Sometimes I put on a smile for the world, when my insides are crying. I try to go through the motions of fitting in when I really feel like an alien in a foreign land. Disconnected and dishonest… I feel miserable! I feel like an “imitation Ann”… close to the real deal… just not quite “right”, ya know? So why do I continue to smile, smile, smile… when in reality I just want to cry?!
I guess it’s because I try to “Fake it til I make it”! Who wants to be around sadness, awkwardness and negativity anyways? Especially when I know others struggle with so much more… so I plaster on a smile and carry on.
Sometimes I can smile and respond “I’m good, and you?” and feel the brief relief of denial, but usually over time I end up feeling like a phony… and a bit guilty over deceiving so many unsuspecting folks!
But that is what we do, isn’t it? After all, it is often seen as socially inappropriate to bear our souls. Not everyone is ready or capable of hearing the truth about what is really going on behind our masks. Sometimes, let’s be honest, some folks just don’t even care.
And yet, it is such a relief when I can be honest and share the realness of my life and my troubles! How affirming it is to share with those who truly care and are non-judgmental about the pain I am carrying. Being authentic and honest about how I’m feeling relieves a burden of my soul and truly lightens my load and heals my heart!
We are called to be authentic and honest. Yes, sometimes there is such a thing as TMI (“too much information” haha!) and we must always respect the limitations and fears of those with whom we are sharing our stories and our hearts… yet I believe, yes, truly believe we are called to be bravely open and honest with our struggles and our triumphs of the spirit.
Psychotherapy, friendships, marriages, support groups, and small groups at church are all examples of key places we can share the truth of our journey and ourselves. I believe these meetings and relationships are inspired by the Divine who never intended we set out on this journey alone… but are meant to be together in truth!
We should let go of any attachment to the approval from others. We should let go of the worry of feeling embarrassed, ridiculed or ashamed. Instead we might consider the pain of living a lie… the burden of a journey with the cloak of fear hiding out true thoughts and souls.
Life is not meant to be “acted” but to be lived… and we are called to live authentically! Be brave! Be fierce!
We shall live as openly and as be as REAL as we can with the rewards of connection, of healing and of true peace to follow.
Sometimes we must “fake it til we make it”, we just shouldn’t fake it for too long. 😉 More often we need to open ourselves up to each other and to love.
I am feeling much relief these days as I have received the gift of an open ear and an open heart… a true gift of life and love that has transformed me. I am grateful to all who accept me without my mask and who by example inspire me to leave it off more and more. Thank you to all who encourage me as I aspire to embrace my truth and my authenticity!
May we all remember the potential sadness that may linger behind another’s smile. May we each feel inspired to share our truth and our pain in order to be transformed and so we all may feel the relief of setting down our masks.