I often wonder…….
Wouldn’t it be so much easier? Wouldn’t it take so much less time?
Our society has created entire industries that make their “living” on helping people pretend or look like something other than what they are.
From beauty products to clothing stores to automobiles and the beer we drink, millions and billions of dollars are spent every year trying to make us appear to be something other than what we are.
And it has permeated other parts of our lives.
Most of us can’t go to church without looking like we’ve got all of our “ducks in a row.”
Most of us, when asked, “How are you?” will either respond with “Good!” or “Busy!” Even when we’re are not good because of this or that. Even when we are not busy because our job disappeared and nothing else has come.
Why do we do that?
Why do we spend so much time and energy trying to be fake?
Why are we so afraid to admit we aren’t perfect?
Why are we so afraid to admit there’s dog doo-doo in our front yard?
We spend so much time and energy trying to be fake and we hurt those we love in the process.
We spend so much time and energy trying to be different than God made us to be and we push away those we love in the process.
What would happen if we spent that time being real, being vulnerable, being open, allowing others to see us and help us and allowing ourselves to lean into the pain of others?
A friend of mine, Carissa Woodwyk, wrote a post on Facebook that wrestles with this same issue but from a slightly different angle. The overall point is the same. I’ve taken the liberty of quoting part of it on here. If you want to read her entire post, go to https://www.facebook.com/carissarwoodwyk and then read the post she wrote last night……
Now, an excerpt……
…….we have GOT to stop the shaming.
we have GOT to stop the blaming.
we have GOT to stop the bullying.
we have GOT to stop the pretending.
we have GOT to stop the gossiping.
we have GOT to stop the judging.
we have GOT to stop the busyness.
we have GOT to stop the numbing out.
we have GOT to stop the not dealing with hard stuff.
and you yell, HOW?
and i yell back, START!
we have to START naming and owning and confessing.
we have to START saying, “we don’t know how” and ask for help.
we have to START learning new strategies and coping mechanisms.
we have to START practicing empathy and compassion.
we have to START believing hurt people hurt people.
we have to START admitting that our marriages are dead and crumbling, that we’re just functioning and getting by.
we have to START recognizing that we are living in an image based and driven world and that we all have masks we wear.
we have to START practicing the art of paying attention – to what’s inside us and to what’s inside others.
WE HAVE TO START REMEMBERING WHO WE ARE.
and then the crowd is hushes, and i whisper in the most tender and strong and kind and calm voice:
it’s not that we need a different or better or shinier or godlier you, it’s that we need the TRUE you. we need YOU to uncover the identity you ALREADY have…so your sons and daughters can. so our students can. so our communities can. so our churches can. so our country can. so our world can.
so we can LIVE, together…authentically, vulnerably, courageously, compassionately…connected.
and then i’ll pause, and take a breath, and whisper one more time, ARE YA WITH ME?
friends…let’s not only dream of a better world, but be a part of and participate in, making our world better. one self at a time……