08 October 2008

Tell It Like it Is

Why do we hide?

In our culture people spend so much time putting up fronts. Everyone is facade and pretense acting as they'd like others to see them. I don't believe we trust ourselves. We want to be liked so very much that we create a persona that we think will please the greatest number of people. Our true identities get buried.

It's like we're all running for political office saying and acting in the way that'll get us the most votes. What are we afraid of?

All this came to mind when I happened upon the blog of a young lady who writes about her life openly and honestly (http://lapetitebelle22.blogspot.com/). What a concept. It's all there and its thus fascinating. She is not a great athlete or a renowned actress (yet) and she is not involved in any extraordinary activities. Or is she?

If we are truly alive to all of life's offerings. If we are loved and love in return. If we engage in this world we are truly doing the extraordinary. Fame and fortune are but one possibility of many in enjoying a rich and fascinating life.

Today she posted the news that she got a job as a receptionist at an animal hospital. Other posts have been about drinking, dates, sex and her Paris obsession. This is life and its grand stuff when told clearly and honestly. And she's careful too to keep it about herself. No gossip, nothing mean spirited.

Here is the magic of 12 step programs. People show up and say what's going on for them. What's happened and how they feel about it. It's curative and compelling. When we focus on the miniature of our lives -- small talk -- we gain no insight nor share any. But when we explore what we're doing and our reactions through this magical experience called life we're giving one another a great gift. People sound so damn smart in a 12 step meeting because they're speaking from the heart and not trying to impress anyone. Now that's impressive.

Imagine if we could all be honest with each other. No, I don't mean saying things like, "yes that dress does make you look fat," it's okay to fudge on that one. I mean really reveal what's going on. This is what great novels do. They give us a look into another's mind and shared experiences and world views. Great comedians do the same thing. Movies are a also a vehicle for such truth-telling.

We all focus on on our differences, and build walls between each other because of them. How about looking at what we have in common and building bridges? And about those differences. Can we spend a little time being open to them? Trying to understand one another. Won't happen unless we can be honest with each other.

So here's my clarion call for creating an interactive culture of people talking, and writing openly. If we are all true to our real selves we'll be much more interesting and accessible to one another.

Great wisdom comes from great honesty. Being honest with ourselves and others.


Christina said...

I agree with everything you've written. (And not just because you wrote so kindly of me.) People definitely put up these masks all the time, trying to be a perfect version of themselves or a completely different self, one that will be more liked and accepted. I haven't been immune to that in my own life. But I try hard to be my self, faults and all, and not change who I am for the sake of other people. It's wonderful that you wrote about that and spoke that truth and it's inspiring.

Richard Hourula said...

Thanks Christina. I added a link to you in the post and in my links section. Now, just imagine what a great world this would be if everybody read our blogs!