Freedom is being REAL!

 
I still remember the oddball statement I managed to articulate to my dear Cuz (cousin) at my parents’ memorial service in 2008. I couldn’t hide my distraction, my frazzled emotional state. I couldn’t even talk well. Being REAL myself, not attempting to hide or even explain my agitated state of mind, I fairly blurted out that I LOVE how “this generation” is so REAL — that they tend to wear their beliefs and their emotions on their sleeves and aren’t afraid to be different. In essence, I was lamenting being raised with a smile on my face that hides the tears in my heart. And truth be told, I am struggling to become BETTER than that “perfection” I was taught, lol. 😛
 
My hat is off to anyone, in any generation, who is more concerned about being true to themself and showing their true colors — than with blending in or appearing “perfect”. Thanks for being GENUINE! 😀

 
Being genuine is related to integrity. In other words, you are the SAME person everywhere you go, be it at home, at work, with friends, and with family. You don’t put on an act. You don’t wear a mask. You might slightly alter your clothing or your speech in order to be appropriate — such as not swearing in front of your mother or wearing a business suit to work — but when asked your beliefs on any given topic or event, you have the SAME opinion, regardless of who is asking you. This also means that you know at least to some degree the REASONS you feel a certain way. In other words, you aren’t against a certain politician or boss just because everyone else is — you check the facts for yourself and form your OWN opinions. That is just part of being REAL.

 
Being real also means being humble about your imperfections.
 
The best examples are NOT those with perfect hair and teeth and clothes and jobs — for who can be perfect?! The truth is that every single one of us has strengths and weaknesses, things we need to learn and other things we could teach about! The BEST examples are those who are humble enough to admit their mistakes and be open about their shortcomings.
 
Think about it: Which would YOU have more respect for: a preacher who drinks but hides it and pretends he’s “perfect”, or one who confesses his struggle with alcohol right there behind the pulpit? I encourage you to read the Bible for yourself sometime: Jesus showed more respect for a known prostitute than for the most “perfect” religious leaders of his day, to whom he said this:

“It will be bad for you teachers of the law and you Pharisees! You are hypocrites! You are like tombs that are painted white. Outside they look fine, but inside they are full of dead people’s bones and all kinds of filth.   It is the same with you. People look at you and think you are godly. But on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and evil.
  — Matthew 23:27-28

[Easy Read Version from the FREE eSword]

 

 
While true humility and being honest about our own shortcomings remain pretty rare positive character traits, there does seem to be more encouragement in the direction of imperfection, at least through the idea of Wabi-sabi.
 
I’d like to make just one last point:
While every single one of us craves ACCEPTANCE as a basic need of human life, if someone only ever shows their best or most “perfect” side, are they ever truly accepted?
Wouldn’t YOU feel more accepted if someone knew the very WORST things about you, and still accepted you, without trying to CHANGE you?

 

Might it be a good idea to promote being REAL over being PERFECT?
 
We may never be able to “all just get along” like the slogan from the 70s…
But can’t we all just GET REAL? 😀

 


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