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Back to Center: God is a God of justice, right? Where’s my justice?

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Sarah Perron, Certified Coach

Sarah Perron, Certified Coach

Sarah Perron, Certified Coach

Life Coach and Writer

Offering perspectives for personal realignment and empowerment.

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Mon, Aug 29, 2022

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00:52 AM

'Who will fight for me, because it seems God won’t'

Back to Center: God is a God of justice, right? Where’s my justice?

The purpose of the “Back to Center” advice column is to provide perspectives for personal realignment and empowered living in the COVID era. Sarah encourages you to reach out to her with requests for advice about self-development and emotional and mental well-being in these complicated times. Please send your questions to advice@aflds.org. Looking forward to hearing from you!

For all other inquiries, please direct your questions to info@aflds.org.

I am a Christian who is very strong in my faith in Jesus Christ…or so I thought. I was attending nursing school at my local community college. I had completed four years of schooling and was only four months away from graduation and finally getting my registered nurse (RN) degree. All those long nights studying, exams, clinical rotations, mental breakdowns from stress, and so much more would FINALLY be over. Jesus got me through it all! Or so I thought… 

But then we got an announcement on the first week of class, on my last semester of school: The COVID vaccine was mandated for the program I was in, and we were given two days to decide if we were going to get it or not. However, if you didn’t get the shot, you were out of the program for good. They did not allow or give any religious, medical, or personal exemptions. I was devastated, as I have not, and will not get the COVID vaccine. Instead of having four months left, I lost four years of schooling and gained $30,000 in student loans that I didn’t even get a degree for.  My credits expired, and all that work I had done was wasted. Everything I worked so hard for these last FOUR YEARS. Gone, all over in a shot. 

Why would God do this? Why would He bring and support me through these four years of he**, just to take it all away? I thought helping people as a nurse and being a light for God was my calling. I feel as if I can’t move on from this. I feel so defeated! God is a God of justice, right? Where’s my justice? Who will fight for me, because it seems God won’t…

Thank you so much for writing in and sharing your story. I’m so sorry this happened to you. It sounds like an incredibly painful experience, and you have every right to feel all the hurt, outrage, frustration, and confusion you’re feeling at the injustice of it all. 

I can’t speak for God, but I can share some of my own thoughts and perspectives, which I hope will be helpful to you.

I know that many people of faith hold the belief that everything God does and allows to happen is ultimately for the good, for the best. And we, as human beings, have limited understanding and scope of vision, and cannot possibly understand everything about how God – who has the ultimate bird’s eye view of every aspect of existence – chooses to run the world.

Now, it’s quite easy to nod and say, “Yes, of course – beautiful!” to these ideas when it feels like things are going smoothly in our lives. But when we’re hit with an intensely painful challenge, like the one you’ve experienced, those beliefs can get knocked for a crazy loop. In the midst of the pain, we sometimes end up retreating to our human ways of trying to understand the situation. 

What I hear you trying to reason out is, “Why would God do this? Why would God sustain me through this rigorous program of study and all the struggle I went through in pursuit of this goal of becoming a nurse – which is a good and honorable goal – and then drop me and leave me with nothing but loans?” And it’s just hurtful and confusing.

But let’s imagine for a moment that God lets you have a glimpse of the big picture. You get to have a look from above at the whole situation, as God sees it, and understand with perfect clarity why He allowed this injustice to happen to you. For example, what if He spared you from an even worse experience that was coming your way if you had become a nurse? What if this detour from reaching the profession you worked for is ultimately going to lead you to another work opportunity that you love even more than you would have loved nursing? What if all of the challenges you went through in your studies were to strengthen and prepare you for an even greater mission in the world than the one you had in mind? 

If you could grasp this idea that what looks bad is actually for good, how would it change how you feel about and view the experience you’re going through? Armed with that belief, what would you do now?

I’m not saying that having strong faith in God’s plan makes all the pain go away. It still hurts. It’s still hard. Acknowledge and make inner space for all the feelings that come up for you. Cry them out, write them out, pray them out. Give them all to God. He is your ally. This wasn’t Him “doing” something bad to you. This was – tragically – people exercising the free will that God gave them in destructive, unjust, hurtful ways. God loves you so much and is allowing you to take this difficult journey for your benefit. If you can open even a small part of your heart to that idea, I believe that with time, He will help you to see all the good He intends for you.

