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My secret shame

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If the Hokey Pokey really was what it was all about, I would be in serious trouble…

I may have mentioned this in passing before, but today I make an all out confession:

I suffer from Left-Right Confusion,

Which in layman’s terms means I often can’t tell my left from my right without pretending to eat.

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It’s more embarrassing than anything else. I’ve called people moments after giving them directions to my house and asked them to repeat them to make sure I didn’t say turn left when they should turn right.

Joey, I feel your pain...

I don’t know if the two are related, but I also have a horrible sense of direction.

I’ve mostly come to terms to my condition and have given up my dreams of ever becoming an air traffic controller. But sometimes situations arise which remind me just how different I am. And not necessarily in a good way.

Such was the case Wednesday night.

I have this amazing book called The Art of Looking Sideways by Alan Fletcher. I’m sort of at a loss for words as to how to describe it, so I’ll let Amazon do it for me: “Alan Fletcher’s The Art of Looking Sideways is an absolutely extraordinary and inexhaustible “guide to visual awareness,” a virtually indescribable concoction of anecdotes, quotes, images, and bizarre facts that offers a wonderfully twisted vision of the chaos of modern life.” It is the big book of awesome, and I mean that literally: it weighs 5 pounds.

Anyhoo, I was looking through the book last night (there’s no beginning or end–you could start anywhere), when I came across an exercise which tests whether you were left or right eyed dominant.

Before I continue, I need to give you a little back story. When I was a young tot first picking up a crayon, my natural inclination was to lead with my left hand. My older sisters, apparently fearing being left-handed would make me more of a freak than I already was, forced me to write with my right hand. I’m convinced I should have been left-handed. I credit them for me being amberdextrous ambidexterous able to do things with both hands. I also blame them for my left-right confusion and the delayed discovery of my creativity. (It’s okay–they don’t read my blog. Feel free to heap burning coals upon their heads.)

Now, about the test. It started with a picture:

If you're right-eyed dominant, you probably see the above figure as a rabbit. If you're left-eyed dominant, you probably see a bird.

I was really hoping to discover that I was left-eyed dominant, which would confirm that I am truly left-handed and right-brained. This is my logic. Just nod and follow along, please. Well that was not at all helpful. I see both, and not really one more than the other.

But wait…there was more! Here’s the other test:

Stretch out an arm, either will do, and point with a finger to a distant corner of the room–keep both eyes open.

Staying in this position, close one eye, then the other. In one case your eye will match whatever you’re pointing at in the corner, in the other your finger will be pointing way off the mark.

If you’re on target, that’s your leading eye.

I took the test.

When I closed my right eye, my left eye stayed on target.


I really am left-eyed dominant.



“Um…what are you doing?”, asks my husband.

“I took a test to see if I’m left or right-eyed dominant. I’m left-eyed dominant, by the way.”

I proceed to read him the instructions I followed to the letter. Then I repeated the test again.

“Which eye stays on target?”

“MY LEFT EYE! See?” (repeats test)



“That’s your right eye.”


What about you? Have any secret shames you hide from the world?

This is a safe place.

Talk to me, freaks!

Being Me (and being you)

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On Tuesday, I wrote a post for the blog carnival entitled “Faithfulness – To thine own self be true”. In it, I made the following statement:

For the most part, I enjoy being me. I now understand after years of fighting to be like someone else, it was never God’s intention that I be anyone but myself. I fought it for years, seeing only my shortcomings and rarely my strengths. But somewhere along the way, I figured out God can use our weaknesses just as well (and sometimes better) as our strengths.

In the comments section, Bonnie and Melissa Rae asked about the line, “But somewhere along the way, I figured out…” How did I figure that out? There’s not a short answer to this question. It’s been a process. It continues to be a process.

The journey began innocently enough. I was 24 or 25 years old. I was watching a segment of 20/20 about Attention Deficit Disorder in Adults. I’d never even heard of ADD, but as I watched the stories of others struggling with the same feelings of inadequacy, low self worth and pain, I knew without a doubt they were describing me. I wasn’t looking for excuses, I was looking for hope.

Shortly after this broadcast, I made an appointment with a psychiatrist. I took a long, verbal test to confirm if I had ADD. The test began with some questions about my work habits in school, etc. Simple enough. Then the doctor began asking me math problems. As I type this, my face is beginning to feel flush remembering how full of shame I felt. I could not calculate simple addition in my head. I broke down in tears, and he concluded the test. He didn’t need more to confirm his diagnosis. I was referred to a therapist to help me understand my condition and to learn to live with it. When I walked into her office, beautifully framed in gold was this poem by Veronica Shoffstall:

Comes the Dawn

After a while you learn the subtle difference
Between holding a hand and chaining a soul,
And you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning
And company doesn’t mean security,
And you begin to learn that kisses aren’t contracts
And presents aren’t promises,
And you begin to accept your defeats
With your head up and your eyes open
With the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child,
And you learn to build all your roads on today,
Because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain for plans,
And futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight.
After a while you learn
That even sunshine burns if you get too much.
So you plant your own garden and decorate your own soul,
Instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.
And you learn that you really can endure…
That you really are strong,
And you really do have worth.
And you learn and learn…
With every goodbye you learn.

That was a major turning point. I was approaching life completely wrong. I was attempting to gauge my self worth based upon what others thought of me. In that epiphany moment, I understood what I believe is a core truth: You can be surrounded by loving, supportive, caring people (or not) and yet you are still ultimately alone in this world. We are created to live in community with one another, yet at the end of the day, it is you and your Creator who understands the depths of your soul.

Strip away all the things people think define you, and you are ultimately left with what you know to be the truth. That despite how flawed you may be, God put you on this earth for His glory, and He has already equipped you with the tools you will need. It is up to you to hone these tools, and get to work on your Father’s business. “To thine own self be true?” Yes. Absolutely.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12: 9-10