Friday, March 22, 2013

The great pretender

Cool, calm and collected...that's the way I am perceived by most people. I don't break a sweat, I don't stress, I am not affected by the silly stuff of life, I handle most things quite well, I am resilient beyond comprehension. It's true. Yet it's a mask I wear. I can count with the fingers in one hand how many people I've allowed to peek beneath my mask. I am the great pretender. I am not the only one.

We great pretenders hide our vulnerability, our fear, our true wishes, our weakness, our insecurity, our feelings of inadequacy, what excites us, our doubt, our apprehension, our lack of knowledge, our wanting to be held, our acceptance, our prejudice, our enough-ness, our misunderstanding, our dissatisfaction, our frailty, our brokenness, our boundaries, our confusion, our change of mind, our mistakes and our humanness. In hiding our true self we erect a wall between us and the love that is around us, we take away from others what we can offer, we close ourselves up to what we can receive, we unwittingly perpetuate the pretending and the attitudes we hide, we limit our opportunities for growth and self-awareness. In hiding behind what we pretend to be, we cheapen life, we narrow our life experience, we raise our defensiveness and we see others through a limited lens.

We great pretenders are either chameleons or we go against the grain. As chameleons we aim to not rock the boat, to blend and hope that we can't be seen under our masks. In going against the grain, we antagonize others pushing them away in the same hope, that our true self will not show through.

Kurt Voneghaut once said that we are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be. This rings especially true for me. If I finally become what I pretend to be, I will not be happy. Today is a good day to stop pretending, to be real, to enjoy life fearlessly, to love thoroughly, to laugh, to learn, to give and receive plainly, to feel pain, cry, to be who we really are before we become what we pretend to be.

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