My husband and I are coming up on our 10 year anniversary. It’s a milestone that brings with it a great deal of reflection. Part of that reflection, for me, has been an appreciation of just how freeing it is to be with someone with whom I can completely be myself. Jason knows me better than most anyone, and because of that, I never have to put on pretense or a facade in order to please him.
Sadly, this wasn’t always the case for me where others were concerned. I’ve had relationships, be they romantic or platonic, where I felt so insecure about my place in them, that I had to make sure to uphold a certain level of pretense in order to maintain them. It could have been simple things like pretending to be way more into a certain TV show or book so that I could keep up with a conversation, or as sadly significant as changing my stance on an issue in order to gain acceptance. Whatever the case, it left me feeling straight up drained whenever I’d leave the situation and go back home.
In short, it was exhausting trying to be somebody that I wasn’t.
Life is short. Why pretend to be someone you aren’t? The older I get, the more comfortable I get with myself and the less tolerance I have for pretense or false appearances. I know who I am in Christ and I don’t want to apologize for or change that. I have seen firsthand that people respond much more positively to authenticity than they ever will to my attempts at being what they need me to be.
Today, take an evaluation of your speech and actions when in the presence of your most loved ones versus those you are only on a surface level of acquaintance with. I’m not saying you will have the same comfort or familiarity with the two groups, but I am suggesting you take note of any wildly differing behaviors or attitudes in yourself when around them. Do you change yourself to fit in with your surroundings? If so, STOP! You’re doing no one any good by putting on a false representation of yourself. Be yourself! It’s freeing, it’s comforting, and it’s true. Life is exhausting enough without having to add pressure from pretense to your plate.