I want to be real.

Scary, isn’t it, the ideal of being real? Polite society forbids it, unless you take a politically correct stance on a hot button topic. If I tell you the truth about myself, especially the horrible, ugly parts, you might not like me. And I need to be liked, at all costs.

So I create a “reality” I think will fit in with your way of thinking. Because I like you. And I want you to like me. And I’m so afraid you won’t like me the way I really am that I’m willing to morph into anything I think you want me to be. I give you this offering, with the hope that not only will you find it pleasing, but also that it will be enough to ensure you won’t reject me.

Then, as time goes by, and I continue this charade of the “alternate me” you have accepted as your friend, I start to doubt you even like me at all. I can’t really blame you. After all, I don’t like me either. If I had, I would’ve been proud to present myself to you as my true self. Then I start resenting you for making me feel inferior to you, conveniently forgetting it’s not your fault you don’t really know me.

Do you ever feel that way? As if no one could ever truly like you as yourself? Are you afraid to reveal the truth, afraid the process will leave you friendless and alone? Or are you afraid the persona you’ve created to free yourself has actually entrapped you into a lonely, unsatisfying, dishonest existence?

I have not meant to be a liar. I have had the best intentions, often putting myself way outside of my comfort zone, bending over backwards, trying to be friendly. With a precious few, I honestly feel I can be myself and it’s enough. Not so with the rest of the world.

Why does this bother me? It shouldn’t. I know it shouldn’t. But it does. And I’m not sure why. It’s something I need to figure out so I can stop doing it.

God loves me the way I am. There are a few people that know and love me. Those who don’t, those who have rejected…well, maybe that’s because they don’t really know me. Or maybe they do and I just don’t measure up to their standards. I can’t be adored by everyone. That’s just the way life is. But I can’t keep going through life over analyzing and obsessing about every relationship I have, trying to twist myself to fit other people’s patterns. It’s not fair, to them or to me.

I can be polite without being insincere. I can be accommodating without being a doormat. I can be real. If that’s not good enough for someone, it might not necessarily be my fault.

What a concept.

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