“That’s what real love amounts to – letting a person be what he really is. Most people love you for who you pretend to be. To keep their love, you keep pretending – performing. You get to love your pretense. It’s true, we’re locked in an image, an act – and the sad thing is, people get so used to their image, they grow attached to their masks. They love their chains. They forget all about who they really are. And if you try to remind them, they hate you for it, they feel like you’re trying to steal their most precious possession.” Jim Morrison
“The heart of the world is breaking under this load of pride and pretense. There is no release from our burden apart from the meekness of Christ.” A.W. Tozer
“Whatever is above will be managed by the powers above you. Don’t live as a man, pretending to be God. Do what you can do; leave what you can’t to God!” Israelmore Ayivor
We are scared most of our lives
Likely we are all tired of being afraid to admit we are scared most of our lives. We are presenting ourselves as capable human beings who are the norm. Any of us that fall short of the mark simply hide the truth sometimes even from ourselves. Most of our frustrations deadlines jobs and burdens have more to do with how others may perceive us if we fall short of the time restraints.
Our spouses get upset with us when we haven’t fulfilled an ongoing project. Our kids want us to do things or fix things or take them places. We believe we fail as a parent if we haven’t brought our children to places to experience this and that. It isn’t so much where we find the fault but the fact that we find ourselves lacking most of the time.
Having the boss mention our name quickly at a meeting and then forgetting who we are the next day relates to us the insignificance of unworthy compliments. We might deserve the recognition, but we can’t believe that because we achieved anything that others think we’re somehow more important than they are. Nothing is further from the truth.
We think a lot about how others see us
I have seen some people mention that a person didn’t deserve the credit, so they were not impressed. My point is that we think a lot about how others see us, yet none of us really care. We may feel the person deserves a pat on the back but when we leave the meeting, that person is out of our thoughts.
Spouses of all kinds are temperamental. At times a task may be all-important for them to see accomplished. Maybe they are having company and want to mention we finished the task. They worry about impressing another, and we worry about pleasing them. The trend is that we are all seeking glory for one moment in time, and the glory is costing us lots of emotional pain.
Expecting too much
Understanding those times when we are guilty of expecting too much of another is crucial in keeping the relationship healthy. If we become unbearable in our demands, of course, the relationship is jeopardized. Our spouse sees only disappointment when they look into our eyes. That is wearing down the body mind and spirit. How long can any of us take mental stress? Observing the number of people who will lie or cheat to make gains is proof.
We are being controlled by our own ego in its’ desire for acceptance and pride. It is not always a bad thing to exhibit some pride in what we say and do, but allowing it to manifest at the will of others is becoming detrimental to our health. Just because the wife wants a task done so that her father will be impressed with her husband’s talent is silly. For the husband to take up the gauntlet to please his wife is also silly if he doesn’t have the time to do the task. For a wife to be coerced into cooking a gourmet dinner for her mother-in-law to prove she is a competent wife and cook is crazy. It may not be the husband or wife pressuring their spouse. Sometimes the challenge might be picked up by the husband or wife simply to prove their worth to their in-law.
No end to the pressure
If we come close to delivering anything on time, we get a sense of relief in having accomplished something. Of course, all of the other achievements have been forgotten by us and others. As soon as one task is completed, everyone looks towards the next. There is no end to the tension and pressure.
The old pain of seeing ourselves through the eyes of other people is well established in our world. That is perhaps why we worry about what others think to feel and see when they observe us. The trouble is that none of us have long memories. We live in a short-term memory world. Why would anyone define who they are by so many unimportant jobs they complete?
The challenges parents place on their shoulders regarding their worth as a parent is constant. Every parent they meet throughout the day is a potential competitor. The parent compares their every act to this other person. No wonder they say, “misery loves company.” My guess is that is why we like to see others fail because we fail and want to know we are okay, especially because we know this other person is okay even thou they failed.
Fear begins at an early age
Most of us likely program our kids to compete and meet expectations. Sometimes placing too much emphasis on achieving sends them spirally in defeat. The competition begins early. The demands and challenges start early. The worry or fear begins at an early age and doesn’t end until we die or decide on our own to stop comparing. When we reach that point our lives relax and serenity enters.
I am not suggesting we give up our tasks or duties. I am suggesting we rethink what we consider essential tasks with their timelines. Perhaps a more lenient view on needs and wants would be a better consideration. pleasing others or doing jobs to prove our importance only sends us to worry and anxiety. Nobody wants to be under the wire to accomplish more than is feasible without breaking.
Consideration for others and working on tasks in a reasonable atmosphere is calming. Those outsiders who find fault will forget about us the very next day. They won’t even remember what we didn’t complete yet. If we change our attitudes we will discover burdens being lifted from our shoulders. We will have more time and more peace. We will be more accepting of our kids who come in all sizes, shapes, and varying attitudes.
We all bear needless worries to prove our worthiness. Many of our jobs may not be necessary or not required to have a time constraint. Don’t be afraid to be yourself. Removing all of the adorned and inflated egos makes room for the fresh air. We might even make a truce. I won’t pretend to be what I am not if you will do the same. I will be who I am and that makes me special and unique just as you are. Without tension, we all have more time for loving and honest living.
“Character that is fruit-producing can be summed up in the mastery of these 5 qualities: morals, but a sense of humor; love, but respect for criticism; intelligence without pretense; humility without self-loathing; and a mind open, but with solid convictions.” Criss Jami
“Cowardice is when you hide away from your real self, and wear another self in pretense. Be yourself; that is bravery. If yourself is not better for you to be, change yourself and live in that changed self!” Israelmore Ayivor