Don’t Waste Energy Pretending

I was thinking the other day about how much energy it takes to pretend everything is going okay. Often times when things have hit a rough patch and start to crumble we want to put on a brave face for the rest of the world and we don’t want to really portray to those close to us that we don’t have it all together. We sugarcoat things sometimes and put a happy infliction in our voices to sound upbeat even when all we really want to do is scream out in frustration from the way that things are in reality falling apart.

I told my friend the other day that this year I want to really work on not pretending with people, at least those closest to me. That doesn’t mean I want to bog them down with the issues that I may be having but just that I don’t want to place the enormous amount of energy it takes to smile when I want to cry, or to come up with a story about how good things are going when in reality they are far from being good. I’m realizing that it is okay to not be okay.

Sometimes we have to let things fall apart, acknowledge that things need to change, and let the façade of perfection go in order to really build things back up again so that we can get things back on track. I think that we worry that people will judge us or think differently of us if we don’t have all of our ducks in a row and if we seem to show cracks in our exterior walls but the real question is should we really be worried about what everyone else thinks about us. If we are putting on a show for everyone else and acting as if nothing is wrong then are the people we are putting on the show for actually getting to see and know the “REAL” us?

I believe that if we start focusing our energy on being authentic and being truthful about our reality then not only will it be healing for us but perhaps it could help others as well who feel like they have to pretend for the rest of the world. Of course that doesn’t mean that you should go around broadcasting all of your issues to anyone who will listen but we can stop putting up the pretense that things are good when they’re not. We can be honest and say that while things can be better that you are blessed and that you will get through it because it takes so much energy to pretend to be okay. Let’s agree that in 2020 we will be honest, not just with the people around us but also with ourselves. Let’s give our energy to building things back up again and not on pretending that we’re not really falling apart! Until next time… #BeHonest #BeAuthentic #BeVulnerable

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

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How To Get Away With Being Your True Self

Removing the mask

Okay so I know that I am a few days late in writing this post considering that the most talked about moment in television happened on Thursday night on Shonda Rhimes new show “How To Get Away With Murder”. I really just wanted to take time to get my thoughts together because that moment when Viola Davis removed her wig, and then her false eyelashes, and finally all of her make-up, was probably one of the most defining moments in television history to everyone who watched and in particular, to women and just those who struggle with being themselves on a regular basis.

When Davis revealed her true self, or removed all of her body armor as the world is calling it, it was almost as if she was signaling to the rest of the world that it was okay to be yourself no matter what you looked like under whatever mask that you happen to be wearing. This after Davis recently revealed in a speech that she made that she suffered through a childhood of extreme poverty and had at one point in her life felt ashamed of her impoverished childhood.

We all wear the masks. Those faces that we want people to see because what’s behind the mask is sometimes just too painful for us to be able to share with others. We want to cover up all the old wounds and scars from every rejection, every discouragement, every ugliness that lies within us. We tend to have this waiting period before we can reveal our true selves to people before we can take off the masks that we have been wearing far longer than we care to admit.

The thing is if we are only revealing our true selves once we’ve decided someone has proven themselves worthy enough to get that close then are they really getting to know the real us. I think that if we stop trying to figure out who will and won’t like the real us and stop trying to please everyone else around us we need to be happy with who we are and love our own selves enough to not care if there is anyone else who likes us or not. I know it’s easier said than done because what person does not want other people to approve of them but when us needing others approval interferes with us being authentic to who we are it becomes more problematic.

We somehow think that if we are authentic and true to ourselves that the world will disapprove and that people will no longer like us. However, something that I have discovered over the last several years, especially within the context of this blog, is that allowing yourself to be vulnerable to others is really what sets you free and allows you to be who you were meant to be. Vulnerability seems like such a dirty word to most people but if you really think about it, once people see who you really are, odds are, they accept you more. And the people who don’t accept you when you are being your true self aren’t really worth your time anyway.

We shouldn’t be trying to figure out all of the ways that we can get away with deceiving others by making them think we are someone we are not. Instead we should be celebrating the uniqueness within us. If we weren’t so reluctant to remove our armor and so concerned with covering up all of our metaphorical scars then we could see the beauty in letting the world see our flaws and we would celebrate those flaws. Those little imperfections are what makes us perfect in our own individuality. The best way to get away with being our true selves is to not give a damn whether anyone else approves of us or not. Be yourself, remove the armor, and trust that who you truly are underneath that mask that you’ve been wearing all this time is enough.

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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