It’s a problem to me, if the character you play is in stark contrast to the real you. For example, you play the role of the caring thoughtful friend, but talk about everyone behind their backs and could really care less about what anyone has going on. The role you’re playing is not you. I see it being more beneficial to exude the real you, no matter how big an asshole you are, that way, people no longer bring their concerns to you. I think it does a disservice to relationships to be fake. This isn’t a casting call for you to spill every dirty deed you’ve ever done, but you should have at least one friend you can be real with. It’s myFIRMbelief that the way you are in one relationship, is the way you are in all relationships. It’s hard for me to conceptualize a person who is secretive with everyone around them having an open relationship with God. I’m not saying it’s impossible, I’m just saying, for me, I don’t see that being likely. If one talks poorly about everyone they encounter: they never have anything good to say about my friends, their friends, or their relatives, why then, would I expect him/her to have positive things to say about me? If you don’t listen to anyone, ever, how can you portray yourself as a follower or humble? It’s not realistic. And I am a realist.
I understand that sometimes it’s easier to play a role than to show who you really are, but to what extent? Easy isn’t always better. You may get a round of applause, but you’ll never have an authentic relationship. Also, WE make things harder on ourselves. A lot of us are still dealing under David Elkind’s Personal Fable: we think the things we go through are only happening to us. Couple that with the “Imaginary Audience” theory –whereby we believe a crowd is intently watching us and hanging on to our every move—and it’s easy to get stuck in fantasy land. I’ve always said that the problem with living in a fantasy world is that the characters are real.
While reading this blog won’t whip you into shape, there are some things you can do. Check out these reading materials: Authentically Me by Kimberly Bady (http://www.kimbady.com) and Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster; specifically the discipline of Solitude, where he discusses our need to always self-justify. These two books will help you live more authentic lives, if you take heed. Additionally, work on being honest with yourself, making better decisions—ones that you won’t find shame in being honest about—and showing a little bit of your true colors every day. Despite what you think, there’s nothing so bad that you can’t redeem yourself from it. If you’re not being YOU, your entire foundation is off. You’re already wrong. Who knows, you might inspire someone else to show character, and they might inspire another, until one day, everyone is being who they really are. Trust is regained, hope is restored, and lives are lived at their full potential. I could go on. But I’ll spare you.
“You put on quite a show, really had me going. Now it’s time to go, curtain’s finally closing. That was quite a show, very entertaining. But it’s over now. Go on and take a bow.” Take a Bow-Rihanna
Live. Love. Laugh.