Sending you prayers for peace, comfort, and renewed strength for your journey. All the best!

****

I lost my job due to my refusal to take the experimental COVID vaccine. It was a good job – one that I really enjoyed, and that made a very comfortable living for my family. I’m proud that I didn’t cave to the pressure around getting the shot, but the loss of the job - especially the income - felt devastating. Since then, I’ve had some other opportunities come up, and I’m now back to full-time work. I don’t feel satisfied though. I’m not making nearly as much money as I used to, and this hits me hard in a number of ways – my pride, my motivation, concern for my family’s needs being met…I don’t feel like it will be possible for me ever to earn the kind of salary I want again. Feeling depressed and stuck…

I’m sorry to hear that you’re in a low place right now and am glad you wrote in to share your struggle. What you’ve been through with the loss of your job because you stuck to your principles about the vaccine – amazing courage and integrity on your part! – has been the unfortunate reality for many over the last few years. But don’t despair; I have some things to share with you here that have impacted my life powerfully, and which I hope will do the same for you.

I hear that you’re struggling to believe you could ever again earn the kind of money you used to bring in. It sounds like you feel your options are limited, but more than that – perhaps this experience has damaged your confidence in yourself and in what’s possible in life, in this world. 

Let me tell you something I believe about financial abundance (and really, abundance of any kind in life – happiness, love, health…): You can have as much as you can allow yourself to receive. Seriously. We are meant to have abundance in life, to have our needs met, and to do good and help others with what we have. Money is energy. Whether you believe in God, or relate to “the universe,” or something else entirely, the force flowing behind all life wants to bring you that money-energy so you can live fully.

The problem is that we often get in the way. We fill up our minds with limiting beliefs about ourselves, like “I’m not worthy of abundance” …“I’m not the kind of person who could be wealthy”… “I’m not smart/creative/capable enough to earn good money.” We also buy into limiting beliefs about money and the way the world “works”: “It’s hard to make money”… “Money only causes more trouble”… “There isn’t enough money to go around in the world today.”

If you have any of these thoughts swirling around in your mind, I want to point out to you that they really are all in your mind. We create our own realities through the thoughts and beliefs we focus on. So, if you are focused on “I can’t” and “It’s not possible,” that’s what you’ll get.

But if you can make the conscious choice to tell yourself that the injustices others have done to you had nothing to do with you and what is possible in your life, that you get to decide what kind of life you will live, now we’re talking.

When you’re ready to get started, write down all the limiting beliefs and fears that come up for you when you think about money, your work, and what’s possible for you. Then pick a few of the ones that shout the loudest in your mind and look at them more deeply. Why do these ones have such a strong hold on you? What is underneath each one when you look more closely? We pick up beliefs all over the place – from our parents’ worldviews and the way they raised us, from religion, from friends, from our own life experiences. Like a detective, investigate where your beliefs about money are coming from.

Then, decide what new beliefs you want to replace them with. What do you want to believe is possible for you? What do you want to believe you are capable of? How much money do you want to make? What kind of lifestyle do you want to have? You’ll write your own, but a few examples might look like: “My family and I are worthy of having our needs met comfortably.” “I am creative, resourceful, and capable.” “Abundance flows to me easily.” Create your new beliefs and make time to focus on them every day through writing, meditation, or even sticky notes posted around your house! If you’re really serious about this practice, I guarantee you that your perspective will shift, new opportunities will present themselves, and you will see your life change. 

Too many people out there these days are trying to force us into living small lives of constriction. You have every right and ability to have a life of abundance and expansion. Go after it! 

****

I really need some help. I recently graduated from college, and it’s almost time for me to begin paying back my student loans, which are pretty huge. My parents helped to support me through college, and we had also made an agreement that they would help with some of the loans afterward. 

