The Pretender – With Bill Hoffman

There is an old Jackson Browne song called, “The Pretender”.  I thought about it this morning while reading “All is Grace” again, by Brennan Manning. His interpretation is “the imposter”, or false self. In any case it refers to the tragedy of living out of a disingenuous place in life, indicative of not knowing ones self,  and not having discovered a viable identity.

Here is an excerpt from Jackson’s song:

“I want to know what became of the changes
We waited for love to bring
Were they only the fitful dreams
Of some greater awakening?

I’ve been aware of the time going by
They say, in the end, it’s the wink of an eye
When the morning light comes streaming in
You’ll get up and do it again, Amen

Caught between the longing for love
And the struggle for the legal tender
Where the sirens sing and the church bells ring
And the junk man pounds his fender

Where the veterans dream of the fight
Fast asleep at the traffic light
And the children solemnly wait
For the ice cream vendor

Out into the cool of the evening
Strolls the pretender
He knows that all his hopes and dreams
Begin and end there.”

Brennan Manning in “All is Grace”, states this:

The impostor lives in fear.

The impostor is consumed with a need for acceptance and approval.

The impostor is codependent; in other words, out of touch with his or her own feelings.

The impostor’s life is a herky-jerky existence of elation and depression.

The impostor is what he or she does.

The impostor demands to be noticed, or hides, or both.

The impostor cannot experience intimacy in any relationship.

And last but not least, the impostor is a liar, because they live a lie.


The similarities between the two are clear… searching for a place in life to “be”. That elusive place where I “fit.” A place in which I am at ease, uninhibited, having found intrinsic value… just be an end in itself… enough. Doesn’t that sound refreshing? Not comparing myself to anyone?

It’s a place that exists for all of us, but it will require a few things.  Recognizing our false self or pretender, and reconciling ourselves to it; meaning that the ego can no longer rule your life, you have to rule your ego. Your ego creates the narrative of your life… or as Jordan Peterson puts it;

“Every relationship begins with your relationship with yourself. Ultimately the guiding voice is the internal one. And if you don’t understand who you are, it’s impossible to develop self-control.

Carl Jung once said: “Everybody acts out a myth, but very few people know what their myth is. And you should know what your myth is because it might be a tragedy and maybe you don’t want it to be.”

The “myth” is built as a survival tactic, a defense against pain or rejection, or any number of reasons. The longer we live the myth, without identifying it as myth, and start living authentically, we become more and more the “pretender”. In time we may assume the face we have created is our actual reality… this is where it can turn in to tragedy. The loss of the uniqueness God intended to bless the world with in you is traded in for a lie… something that seems more acceptable to us.

Today you can come out of hiding, pretending, and creating a never ending false narrative to support the lie.  You can become the genuine you… it will take some work but there is help and a Process to walk through.

Contact EIS today for help. A brand new life awaits you!

Canva Pro/ Brennan Manning/Jordan Peterson/Jackson Browne/Carl Jung content.


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