Our lives are stories.  In all of our life, we feel at times like our story is stuck somehow and we can’t seem to move on.  Instead of trying to understand or change the circumstances, I have come to see that I need to ask myself, “How is my heart?”


Circumstances will happen like crisis that can blow you off into some painful place where you feel stuck.  We want to get out of there… so we ask,  “How do I do it?  This is wrong because that question is an expectancy toward God.  Many times people would say to me that I should do this, or join them in doing that.”  When I listened, I was duped into something that is so out of my personality and character, outside of my purpose.  I found myself lost without joy.  I realized the worst thing one can do if they want to use their gifts and talents without the hard work is pure manipulation.  In my fear of ‘missing out’ and not be part of something wonderful.  I found myself repeating the same mistake over and over again.  And because of fear, I have learned my lessons in a hard way.  It’s a been tough journey.

I confided with my friend that I felt like my story is stuck.  She sent me a book by Dan Allender called “TO BE TOLD” with a subtitle, “God Invites You to Co-Author your Future.”   Dr. Allender writes in the beginning of the book that tells me he was heading straight to the problem.  Here’s what he wrote,

“A plot without its tension is a flat line. A life with no risk, no dips is not a life.  Life, by definition, involves tension.  Even the couch potato – an average adult person who watches hours of television is trying the tragedy in the stories of others.  Tension is living in the gap between certainty and uncertainty.  We always begin with what we know and are drawn into what we don’t know.  We’re curious.  We’re wired to grow and all growth stretches us beyond our comfort level.  Comfort is the absence of tension. Growth requires a swim in the murky dangerous waters.  We want adventure but not without assurance that we will suffer no harm when we take risk. We want danger and excitement but only as long as it comes with the money bag guarantee – everything will work out before the game is finished.  But life isn’t like that.  There’s no safe risk.  There’s no growth that comes with the guarantee of success.  Tension is the medium in which we breath everyday.”

Taking an easy way to your dream may sounds great.  But riding on other people’s program to your dream is manipulation.  And manipulation stunts our growth because we can start blaming others when we fumble and drop the ball.

It is important to distinguish healthy social influences from psychological manipulation.  Healthy social influence occurs between people, and is part of the give and take of constructive relationship.  It is in psychological manipulation, one person is used for the benefit of another.  This is using a person for self-seeking purposes and desired privileges.  The manipulator deliberately creates an imbalance of power, and exploits the victim to serve his or her agenda. [/restrict]