Monday, June 27, 2011

Our True Self

I looked around at church yesterday. I looked at all the people I know and wondered why we don't ever show our true selves. Actually, I've wondered about this for some time. But yesterday, the thoughts seemed to weigh on me.

I can't seem to understand why we don't let the outside world view our inside self. We all put on a front. All of us. Someone asks how we are and we never give the truth. We give, "Fine" or "Good", when deep inside we know those words ring hollow. We don't express our real thoughts or struggles. We simply don't let others see us as anything other than our surface self.

So, why? Why do we only present half truths to those around us? Why do we feel the need to pretend that all is well, even when its not? Maybe, if we spoke the words that we really felt, it would give others the freedom to do the same. Instead of feeling flawed, we could all just start feeling normal.

There is fear in telling someone the truth. I think that's why we don't do it. We don't want anyone to know of our struggles and disappointments. Somehow, if we put our thoughts into words, they gain a physical shape that makes them more real. That's the scary part.

But, here's the truth: we all have struggles and disappointments. All of us. Mine vary from yours. Hard kids, finances, health, self esteem. The list can be endless. It's not that our struggles are monumental. It's that they are small and personal. They are quiet, and so we hide them.

What if we could find a way to be Real? What if we could let others know what we hold quiet and deep inside? Then, and only then, the fear would wash away. The fear of being judged or misunderstood or talked about.

If we all spoke our true selves, I have to believe that peace would take fear's place. Not a perfect peace, because our struggles would still remain. But a peace that could offer a calming hope of acceptance. It could squeeze into the quiet and deep to sit along side the hard, the disappointment, the frustrating and the sad. We could all use a good coating of peace.

I'm guilty of hiding. Just like you, I never share the Real. Never. I do it here, when I write. But not with spoken words. So, maybe I'm the only one who keeps the truth quiet. But, I doubt it. Maybe we could collectively speak the truth. Offer our Real selves, flaws and all. Doing it together definitely feels better than trying it alone.

So, this week, speak your true self.

How are you?


Anonymous said...

I have hard kids...I have many issues...
yep, I'm feeling better already!!

Eric and Amy said...

Brilliant words. Bravo for speaking them, or writing them. I've struggled with this same thought for SO LONG. Glad to know I'm not alone. Let's see, how am I? ... stressed in so many ways ... it's summer, this is supposed to be the most relaxing time of year??!!

Addie said...

I learned this lesson a few years ago when I realized that people were judging themselves against my "perfect" front. We all judge our weaknesses against other people's strengths! I decided to be "real". It makes some people uncomfortable, but it makes everyone else feel so relieved!