Show through

Although the internet disagrees on who said it first, we’ve all heard it before, 80% of life is showing up.

I’ve said it and meant it and it’s helped me.

I’ve applied it to my faith, sobriety, friendships, running, work, you name it.

Be there. Make the effort. Show up.

Now that I’m 33 and a little wiser, I’ve realized the percentage in this statement is skewed. Don’t get me wrong, showing up is cool, showing up is admirable, showing up is certainly more than physically being there – I get that. When most people say this, they mean show up and be present, be attentive. However, now I know to really make a difference in this world I need to show up and follow through.

People don’t care that I just show up.

(The following are not actual conversations but could have been)

Oh, you went to church Sunday? Nice man, so how are you putting that faith in action?

Cool, you showed up to my event. That’s really nice of you. You left after twenty minutes though…

Thanks for taking the time to meet. I appreciate you making it a priority. You haven’t really heard a word I’ve said though…

Plenty of people show up but aren’t really there. At my worst, this is me. An empty vessel.

This isn’t enough.

What’s the next step?

A revolution of attentive action.


We’re all broken, some more than others.

Some brokenness stays hidden, some is on display for all to see.

When we show up we bring everything with us. Often times this brokenness keeps us from following through.

Insecurity, self-doubt, thin-skin – they are stumbling blocks I must be aware of at all times. They are real. They are rooted in legitimate pain, an emotional brokenness that occasionally comes back to haunt me.

The past ten years of my life have been marked with the peaks and valleys. I never thought I could hurt as bad as I have, and I never thought I could be as happy as I am.

So what.

I’m not the only one. 

If I want to make a difference, people need me to show up and follow through.

Following through helps break my cycle of doubt.

Following through helps heal wounds.

Following through shows the people around me they are important.

More than just being there, checking a box and filling a seat.

I teared up in mass tonight when I heard the reading from Isaiah:

The Lord God helps me;
    therefore I have not been disgraced;
therefore I have set my face like flint,
    and I know that I shall not be put to shame;
      he who vindicates me is near.
Who will contend with me?
    Let us stand up together.

Whether you believe in God or not, the message is clear:

Have the confidence to accept help.

The pain of the past doesn’t win.

Show up, be strong.

Take action and bring someone else along.

Let the truth show through. 

One thought on “Show through

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