Be Real

My wife and I were having breakfast with an old friend in our hometown recently. We hadn’t seen Todd in a long time—too long. As we were catching up he asked, “You guys aren’t perfect right? Because no one is….but just reading your Facebook posts, you sure seem to have fun with life. You sure seem healthy and happy. It’s really inspiring.” It was a nice compliment. And it got me thinking about that fine line. You know the one—the line between what is real and what is not.

“Sunday morning we dress up, spray up, and get all made up, but we’re not always on the up and up.” ~ Allen Jackson

I love Facebook for making people laugh, talking sports, music, movies, and TV shows. I like to share exciting or fun things going on at home or with my work. I try not to be negative. It’s just a choice and I’m glad my friend noticed. What I don’t want, however, is to suggest that everything is blemish-free.

What I don’t want is to deny that life is hard, that it often comes with huge disappointments, setbacks, heartache, and personal failures. I’m not interested in putting on a facade. Life is better when it’s real.

The most exhausting thing you can do is to be inauthentic.
~ Anne Morrow Lindberg

Perhaps this goes back to my last blog and the importance of seeing one another, really seeing one another. I don’t think we can help each other or be helped ourselves unless we’re honest about what we face. Some of us are almost paralyzed by fear. Some suffer from depression. There is financial worry, job loss, loneliness, and broken relationships. Real stuff. Real hurt.

I got a note totally out of the blue one day from an old friend. In it, she described her recent battle with alcoholism. This note caught me off guard. I was scared for her. I thought of her family and everything in her life that was threatened if she doesn’t win this battle. Once I got over the shock, I re-read her note and it occurred to me that although she didn’t have to, she was being real. And by being real about a serious problem in her life, she was well on the way to recovery. Not only that, but while drinking was a failure, confronting it and admitting it was heroic.

When the time is right, be real with someone. Offer yourself up for them to be real with you. See each other, really.

There’s nothing wrong with getting dressed up, sprayed up and made up, as long as we remain on the up and up.