I like “to go through the emotions” and not “the motions” because I believe we cleanse and purge ourselves when we are true to our feelings. We grow and learn when we seek the truth. When we hide and deceive ourselves, it doesn’t serve us right. We don’t learn. We stunt our spiritual growth—narrow-mindedness resides with us because we cannot see beyond the lie. We have to admit to our sins, faults, mistakes, and weaknesses. Focusing only on the strengths of our character can limit those areas that need improvement.
We are a culture that believes in celebrating lies or masks. For instance, in job interviews. Most people lie and exaggerate about their skills. I always think, why do I have to lie about who I am? No one is perfect. Experts advise you to lie about so-called weaknesses: “My weakness is that I overwork myself.” “My weakness is that I am a perfectionist.” I understand people can’t say, “I’m a serious procrastinator. But I will get things done,” or “I am occasionally late. But once I’m here, I’m ready to work.”
I don’t understand why I have to lie, exaggerate, or utter something witty to get a job. “If you’re witty, it reveals the sharpness of your mind. Therefore, you’ll be able to handle difficult situations.” This doesn’t make any sense to me because we are encouraging people to be ungenuine. Of course, we want people of good character. But experience cannot be achieved through perfection. It’s outrageous to believe such things.
A friend of mine, a while back, suggested a dating app. If you like dating apps, that’s okay. But I don’t like them. Every profile I saw said something similar: “I’m an outdoors person. I like an adventure. And I live life to the fullest.” I thought, really, everyone on here lives life to the fullest? If they’re on exciting adventures, why are they on social media? Once again, they say such things, even if they aren’t entirely true because that’s what we as a society want to hear.
I concluded that dating apps are not for me. It’s just another way for people to lie about themselves. And the worst part is, that we are conditioned to accept lies because God forbid that we are imperfect human beings. By this, I’m not saying, let’s make tons of mistakes without measuring consequences. I’m saying that we could be a bit more forgiving toward learners. Let’s learn about each other because we’re all learners. Let’s also be truthful to ourselves. We need mistakes to grow.
Christ had to endure pain, loneliness, and die before resurrecting in triumph. The Phoenix rises from the ashes. It does not make sense to turn on a light when we’re already in brightness. I read a book called Nothing Is Wasted: How God Redeems What is Broken, by Joseph Bentz, about the importance of failure and the story “Jack and the Beanstalk.” He writes the following:
Seeds absolutely depend on the burial, that particular kind of destruction, to produce anything. Unless you do what looks like killing them, you’ll never get anything anywhere…Jack’s mother doesn’t get that. She doesn’t share Jack’s faith in transformation. She looks at the beans in his hand and sees only beans. Jack sees what they might become through the magic of transformational destruction and resurrection. (120)
Jack’s seeds had to be thrown away. It seemed like a failure as Bentz points out. We have examples either in religion, mythology, or fiction that illustrate the value of death or failure. Figuratively speaking, a part of ourselves has to die or break at times to rise from letdowns or unfortunate events.
As a society, we should focus on accepting that it’s okay to make mistakes so as long as those seeds sprout. We’re all too concerned about saving face instead of saving our souls or spirits, depending on what you believe. We don’t seek to better our inner selves, we seek to look better outwardly to the world, not knowing that we’re simply doing ourselves a disservice. Lying to the world is not as severe as lying to ourselves. We have to let faults die, learn from them, and raise a better person.
Finally, this is why I like writers. They’re genuine about their emotions, even in their fiction or poetry. When reading a book, I’m reading a fantastic book of honesty. Many say that reading is an escape from the real world. But I wonder, what real world? The world of masks. I think writing and reading books takes us to the truest part of human beings. Music is another outlet to reach true emotions. Thank God for all the writers, musicians, and any type of artist because they’re the ones telling the truth. They’re the real truth seekers.
©Ana P. Rose & Anaprose 2017