But that was before everything changed. My parents are super pro-COVID vaccine, and I am super anti. I’m much more into natural living, and there is no way that I was going to put that thing into my body. My parents first encouraged me, then eventually threatened me about getting the vaccine, saying that if I chose not to, they would completely withdraw their financial support after I graduated. I held my ground, we had a big blowout argument, and they’ve said that’s it – no more assistance. 

I feel so hurt – how could they treat me this way over my values, which are so important to me? I’m also feeling super panicky about how I’m going to handle all the loans, plus other living expenses, even if I find a good job. I could really use some support. Thank you!

Thank you for sharing your story. I first want to acknowledge what a big thing you’ve done here. It can be very difficult to hold beliefs that are different from those of your family, especially when your family puts pressure on you to change. Not only that, but you also held on to your values even when you knew it would cost you your parents’ financial support. That takes a lot of courage!

Yes, it can really hurt when our parents don’t get us – when they won’t consider our point of view, or even simply hear us out sometimes. This can feel especially painful as we move into adulthood and start to really establish who we are in the world apart from them. I think all adult children – even if not everyone will admit it – want their parents to be proud of them, the decisions they’re making, and the lives they’re building for themselves. This longing for the approval and support of others is totally normal.

It becomes a problem though if we start arranging our lives in order to gain the approval of others. When we start making decisions to make others happy – Mom and Dad, friends, employers and coworkers – we step out of alignment with ourselves. We start to lose who we are. This is a dangerous game to play; the cost to our identity and integrity can be very high.

But you chose to hold onto yourself in this situation – amazing! It may feel more painful than amazing to you right now, but I want you to understand that what you’ve done is to take a powerful step into who you are becoming as a young adult – someone who knows a lot about who she is and what she stands for, and who does not cave to the pressure of others even when the stakes are high. I hope you’ll feel empowered by this knowledge about yourself as you navigate this situation.

As for the loans and your financial worries, I understand that it all feels very daunting right now. You can certainly talk with your loan companies to see if there are repayment plan options that will make things easier for you. But even beyond that, you’re just starting out, and you may come to find that once you have a job and you’ve organized your finances, the worries may turn out to have been bigger than the actual situation on the ground. You may also find that this situation brings out some qualities you didn’t know you had before – determination, resourcefulness, creativity, industriousness – as you figure out how to make this work. It may not be easy, but the skills you learn now for managing your budget will be with you for life. It’s not fun to be thrown into the water, but you may also find that it means you learn to swim very quickly. You can do this!

****

I was forced into an early retirement by my company due to my refusal of the jab. I had worked for them for almost 40 years. I loved that job – loved getting up in the morning to go to it, loved the people I worked with, the sense of purpose it gave me. I miss it so much. 

Thankfully, I’m not in any financial trouble, but the loss of that job has left such a hole in me. It felt like that’s who I was, and now without it, I don’t know how to find myself again, or what to do with my time every day. Feeling lost…

I’m so sorry to hear about what happened to you. I can hear how much that job meant to you, and I’m sure that it was a shock to have something that was so constant for so many years suddenly taken away. 

As for the struggle you’re going through now, I think you got straight to the heart of it yourself: You felt like so much of your identity was wrapped up in this job. Without it, who are you? 

As painful as this experience has been, I want to suggest that there may be a hidden gift within it – a big one – waiting to be uncovered by you. It is the gift of discovering your true self. It may not have been possible for you to fully engage with this gift for the past 40 years while you were so enmeshed with this job, but now that things have changed, this may be the perfect opportunity. 

I encourage you to do some writing about this. Write as if you are introducing yourself to someone you’ve never met before. Tell this imaginary person everything you can think of about yourself – where you come from, what you like to do, your values, your beliefs, what excites you, what gets you down, who you love, what things you’ve never done and want to try, what you would do if you had no fear…

When you’ve finished, take a look at what you’ve written. Do any particular parts stand out to you? Did anything come up that surprises you? What parts ring the truest for you, that hit you with the feeling of “Yes, that’s me!”? How can you use what you’ve written to connect more deeply to your sense of identity?

