If there’s one word I really hate it’s ‘facade’. The word itself and the slyness with which it’s usually said conjure up images of movie sets for old westerns. You know the ones. The buildings are merely planks of plywood painted to look like actual structures; thin 2×4’s the only thing keeping them up in the back.
Facade. I bet your reading of the word makes you think of someone whom you feel is fake. Someone who is not anything close to genuine. Someone who tries their best to make you think they’re someone they’re not.
We live in a world of facade. We live in a world where style almost always trumps substance. We live in society that embraces flash, worships immediacy, and cowers to political correctness. Honesty is not only a lonely word, it’s a forgotten concept.
But then you have moments when you come across people who are striving to be honest individuals. People working hard simply to be authentic. Who would have thought it could be an ordeal to just be yourself?
I am fortunate and blessed to live with a person like that.
Watching my wife on her journey of authenticity has been and continues to be an inspiration for me. It also serves as a reminder of what courage is. As I’ve been privy to most of the feedback she’s received from her writing, I’m reminded of what it takes to write and publish your thoughts, feelings, and emotions for all the world to see. Blogging in the manner which my wife does takes a type of courage very few people posses.
It’s not like writers of editorials who are paid to take a position on a subject and express their opinions with words. It’s not like a talk radio host who must be both entertaining, informed, and always one step ahead of the audience. It’s also not like other bloggers who are, on their own scale, Internet celebrities and whose blogs are more a commercial vehicle than a portal of introspection.
My wife’s blog is none of those things. If we’re lucky, it never will become one of those things.
The road to authenticity begins with a realization that there’s a whole lot of distance between here and there. It also begins with the conscious decision to take what’s been given you, both the good and the bad, and to make the most with it not just for yourself but also for the greater good. It’s akin to playing poker and having all your cards dealt face up. You can’t bluff your way through a hand. When life is good, you take the pot. When it’s not, you take your loss and wait patiently until a new hand is drawn.
The admiration I have for my wife, as well as the many other writer’s out there who pour their heart and soul into the words they create, is hard to describe. The rawness with which they write is mesmerizing. Their ability to make my eyes tear and my heart ache is breathtaking. Through all the chaos, noise, and superficiality, their voices serve as a compass that reminds me of which way I want to go. It’s a moment of focus in a whirlwind of blur.
There’s a lot in this life to distract us. There’s a lot in this life to make us think we’re bigger than we are. If, however, you ever feel the desire to take off your shoes and feel the earth underneath your feet, I invite you to find a blogger that inspires you, and to latch on to that person’s work.
Better yet, if you really want to explore the inner workings of your life, take a moment to write down what you’re thinking. You don’t have to post it online or share it with anyone. Write it for you. Write it for the experience of being your authentic self.
You want to live your life? Get real.