Ditch the Façade. Own Your Uniqueness.
Thank you, Kass, for inviting me to join you and your lovely readers!
Today, as a lot of fall celebrations gather steam and adults and kiddos prep for the evening ahead, I’m reminded of my college years—specifically, an exchange with a classmate on a sunny, fall afternoon.
Though but a glance in my rear view mirror now, the memory still lingers, perhaps, because I’ve wondered what became of my classmate…the girl who had everything…or so everyone thought.
While the outer shell—the façade—portrayed a beautiful, confident, had-it-all-together young woman, inside, a fractured, wounded soul existed. I’ll never forget that moment of revelation…
One day, “Barb” approached me. She smiled as she dusted pretend lint from my jacket.
“You’re really a people-person aren’t you?”
I wasn’t sure where this was headed. Barb and I were acquaintances, but not close friends.
Was she being complimentary or was there some hidden meaning behind her remark? Odd vibes bounced between us as she brushed at my jacket again.
I returned her smile. “I’m not sure what you mean.”
The corners of her mouth shifted ever so slightly, and something foreign flickered in her eyes—something I’d never seen before.
“Like moths to a flame,” Barb laughed. “You attract folks. Naturally, even. Must be nice being so real.”
Okay. Now she had my full attention.
“Well, thank you for the compliment, Barb. I think.”
“Oh, that wasn’t a compliment. Just an observation. You seem to like people and they seem to like you. And you don’t work at it, do you?”
That in itself spoke volumes.
Barb was a fake.
I’d always suspected as much, but I thought (hoped) I’d read her wrong.
I skirted her intent and addressed the question. “If you have to work at liking others, maybe it’s time to shift gears.”
Her smile faded. Her demeanor changed. Icy reserve transformed her countenance.
This was a different side of Barb. The side, I surmised, people rarely saw.
“I have no idea what you’re talking about.” She glanced at her watch, making a point. “Wow. Gotta scoot. I’m being nominated for club president.”
Yes, I knew that. Everyone did.
“Congratulations. That’s really an honor.”
She was half-way down the sidewalk when she turned in mid-stride. “Hey, great jacket, by the way. Red’s your color. Looks just like the one I took to the campus resale shop. Glad I was able to give to a worthy cause.”
To this day, I can still see the bounce in Barb’s step and hear the clickety-clack of her boots against the concrete as she meandered on her way.
Instead of feeling small, as she’d intended, I ached for her. I ached for the burden she carried.
I’ve never been good at facades. Maybe that’s why I’ve always thought it easier to just be me.
I don’t race to keep up with the “Barbs” of this world. I’m not inclined toward pretentiousness.
I try to practice Galatians 5:22-26. Because I’m human, sometimes, I fail.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.” (Galatians 5:22-26 KJV)
When we’re comfortable with who God created us to be, there’s no need to be artificial. We recognize that we’re all unique individuals with equally unique talents.
Fake people may fool us for a time, but sooner or later, the truth is unmasked. The fiber of who they are unravels when the weight of expectation becomes too much.
On the other hand, when we’re real, it liberates us.
We make the conscious decision to say to the world, “This is who I am.”
Some additional insights:
Being authentic doesn’t give license to rudeness.
It doesn’t shame others into feeling less than.
Being authentic owns its emotions, yet acknowledges others’ strengths.
It frees us to extend the same grace that God grants everyone on a daily basis.
There’s no need to wear a façade or slip into costume because true freedom exists in our God-given uniqueness.
Cynthia writes Heartfelt, Homespun Fiction from the beautiful Ozark Mountains. A hopeless romantic at heart, she enjoys penning stories about ordinary people facing extraordinary circumstances. Her Hope Discovered, her début novel and the first in a three-book series, releases January 2019 with Mountain Brook Ink. “Cindy” has a degree in psychology and a background in social work. She is a member of ACFW, ACFW MozArks, and RWA. She’s also a 2017 ACFW Genesis Finalist, a 2016 ACFW Genesis (Double) Finalist, and a 2015 ACFW First Impressions Winner. Her work is represented by WordServe Literary. Besides writing, Cindy enjoys spending time with family and friends. She has a fondness for gingerbread men, miniature teapots, and all things apple. She adores a great cup of coffee and she never met a sticky note she didn’t like.
Cindy loves to connect with friends at her online home.
For love, fun, and encouragement ~