You can also look for clues in your writing as to ways you might want to spend your time. It sounds like you now have a lot of freedom to choose what you want to do, and while that might feel daunting, it could also be the beginning of big adventures! For example, if helping to inspire the next generation came up several times as a value for you, maybe you could consider finding a volunteer opportunity in which you could mentor young people. If you love to take walks in nature, build one into your daily routine and make it a priority. Take a look at your “bucket list” of things you want to do before the end of your life, choose one, and go for it! 

The only thing that can hold you back is if you hold on too tightly to the life you had before. The landscape is wide open in front of you, and your life can be whatever you want to make it. I wish you all the best!

****

What if the world keeps getting, well, worse? I long to feel like we’re moving in a positive direction, to see some light at the end of this tunnel, but I’m struggling to find it. What if the scary events of the past few years are really only the beginning of the nightmare, and life just keeps getting darker and darker, until we have no control over our own lives?

Thank you for writing in and expressing your worries. It sounds like your perception of where the world might be headed is weighing really heavily on you. I don’t know all the details of what you’re envisioning, but it sounds like it’s leaving you feeling frightened and hopeless. 

It’s true that many unsettling and scary things have happened over the last few years. But I’d like to invite you to return to this present moment with me. What you are imagining about the future is exactly that – imaginings. You are creating a reality inside your mind that doesn’t actually exist right now. Our thoughts are so powerful; we can create entire worlds inside our heads that feel completely real. And it’s okay to struggle with fears; we all do, to some extent. But is your fear over an imagined future where you really want to live?

What kind of world do you want to believe is possible? What sort of future do you hope for for your yourself and your descendants? Why not put the power of your thoughts into envisioning what you want to see happen, rather than what you don’t? It’s completely up to you to decide what you want to give your energy to – fear or hope.

I encourage you to spend a few quiet moments each day focusing on positive thoughts about life and the world, either meditating on them or writing them down. Where do you see love, kindness, and generosity taking place? Where do you see people selflessly helping each other? What unexpected beauty can you find each day? The more you focus on what’s good, the more goodness you’ll find.

We don’t know what the future holds, but the future is not where we’re living. We’re living right now. And living well right now is what makes a better future. You can always choose who you will be and what you will focus on at any given moment, no matter what is happening around you. That is a power no one can take away from you, ever. I hope you will choose to add more light to the world!

****

I feel afraid almost all the time these days. Unfortunately, I made the decision a while back to get the COVID vaccine, along with a few of the boosters, as did many of my friends and family. I thought at the time that I was doing the right thing, but now, as more information is coming out about the potential side effects, I feel terrified about what could happen to all of us. I wish I could take it back, and it feels maddening that I can’t. What do you do when you feel like you’re going to go crazy with regret over something that can’t be fixed??

I’m so sorry to hear about the distress you’re in. Regret is a tough place to live, and even more difficult when it’s mixed together with fear of the consequences that might come from that regrettable decision. I hope I can offer you some helpful words here.

I believe the key to moving forward for you is going to be self-forgiveness. It sounds like in making this decision to get the vaccine and boosters, you did the best you could at the time with the information you had. You believed you were doing the right thing. That is all we can ever do in life when making any kind of decision. 

When we stay in regret over a path we’ve chosen, we’re choosing to live in the past, and more than likely, to beat ourselves up pretty well over that past we’ve chosen. That’s not what you need right now. What would it take for you to be able to forgive yourself, to give yourself some more understanding and compassion over this?

Taking it one step further, what could you do to accept that this experience of choosing the vaccine is part of you now? It has become a chapter in the story of your life – where do you want this chapter to go? Will you allow yourself as the main character to spiral down into a perpetually fearful existence over what might happen to you and those you love? Or will you use this experience as a springboard to cultivate an even more health-conscious, positive life, where you call the shots, not fear?

Leaving the vaccine completely out of it for a moment, none of us knows what’s going to happen to us in the future – not next week, this evening, in the next hour, in the next moment. But we don’t have to know. Our only job is to write our life stories in the best way we know how, right now. That includes taking full ownership of the times we do things we wish later that we hadn’t done, asking ourselves, “How am I going to move forward from this now?” That’s real, empowered living.

All the best of health and happiness to you!

