Hello everybody! It’s November 1, and this is one of my favorite days of the year. Today, in the USA, we turn our hearts toward gratitude. And, as if we need a place to begin, candy is 50-75% off in most stores. (Hey, if you like peppermint and happen to see bite-sized York Patties on sale, grab a bag in preparation for an upcoming story and recipe post!)
In yesterday’s How to Have a Healthy Hope and a Happy Heart article, I said Halloween costumes remind me that what we see is not always what we get when it comes to the people around us. It is easy to look through an obvious disguise and realize the person inside is vastly different from who or what they are pretending to be. But the facades we hide behind every day are more complicated.
The what, why and Wonder of everyday facades: Part 1 – The What
Facade (noun): a way of behaving or appearing that gives other people a false idea of your true feelings or situationmerriam-webster.com
Everyday facades are not material. I’m not referring to an actual mask or costume. These facades are false fronts which we use to create illusions about who we are. Here are some examples.
What are some everyday facades?
Do you know someone who goes to incredible lengths to present perfection? Sometimes (of course, not always!) someone who is obsessed with fancy clothes, or degrees, or some other impressive thing, can be hiding feelings of inadequacy. These people get abundantly noticed for their efforts, which often drives their resolve to continue.
“It’s easy to get by on a facade of fancy style, but sooner or later, people are going to see through it. I’m trying to be as honest as possible.”Jim Carroll
I present this façade every day. I am in the habit of answering the simple question, “How are you?” with the deceptive answer “Great! How are you?” And I usually get “Good, thanks!” in return. None of it is completely genuine. But it is easier to paste on a giant happy smile and quip cheerfully than to answer with thoughtful truth. Feigning happiness does not bring joy. In fact, it often does the exact opposite because we fail to connect with others in a meaningful way.
This one is near to my heart. There are precious people in my life who rely on grotesque façades to hide deep, painful wounds. They use shock and repulsion to keep our eyes diverted so we don’t see their actual pain. They expect we would cringe in disgust at their real plight, so they create a different reason for us to turn away. And when we do, they stay alone in their misery.
A plain façade is effective for anonymity. If someone can blend in, they can hide in plain sight. When they are disregarded, they stay away from scrutiny, and nobody sees what they perceive to be their gaping flaws. They often wish someone would care enough to notice them, but they simply are not willing or able to put themselves out there in a way which makes it easy for people to pay attention.
Friends, so often you and I hide our real selves. Do any of the everyday facades above hit close to home? What others can you think of?
I know for certain that the God who made us does not make mistakes. When we hide ourselves and try to put a different face forward, aren’t we cheating the world out of the contribution God intended us to make? If we spend our efforts maintaining our everyday facades, aren’t we robbing ourselves? The greatest joy comes from fulfilling the purpose for which we were created.
Will you join me on Wednesday and Friday this week to discuss this topic further? Let’s consider why we hide behind everyday facades. And what do you suppose could be the wonder revealed by them? Feel free to subscribe so you don’t miss the conversation. See you then – have a great week!