Friendships: Life without masks

The greatest gift to give those around you is the gift of self-awareness.  No one walks away from someone because they have faults, but everyone walks away from someone that has faults they refuse to acknowledge.  All of our problems don’t begin with self-deception, but self-deception always makes every problem worse. As Chris Hedges states, “Hope can’t exist in a world of illusion.”  Until we come to the moment of awareness, we aren’t able to begin to do the work of transformation.  Self-deception is often perpetuated by isolation, and the more we are alone, the easier it is to lie to ourselves.  We need relationships not just for comfort, but as a mirror that reflects to us what we don’t want to see.  I think God knew what He was doing when he gave us one another.

These are all big, lofty, Christian concepts I suppose, but I have spent the last year realizing how much I need people, and how much isolation allows me to not tell myself the truth. Rosanna is an advocate of dinner parties, social gatherings, and lots of things that I’ve spent my life avoiding, and I’ve realized that by saying yes to meaningful male friendships, there is a transformation than happens.  I think the lie we buy into is that what other people want from us is perfection, but in reality, that is the opposite of what people want.  We spend a lot of energy posing in front of each other; as if we are in a competition, and we can spend hours doing this, even years, and never genuinely get to know someone.  But the moment we start to talk about “life behind the mask,” and the self-aware us emerges, we are free to truly enter into relationship. People may admire us for appearing strong, but they love us when we are weak.  I’ve spent a lot of my life the last year wrestling with that previous statement, and it is not a matter of whether I’d rather be strong or be weak with others that is up for discussion.  My ego settled that one along time ago. I always choose strength. The real issue is what I value the most, do I value being admired or being loved?  Until I value being loved more than I value being admired, I am never free to be self- aware.

Pardon all of the randomness, just thoughts for the night.