****

I’m struggling to know how best to interact with a certain acquaintance of mine. He and I agree about a lot of things related to current events, but one thing about him really troubles me. When it comes to the topic of the “elites” who are behind the globalist agenda, he can trash talk up a violent storm. He talks about them as “worthless pieces of garbage,” and many other things I won’t repeat here. 

Now, I agree that we have a lot to be furious about and offended by when it comes to these people. But the way my friend talks offends me too. I believe that all people are made in the image of God, with the potential for greatness, and that no matter how badly people might go wrong (and we know it’s possible to go really wrong), there should still be a certain standard of decency used when we talk about them (maybe out of respect for God, if nothing else). They are people, and no one is “garbage.” I’ve tried to bring this up with my friend, but he refuses to see my point of view, saying that to call them anything less is to condone their actions. What do you think about this, and what should I do?

Thank you for your question! I’ve had similar experiences myself – times where I was shocked at the intense ugliness and crudeness people sometimes express toward those in power. 

The thing is, though, that the grievance many of us have toward the “elites” is their perspective on the rest of us as being expendable, like pieces of garbage. Instead of being seen as the uniquely valuable, shining, magnificent creations we are, they see us as things to be controlled, manipulated, owned, killed off. So, if we start talking about them on the same level that they think about us, there isn’t so much that separates us. If we view them as trash, what makes us any better? It’s one thing to be angry; it’s another to sink to the level of those with whom we’re angry. 

I hear that your friend is equating your perspective with a pardon of these people’s actions. If you’ve seen that he’s not open to a conversation that considers different points of view, I would suggest leaving the subject alone for now. If he brings it up, perhaps just a simple, “I’d rather not talk about this right now. Can we please focus on something else?” might be best. 

But, as I’m sure you know, actions are often more powerful than words. How could you focus in more on personally modeling this perspective that all people are valuable in your own life? Are there people you’d like to be more kind or more patient with, more respectful of their differences? Are there ways that you can look more deeply for the good in every person? Others notice a person who is living like that; it can be incredibly powerful to witness someone who believes deeply in the intrinsic worth of every human being and lives it in their actions. 

You can even – and especially – work on this with your friend with whom you’re struggling. How can you let him know that even though you disagree, you value and respect him? Modeling this to him could be especially powerful, and who knows? It might have an impact on the very issue you’re dealing with between you. 

You have a beautiful outlook on others, and I hope you will let it shine so brightly that everyone around you is warmed by the glow. All the best!

****

I find life so complicated these days – what to believe, who to trust, how to make decisions…it’s all really overwhelming, and I just don’t want to deal with any of it. It’s like, I’m “awake,” as many call it these days, but at the same time I feel so sleepy. Sometimes I almost don’t want to get out of bed in the morning to face another day. I feel tempted to ask God to just take me out of this world, away from all this…my zeal for living is just gone…

I hear that you are carrying a heavy load right now. I’m sorry that life is feeling so overwhelming these days. Let’s explore some thoughts and perspectives together here that will hopefully bring some healing and energy back into your life. 

I hear what you’re saying about being “awake” – that sometimes it can feel like an exhausting burden. I myself have had moments when the thought, “Wouldn’t it be nice to be blissfully ignorant, to not know everything that I know?” has briefly flickered across my mind. It’s a big responsibility to know the truth, because once you know it, you have to decide what to do with it. The idea of sticking your head in the sand like an ostrich, or just going back to bed, can feel mighty appealing sometimes…

Let’s focus in on you. What is it really at the heart of this “sleepiness” for you? What fear or belief lies beneath your feeling of overwhelm about life in the world today? 

As human beings, we can handle a lot when we make up our minds to do so. We can overcome the most seemingly insurmountable obstacles, tackle the most “impossible” of challenges, persevere through the darkest of difficulties. It’s a matter of the will, of making up our minds that we will rise above…and then we can do almost anything. That includes you! So, what is it really that is causing you to want to give up and sign off on this world? You’re the only one that can answer these questions, and I encourage you to explore them in writing, meditation, or conversation with a trusted friend. 

