Monday, February 15, 2016

Keeping Up Appearances Not Just a British Sitcom

The beginning of 2016 has illuminated a number of things for me.  One is the value I place on authenticity in my relationships with friends.

During my three month hiatus from social media a number of friends reached out to me for emotional support.  Along with the routine feel good updates and sharing I also heard many stories of defeat, great losses, betrayal, deaths, infidelity and more.  We all need spaces free from Instagram selfies, meaningless tweets and Facebook posts.  I welcomed the moments of vulnerability with my friends especially since there are few places where we can set down our masks and be ourselves.  What disgusted me during those moments was the incongruence between their reality and their social media posts!

"What a minute!!! What is she posting about?" was the first thing that came to my mind for a number of them.  Like the next man I believe in declaring "better" over my life but to portray an image of "having it all together" when things are "utterly falling apart" is the epitome of inauthentic.

Stop living for the camera!
No judgement here.  None whatsoever.  I just implore humans to live in their truth versus creating a fairytale filled with unicorns, rainbows, mermaids and pots of gold.  I have been told the fullness of my imagination is right up there with the best fantasy writers but these imaginary lies I mean lives created on social media are a farce!

When I was in full time clinical practice I would say to my patients:
"It's difficult to heal what you conceal."     
I'd like to take credit for this thought but it's not mine to claim.  The very thought of us sharing our true stories leaves most people running for safety.

Our untruths about who we really are and what we are really experiencing remind me of the 90's British sitcom I love watching called "Keeping Up Appearances."  The sitcom follows the life of a pretentious middle class lady, Hyacinth Bucket, who insists on pronouncing her name bouquet. She is from a working class family but pretends she is a member of the aristocracy and belittles anyone who is not of her imagined social status.  (I've met my share of Hyacinths here in The States.)  Hyacinth goes through great lengths to hide her family from the public eye.  Her plans to distance herself from them are often thwarted by their zany antics.  She goes through great lengths to protect her social imagery ~ GREAT LENGTHS!!!  Hyacinth Bucket is a hoooooooot.   Crazy as a bat would be more descript!  But how many "Hyacinths" find themselves on social media talking about trips they have never taken, homes they have never owned or connections they have yet to make?  The pretension is nauseating!

At the root of our pandemic façade is the fear of rejection.  Being rejected for who we really are.  It's so easy to don the appearance of "All is well" as you whither away on the inside.  It takes courage to BE YOU I mean the true you!!!  Allow others to see the true YOU - the good, the bad, the beautiful, the ugly...  They will either connect with you or remain distant but it's their choice.  Keeping up appearances starves the true us from ever living.

As you are forming goals and meeting challenges for 2016 I challenge you to reveal your TRUE SELF.  Stop hiding!      

Meet me on Instagram and Twitter @drjerispeaks.  Let the world know the real you!
Until next time.

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