What is that called? What is that for?

It’s a fork and we use it to eat.

How do you know that?

We accept a lot of definitions, but how do we  know for sure? What we believe defines how we will act and behave and LIVE.  I’m using “FORK” as an example…

I know it’s a fork because someone told me. Our parents and our parents’ parents all agreed on this word and this function. This is cultural knowledge passed down without question: It’s a fork and we use it to eat.  


Have you seen the The Little Mermaid. My sister and I loved that movie growing up.  I can sing it by heart. It’s where my weird fork example comes from. 

Do you remember the scene about the fork?

Ariel, the mermaid, is told by a friend that a fork is called a “dinglehopper” and it’s used to comb hair.  Ariel believes this friend knows how the world works and trusts his definition.  If you say it’s a dinglehopper and everyone uses it to comb hair, awesome! Combing away… 

But, see, it’s a funny scene to us because we know the truth. We KNOW that’s NOT how you use that. That’s NOT what that’s for! That’s a fork! That’s hilarious! Crazy mermaid!

But she doesn’t know. She only knows what she’s been taught to believe. This is a dinglehopper… this is what that’s for… combing away…

She had misinformation.


My cousin babysat my toddler girl and taught her a fabulous new “rule” about life, “If you want to get something from your mom, just use the magic word! It’s the best way to have mommy get you what you want.  And the magic word is – “NOW”.

‘Mommy, ice water, Now!’

‘Mommy, can I watch a show, Now?!’

‘Now, get me my blanket!’

That sweet babe THOUGHT she was doing the right thing. But, all it did was make me burn with great vengeance and furious anger. “Heck no!”

She had misinformation.

So, I had to reteach her the real magic word; the one that strikes a generous, true, loving reaction in me… And it is of course, “Beautiful.”

“Beautiful, can I watch a show?”  yep, sure can!


We have misinformation in much more profound ways than how to use a fork (although I do think using “beautiful” as a magic word will do wonders).  We think we know all about beauty, food, sex, God… we think we know the realities of life. And they’re depressing for most of us! They suck, honestly.  

How many people do you know who are struggling – not only within work and money and relationships but within their hearts – truly struggling?  Often it’s because the definitions we are working with exclude US. I am not “beautiful”.  I’m not “sexy”. I’m not “successful”.

We cannot reconcile the messages and definitions we are getting about how life is supposed to be… how WE are supposed to be…  

Sometimes there is a hint within us that our working definitions are incorrect – questioning the established rules. (Ariel questioned her information too.)  We feel some hazy doubt about the way life is presented to us. On and off there’s a sense in each of us… is that REALLY the truth? This doesn’t feel quite right but we don’t question often or deep enough to change our beliefs…

Episodes of Scandal call to us, grocery shopping or crying kids demand our attention, or Pinterest’s seductive ways distract us really well and we stop questioning. 

We stop questioning, but the problem is that we are left with definitions that tear us apart.

What is beautiful? Who is qualified to be sexy or worthy of having amazing sex?  What is a Christian?

Today, I want to question my beliefs. Especially of the definitions causing me discomfort and pain.

Why do I believe this to be true?

Is there another way to look at this?

I can use a “dinglehopper” to comb my hair, but it is really better suited as a fork. They are actually quite sharp. 

I feel the same way about how I use those words: beautiful, sexy, christian…  Those words are really quite sharp and I need to constantly rethink how I use them – both on myself and with others.

If I am poking myself in the head with a sharp definition, perhaps it’s time to rethink how I am using it.

What if you believed you were beautiful?

What if you believed your life mattered?

What if you believed great sex was possible?

What if you believed you could overcome fear?

What if we changed our definitions?  In very practical ways, what if you chose to believe that your hair IS beautiful and you don’t need another bottle of shampoo?  What if you chose to believe that you are sexy and don’t need to hide under the covers or wrap a towel around yourself to hide the “bad” parts?

Imagine, just for a moment, that you had never seen anyone else ever having sex. Now, don’t get all shy, if you can use the internet I am pretty sure you have at some point seen someone else at least pretending to have sex. Just seeing them in these images has changed your definition of who gets to have sex, what it should look like, what the woman does and what her body looks like, what the man is supposed to do… etc.

Note: Someone else made that movie or picture; They chose an image or actor based on their tastes.

Imagine you didn’t have to measure up to someone else’s definition of sexy – and you could just BE it.

Imagine you didn’t have to measure up to someone else’s definition of beautiful and you could just BE it.

How would it change your life?