I’ll tell you something I do know. If you are here in this world, in this lifetime, right now, it’s because God wants you here. You have been specially chosen to live in these times because you have an important part to play. I believe that each person has a unique mission in the world, which unfolds when we work on being the best “us” we can be - developing our talents and abilities and being dedicated to learning and growth. Each of us needs to be here right now, engaging, not hiding. This is the time to step up, for each of us to shine as only we can, to give our best to heal this hurting world.

If you don’t feel that way right now, that’s okay. But I encourage you to think about what you can uniquely offer this world, why you might be alive in this time, where you live, with the people who are around you. The more you explore what you have to give, the more I believe that zeal for life and sense of purpose and energy will return. 

Please don’t go back to sleep – the world needs you! 

****

I was taught growing up to respect leaders of all sorts, because God is the one who places people in positions of leadership. My parents really instilled this deeply in me, modeling it themselves in the way they spoke about and interacted with leaders. 

Now, as an adult, this is still one of my big values. However, I’ve really struggled with this in recent years as we’ve seen so many leaders in our world failing to lead in an honest, honorable, respectable way. It’s hard for me to reconcile the way I was taught to believe with the way I feel when I see what’s going on. Any thoughts?

This is a great question. I want to acknowledge that the value of respecting leaders that you were raised with is a beautiful one. And I can hear how much you want to actually feel the respect you believe you should show, but it’s a struggle. Yes, there are many people in power who we wish were acting differently – actually acting in the best interests of those they’re supposed to be serving and speaking and acting with honesty and integrity. 

I want to point you back to the way you spoke about God as being in charge of deciding who becomes a leader in this world. That’s what it all goes back to – God, in His infinite wisdom, understanding how the world needs to be run, and putting people in the positions they need to be in so that His good purposes can be accomplished. The thing is, we in our limited human vision don’t always understand His choices. We get too caught up in looking at the human beings in front of us and the way they mess up and forget there’s a much bigger picture that we can’t begin to comprehend. 

What could you do to redirect your focus back to God as the ultimate Leader? What would it take for you to have more confidence that the way He’s placing people and directing events – no matter how baffling and sometimes frustrating it may seem to you – is with complete wisdom and for complete good? 

If we are looking to people to make us happy, we will surely be let down sooner or later. But the more we focus on trusting the One running the show and acknowledge our inability to understand all the details, the more we will feel at peace even in the midst of turbulent world events. So, I encourage you to keep acting with that wonderful, honorable respect you spoke of, even if you don’t feel it. Rest assured, there is a plan! 

****

So, I have something I struggle with on a fairly regular basis that I really want to figure out how to deal with. I live in an observant Jewish community, which is wonderful in so many respects. But sometimes when I’m walking around my neighborhood, or talking with my neighbors, I get these flashbacks to the time when people who were “unvaccinated” couldn’t enter certain buildings. For me, this meant that I couldn’t pray at my beit knesset – my synagogue – for over a year, while the majority of our community members could. And I think to myself, “Are we just not going to talk about how wrong that was?” To cut someone off from their place of worship, to discriminate in that way…It would mean so much to me to hear someone who chose to be vaccinated and went along with the system say, “Yeah, that was really not okay what happened there. I’m sorry it hurt you so much.” But this never comes up; we’re all going on now almost as if nothing ever happened. But the people who were affected, like me, are still hurting; we haven’t forgotten. I want to be able to let go of this, but I don’t know how…

I can hear your pain so clearly in the words you write. Thank you for sharing your story. 

Yes, for those of us who were hurt, discriminated against, and worse, we haven’t forgotten. Being excluded from a place or practice that’s important to you can be incredibly painful (especially when the reason is so illegitimate, as in this case), and what’s even harder is when you feel that no one notices, understands, or acknowledges your pain.

That being said…It sounds like you are waiting for others in this situation – waiting for someone else to bring up the subject, waiting for someone else to apologize. The thing is, this may not happen. When you put your hopes for healing into the hands of others – like, “I’ll be able to move on when he…” or “I’ll finally be free of this pain when she…” – you might find yourself waiting a long time, experiencing all kinds of tumultuous emotions, because you’re trying to rely on something you can’t control.

