What do my friends see when they look at me? Who do they believe me to be? Do I see and believe the same, less, or more? If less, why is that kept private when it’s so liberating to let it out? Here’s a few stupid reasons: the need to show I’m always strong, to show I’m always an amazing person, to appear more than I am, to show I’m always capable of doing everything on my own, and the need to show I can handle all that life throws at me. All of these are so far from the truth because of the words always, more, and all, and yet are easier to present to others than the imperfect human being that I am. I am all of these things, but not all the time, so why not show the real picture of sometimes strong, amazing, or capable, but sometimes not. It’s OK to be real about struggles, weaknesses, and mistakes, and use these encouraging words to give myself the determination I need to conquer or maybe just endure. But when you’re real with your friends it’s encouragement times 2, or times 3, or maybe times 10!