t that rather self-evident? 

I once heard a woman say, “I’m not much, but I’m all I think about.” I wasn’t quite that bad, but I did claim a certain amount of self-awareness. I had my share of psychology classes, two graduate degrees, was a minister for 25 years, with more than a few therapy sessions. Doesn’t that qualify me to know myself? In short, the answer is a resounding “No.”

Have you ever heard the question, “Would you rather be happy or right?” Most people who ask this expect it to be rhetorical. I have the kind of brain which doesn’t do well with such questions. Right or happy? I ponder it. Doesn’t this open the possibility for a happy idiot? Let’s not dismiss “right” too quickly, right?

I am particularly appreciative of people who can come into such pondering and help me to think about life differently. Their way to truth is not nearly as propositional as I would like, is much more sensitive and caring, and usually includes some fun stories along the way.

Today we have such a person. Brian Mann is an artist, communicator, churchman and currently holds the title of Story Ninja at Citycoast Creative in Sonoma, California.

Welcome, Brian Mann, to Church Hurts And.

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