Live genuine lives

June 5, 2024

By Jeff Becraft


Something happened that was very special at Our Place of Hope yesterday. During our morning meeting, unprompted, one member opened up about some of the fears that he’s facing in his life and this led us to going around the whole conference table and anybody who was willing to share, they would share what makes them fearful or what causes them anxiety.

It was a very special moment as person after person opened up and shared things that none of us knew about… but there was a lot of commonality about what was really going on inside of people.

When we had gone all the way around the table, one of those people who is also a board member said, “Wow… what an amazing group of people.” What was amazing was that people were genuine; that they were willing to open up and they were willing to be honest. I cannot share what anyone said – it was for those looking one another in the face at that moment. And I have also not asked permission to do so.  But it was the dynamic that was going on that I want us to see.

So much of our society is simply plastic. We want to give a certain appearance to people in our social media and our public appearances… and we certainly do not want them to see any fears or anxieties that are going on inside of us.

The greatest definition I’ve ever heard of intimacy is to be fully known and still delighted in.

Another part of this amazing time yesterday was that people, as they opened up, they realized, “I’m not going to be rejected. People aren’t going to look down on me because this is what is really going on inside of me.” I wonder what our society would look like if all of us acted like that?

I know there are situations I walk into and I have all kinds of anxieties going on inside of me. No one sees that. Everyone sees me as a very confident person. But in the back of my head would be spinning these insecurities that I don’t measure up to the rest of the people in the room or I’m not doing a good enough job or… go ahead and fill in the blank.

What happened yesterday was genuine. And we need more of that in our society. We need people in our lives that we can be open and honest with them and that they can see the good, the bad and the ugly.

And we can know that that’s not going to make any difference.

They’re not going to drop me, they’re not going to look down on me, they’re not going to walk away. They’re going to accept me for who I am. And it’s amazing the encouragement and strength we can get when we connect with people who are open and honest and genuine and how much it resonates with what’s going on inside of us.

So I just want to encourage us today – let’s live genuine lives. It’s much better than the plastic facade that many times we simply might put on.


Jeff Becraft is the Director of Our Place of Hope and the Director Emeritus for Youth Corps and has dedicated much of his life to helping shift the vision of people’s lives. Our Place of Hope is a paradigm shift for people living with mental illness that encourages them to regain meaning, purpose, and hope for their lives. You can connect with Jeff at  [email protected].