A little over a month ago I had a quote come across my Facebook that I instantly fell in love with. I wasn’t uploading new posts at the time, but I knew if and when I started back up that I wanted the quote to be used in a post.
Inside every person you know, there’s a person you don’t know.
Don Miguel Ruiz Jr.
For a fun video illustrating how easy it is to hide or enhance the person you want, click here… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FLrWdfwWNK8
Now the video is done tongue in cheek but there is a truth here. We ALL want to be liked and accepted. We go about doing it in different ways, but nobody (well almost nobody) intentionally makes themselves unacceptable to their peers. High school students aren’t going to post a picture of them home alone on a Friday night anymore than I am going to post a picture of the pink ring inside my toilet indicating that yet again I’ve waited too long to scrub my toilet.
The irony of this desire to be likable is that the more we try to make ourselves the perfect version that we think other people want, the less relatable we become! Lets take my inability to keep my house clean as an example. If I was so determined to project an image of perfection I would never invite people to come over. I’d be too afraid that they’d walk past my living room and see the mountain of unorganized toys, the kids bathroom that is a constant battle, or the perpetually unmade beds. (Seriously… I have considered getting the zip up bedding….) More importantly, every other person who struggles to keep their house clean would try to keep up their pretenses with me. Dropping our defenses can allow those walls we have built up to desolve completely.
Recently my mom and I were out for a walk. About half way in we both needed to use the bathroom. Luckily for us we were close to a friends home and I asked her if I could just walk in and use the bathroom. She was outside working and said sure just don’t expect it to be clean. As we were walking home my mom and I talked about how that had the potential to be an embarassing situation for either one of us. My friend could have been embarassed that I saw her real life bathroom and I could have been embarassed for her that her kids toys were on the floor of the bathroom. But instead of judging her bathroom I welcomed it! Knowing that she wasn’t perfect helped me a few days later give her the code to my garage so that she could walk in my house and get some things she needed out of my basement. I joked with her that she could run the vacuum for me while she was at my house, but in all honesty it was a mess. But because she trusted me to see her reality, I too trusted her to see mine.
If we will stop trying to be what we THINK we are supposed to be, we can instead be loved for who we are. (Trust me… it’s a liberating approach to life!)