It’s Hard to be Real

As much as I want to be authentic, I fall short.

It’s not usually intentional, trying to be someone I’m not. It’s subconscious.

Sometimes, I glimpse those fake personas in my heart. Like floaters that come and go, they drift into my line of sight when I’m not looking for them. The more I try to focus on them, the more they elude me.

“Many poets are not poets for the same reason that many religious men are not saints: they never succeed in being themselves. They never get around to being the particular poet or the particular monk they are intended to be by God. They never become the man or the artist who is called for by all the circumstances of their individual lives. They waste their years in vain efforts to be some other poet, some other saint…They wear out their minds and bodies in a hopeless endeavor to have somebody else’s experiences or write somebody else’s poems.”

from New Seeds of Contemplation by Thomas Merton

 

1950's velveteen rabbit

I spent years trying not to be an introvert. Years pushing myself to be extroverted and to run as fast as the next person. But I couldn’t keep up. And I undervalued my true nature.

I spent years denying my high sensitivity. Years pretending I could do ANYTHING by  relying on my own strength. By pushing. Turns out it wasn’t enough. When I gave up, I discovered I only needed strength to do what God had called ME to do. Not what everyone else was called to do. It was freeing. And humbling.

Worse yet, I’ve refused to admit to myself my darker feelings — envy, insecurity, bitterness — even as I plastered on a sweet-as-pie smile. Whew. (Of course, that’s not an exhaustive list of my faults.)

Why is it so hard to be real? Any thoughts?

2 thoughts on “It’s Hard to be Real”

  1. Hi, you followed my blog! Thank you so much. And I see you quote Woodhouse so you are doubly grand. He’s an alumni of the school that’s across the road from me (other alumni are available). I read the post about being authentic. Sounds like you have the same concerns we all do. No one says exactly what they think and yippe for that. The world would be brutal. And you’re here so you’re hardly hiding. Keep writing, it’ll all come out eventually and then all you need to worry about are Aunts…

    1. “It is no use telling me there are bad aunts and good aunts. At the core they are all alike. Sooner or later, out pops the cloven hoof.” (PGW) Thanks for your words of encouragement! I found your site via Dan Alatorre, and then I read your story “Ice Cream.” Wow. Despite the macabre subject matter, I laughed at several points. And I loved the ending. I look forward to reading more of your work. Thanks for following my blog!

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