December 22

LOVE MONTH: DAY 22: “That’s what real love amounts to – letting a person be what he really is. Most people love you for who you pretend to be. To keep their love, you keep pretending – performing. You get to love your pretense. It’s true, we’re locked in an image, an act – and the sad thing is, people get so used to their image, they grow attached to their masks. They love their chains. They forget all about who they really are. And if you try to remind them, they hate you for it, they feel like you’re trying to steal their most precious possession.” ― Jim Morrison

This quote is more true about our culture than all the other quotes I gathered. We hold up our ego defenses like a suit of armor as we navigate this world. It is painful to see, because it keeps others from knowing us on a deep level. And it is what we are all dying from…a lack of true connection to anyone. We people please and pretend so much that we don’t know how to be authentic, although some of us might like to.

It is still something I have to guard against, because even though I am not where I once was with this, I know it is my default setting. It is for all of us. We really have to work to be authentic. We keep trying to shape shift ourselves into what we believe will be pleasing to others in order to “get-along.” Geez! It is so easy to end up looking like a pretzel and having a terrible body to carry around, based on never being able to relax into ourselves as we are.

I got a Christmas card that is always so sad for me. A beautiful woman and her husband have had so much surgical intervention that they look completely foreign to me. I would not recognize her in a crowd. It breaks my heart. Always has. I can feel the panic and desperation under the work she has done since she was 40.

But we do this because we are so convinced (by Ego!) that we have to be something, anything, other than who and what we are. And we become so locked into that, it IS like a set of chains that keep us from ever being free. Free to be the amazing humans we were created to be. With aging bodies and minds and foibles and falls and error and many mis-steps along the way.

There is no polish that will cover this up completely. It always rings false to those who are authentic and working to be more so. We know…we always know. And who wants that? Not me, I like my people to be true to themselves and the lives they have lived. I have wrinkles because I love to have my face in the sun…in the wind…out there, beaming because I am alive!

And the only thing I need is the love I have for ME! It is free, no cover ups and no pretense or masks needed. Yay!

Published by: Kelly

I am a therapist and counselor with long-term recovery from addictions and personal trauma. My writing reflects these experiences and the road I have traveled in 12-Step recovery settings, along with the work I have done for over 30 years in the field. My love of dolphins includes the stories of them being healers in places all over the world. I long to offer every broken spirit and body the experience of a healing hug. May my words and stories inform, uplift and delight your spirit and soothe your weary heart.

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