November 8, 2017

Maintaining Perfect Appearances

We humans are fascinating characters, aren’t we?  We make so little sense sometimes.  Myself included (don’t worry – I’m not leaving myself out of this!).  😉

We’re so drawn to what’s real, what’s genuine, what’s honest.  And yet, we often live behind pretend fronts, forced smiles, and overly perfect Instagram accounts.

We look at others and think, “Man, she has it all together.  The perfect life.  What is my problem?  Why can I not get this figured out?”

Well, between you and me, her life isn’t perfect either.  It might be really great – and I hope it is!  But, she’s a human too.  She has her struggles, her frustrations, her disappointments, and her insecurities.  We all do.

I was chatting with a friend the other day about Speak Your Silence.  I’ve been getting back down to basics lately, really thinking hard through what it is that our community truly needs.  What is the problem that we’re trying to solve?  What’s the root of this?

He made an interesting comment.  He said, “We humans have such a difficult time simply admitting ‘I’m sad today.’ We seem unable to simply let people know that our lives aren’t perfect, as we work so hard to portray them to be.”

It’s true, isn’t it?  We all do this.  I know I often do.

For a while now, I’ve actually thought about how I lead this organization and I encourage people to share their hearts, to not fear what others will think, to own that their worth cannot be impacted by their actions (or the actions of another).  All the while, I occasionally feel discouraged leading SYS, sometimes I feel like I just don’t have what it takes, and sometimes I’m just a plain old grump (just ask my wife).  But, I put on a strong front.  “Everything’s great! Life is awesome!  No problems here!”

Showing “weakness” is a tough thing to do.

I’m not sure why we humans do this.  I think some of us believe that we have to appear successful in order to get ahead in life, while others of us carry deep fear of what people will think if they knew who we really are.  Heck, for years, that’s what I carried.  I was terrified I’d devastate my family if they knew what I now realize I was not at fault for (here’s a bit about my story).

We see stories coming from Hollywood of faces we recognize who’ve held onto big secrets for years out of fear of it costing them their careers if they ever told.  Fear of the nasty comments of a billion people on twitter.  Fear of all sorts of things.  I get it.

Maintain the appearance of perfection. We all do it.

This brings me to my point.  I’ve always said that if we all knew how similar our struggles were to those of the person sitting right next to us, we’d be so much less fearful to simply share our hearts.  What a refreshing world it would be if we could simply let out a big, relieved exhale and share the tough things that we go through, without fear of being unlovable, of losing close relationships, or of disappointing people… but instead knowing that we’d simply be loved, listened to, and accepted.

Our struggles are what make us human and keep our hearts soft to love others.  Don’t discount the importance of that.  Perhaps rather than pretending that our lives are perfect, we can instead see the not-so-perfect parts of our lives as opportunities to be loved for who we really are.

No matter what your story is or what you might be going through right now, you are loved.  🙂


If you’d like to share your story for the first time (totally confidentially), click here.  🙂