So, what I want to ask you is, how could you take control of your own healing process here? What do you need in order to deal with this hurtful experience and then release it? What actions would you need to take? What words would you need to speak? 

For example, if there are specific people you felt particularly hurt by, what would be like to say, “Hey, could we please make time to sit down and talk? I have something important I want to share with you”? What might it look like to share your story and your feelings with those people? You might find that there’s a great deal of healing available to you just in speaking this out to someone who was involved, regardless of how they react or whether they apologize.

This is the real key: The only person you can ever control is you. You can figure out what it is that you need to do for yourself, and it doesn’t have to matter so much if the people you’re talking to don’t get it.

Another thing you might consider giving some thought to is how you can use your painful experience to help others. You know what it feels like to be marginalized. Is there anyone else in your community who seems excluded for some reason? How could you be there for them, and speak up for them in the way that you wish someone had for you?

There’s always a way to turn pain into purpose. I hope you’ll choose to do so with yours!

****

I have a number of friends who feel comfortable confiding in me about their troubles these days, which range from worries about what’s being taught in their kids’ schools, relationship issues with families who have differing worldviews, lack of direction, fear, and so on. They say I always inspire them, help them feel better, and give them more clarity on what they’re dealing with. This is, of course, really nice to hear! But I have to admit, it makes me feel like a bit of a fraud, because I wrestle with these things too! I have just as many problems as they do. I don’t know how they look to me as such an inspiration when I don’t know what I’m doing half the time either! Does that make sense?

Oh, yes – it makes perfect sense!! I’ll tell you that as a coach, I know this feeling very well. You wonder, “How in the world can I help someone else when I have so many problems myself?!”

I want to share a quote with you that I heard once and that has stuck with me ever since: “Your mess is your mission.” That’s right! You are uniquely suited to help others because you have messes in your own life. Your friends must come to you because they sense you understand them deeply, and the reason you understand them is that you’ve gone through messes too! 

Nobody wants to confide in a person who is “perfect,” who doesn’t seem to have any challenges, who is just placidly sailing along through life. We like to talk with people who are real, who are willing to be vulnerable about their own shortcomings and struggles, who can say, “You know what? I’ve been there too. I totally get how you’re feeling. Can I share some things I learned while I was in that dark place?…” You only have to be a little farther on the journey than someone else to be able to help them. 

It sounds like you are already giving your friends the amazing gifts of deep listening, encouragement, clarity, and inspiration, which is amazing! How could you really own this gift you have? How could you answer this inner voice that tells you you’re a fraud, because you don’t have it all figured out? How could you allow yourself to be imperfect in front of your friends?

I’ll tell you something very powerful here. When you feel like an imposter, like you have no business doing what you’re doing, because who are you to do such a thing anyway?...it’s a very good sign. Why? Because that inner voice that calls you a fraud only shows up when you are onto something big, when you are taking yourself to the next level of who you can be. If you weren’t growing and expanding, that voice would have nothing to say. But when you are stepping into your own greatness, all of a sudden it speaks up to try to keep you playing it small and safe in life. You are hearing that voice, and that means you are doing something incredible. Know that it’s okay if that voice comes up, and just remember that it doesn’t have to control you. You can answer back with confidence and keep doing what you’re doing – growing more into your amazing self! 

Your friends are very fortunate to have you in their lives. Just be yourself - imperfections, struggles, and all. That’s the very best way you can be there for them!

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Sarah encourages you to reach out to her with requests for advice! Please send your questions to advice@aflds.org

Sarah Perron is a Certified Transformational Life Coach. Her passion is to help people create a powerful vision for their lives, identify and eliminate anything that holds them back, and step into their own unique greatness and mission in the world. She believes deeply in the power of coaching to bring fresh perspectives, ideas, and motivation to anyone who wants to thrive in life. Sarah works with clients one-on-one and in group coaching programs and presents exciting workshops on self-development topics. You can follow her on her YouTube channel Find Your Fire.

You are invited to book a complimentary coaching call with Sarah! Please visit https://calendly.com/sarahperroncoaching/45min to choose a time that's convenient for you. She looks forward to meeting you!

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