“Hi! How are you?”
“Fine, thank you.”
Nothing could be farther from the truth! And both speakers intuitively know it.
But who really wants to know how you’re doing? Twenty-first century living doesn’t seem to lend itself to genuine disclosure. It just takes up too much time, and it gets … complicated. Or does it?
We make a tacit pact, apparently with ourselves, in which we agree to keep a mask on for a good part of our lives. We keep our true feelings, even the most inane and mundane, expertly hidden.
The mask helps keep at bay prying eyes that would see who we really are, warts and all.
- It erects a barrier to true communication, to the comforting yet challenging cadence of sharing life authentically with others.
- It morphs into a retaining wall that buttresses distrust, fear, discomfort, and self-preservation.
- It nurtures selfishness and self-centeredness.
- It thrives under the guise of politeness but does its wearer a great disservice by creating a disconnect between the true you and the masked you.
- It creates a stumbling block to the pleroma, or fullness of life, that God wants us to enjoy.
Thing is, we are the ones who put on the mask. No-one puts it on us. And so the choice is ours to remove it.
- What if we shed the cuteness and the vacuousness that passes for conversation and decided to keep it one hundred?
- What if we chose to share our hurts and our joys, to be transparent about the things that mattered to us?
- What if, instead of air kisses and fake hugs, we cut the crap and took the time to look each other in the eye and genuinely do life together?
We might become healthier people, not just mentally, but spiritually, emotionally, and physically.
Our children might thank us for showing them what authenticity looks like.
We might barf up some ugly stuff, but it just might lead to a more beautiful life that really counts for something.
People might begin to believe that we truly are Christians by the genuine love we show to each other, and, by extension, to ourselves.