Keeping it Real
My in-laws are in town and I’m noticing myself being on “best behaviour”. I’m faffing around making sure the children remember their please’s and thank you’s, and ensuring that our home is tidier than usual.
Of course there is no harm in creating a good impression, but at what point does this behaviour become inauthentic? To what extent am I presenting a picture of my life that is not an honest reflection of who I really am and how I really live?
It’s relatively easy to be “transformed” around other like-minded people, but it’s those people who are in our lives by birth or circumstance who pose the greatest challenge. Family members in particular tend to push the buttons we’d long forgotten we had, and often trigger the kinds of behaviours that we thought we’d left behind.
There is a part of me that thinks: “What the heck, suck it up. They’ll be gone in three weeks.” That’s the lazy part, the fearful part of me that doesn’t want to rock the boat unnecessarily.
But I know that’s a cop out. It doesn’t work for me to pretend to be someone I’m not. It feels like an undoing of the work I’ve been doing in getting real with myself about who I am and what I’m up to in life.
So what if they disapprove? It is far more important to me to be at peace with myself, to go to bed at night knowing that I am being true to who I really am. And it’s vitally important that my children learn, from my example, that there is never a reason to pretend to be someone you’re not.
I see now that the coming weeks are actually a great blessing. They offer me the opportunity to get real, even when it would be more convenient to be otherwise. All I need is to remember a handful of key principles:
- I know what feels right for me. Trust it.
- I must speak my truth at all times.
- It is important that I respect that others too have their truth.
- There is no need to take myself too seriously. Whatever will be, will be.
- Love and laughter are best at dispelling any tensions that may arise.