“Fake it ‘til you make it”
This is an often-used phrase among those in 12-step recovery and it can, at least at first glance, seem rather cynical and crass. But I think if we ponder this phrase for a while, we will not only see wisdom in it, but also an expression of a very keen sense of human reality and relationship.
I don’t know if you have ever been the new kid in school, but if you have, you will remember how horrible that first day in a new school was like. You didn’t know anybody; everything was different. You didn’t have any friends and you had to navigate your way to survive and hopefully thrive in this new environment. Often the only way you could do that is by “faking it,” pretending to others and yourself that you were not afraid; that you did understand this new environment even though you were both lonely and terrified inside. But then the more time passed and you began to form some friendships, you really did fit in; you belonged! In other words, you faked it until you made it.
In a sense, we often need to act ourselves into understanding ourselves. You see, when we are broken, we don’t know ourselves and we need to grow into ourselves. Recovery is becoming ourselves. Often this takes place in the midst of despair, depression, loneliness and shame. The wounds need time to heal. To enter into the journey of recovery, we need to be willing to live with ambiguity.
Faking it until making it means being physically present even before you are able to be actually, honestly, and authentically present. You see, the presence of God is not the elimination of pain. Rather, God’s presence allows us to at least fake it in the hope that we will make it to the journey of recovery so that we can be happy, joyous and free.
Now, how does all of this apply to our current situation of isolation in the midst of the Covid-19 Virus? Living in the midst of ambiguity and fear and being powerless over this reality means, at times, we just have to fake it ‘til you make it so that we can get through this moment of fear, boredom and loneliness and with God’s grace we can “make it” through this time of ambiguity so as to dwell in the certainty of God’s love.
FAKE IT ‘TIL YOU MAKE IT!!!