Sunday, January 5, 2014

Why do we Hide & Pretend?

In my post a few days ago I talked about the burdens of hiding and pretending that we do often carry. And about how we can lay down these burdens that take so much of our energy to carry.

It sounds so simple to say the way to lay down these burdens is to have people we're honest with about the good and the bad in our lives. In truth, it is as simple as it sounds, but there is something that makes living it more difficult.

"When it comes to living truthfully with others one of our primary struggles is that we seem to be of two minds: we long for the truth and we are afraid of the truth. Longing to be - and fear of being - known." (Stage 2: Community with Others, Vantage Point 3: A Way of Life)

At the same time as we long to be really known by other, we also fear it. And often this fear keeps us from living truthfully with others.

We fear being truthful with others for many reasons:
  • we've been shamed for sharing things in the past
  • we've been hurt for doing so in the past
  • we don't know anyone who has done it before
  • we're ashamed of our struggles
  • we've been taught that sharing our struggles is a bad thing
I'm sure there are many more reasons that could be given. Each of us has our own reasons for fearing being known at the same time as we long for it.

The first step to overcoming this fear is to admit it. We have to start by acknowledging that it is a fear there. Confess it to God and to other carefully chosen people. As we choose to take steps to be transparent with others despite our fear of doing so, the fear loses its grips on our lives. And the next time becomes a bit easier than the last, until we're no longer bound by this fear.

We have to allow our longing to be known to be stronger than our fear of being known. It's not easy, but it is the most rewarding way to live.

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