What does “be real”, “being true”, or “be authentic” mean anyway? Not a flippin thing these days. Last night I watched the GOP Presidential Candidates (after a horribly sung National Anthem) go on and one about how “real” they are and how they speak only the truths. With eagerness, as I do every 4 years around this time, I got up to watch CNN political analyst break down each and every “fact” uttered by each candidate. Over 60% of the stats, figures and numbers each candidate professed were blatantly inaccurate!
I’ve noticed that we too, are complicit in this “psudo-thentic” emulation of self. Lets use your FaceBook profile – and now think how it would look if it were truly authentic. Your deceivingly overly made up face, your tensed muscles and fake adjusted smile can come down now. Most of whats said is said to gain attention or response and often may not embody our “authentic” selves. For example, if we took my profile, today my picture should reflect guy sitting in his office chair, still wearing his workout clothes while pondering about how to do this and that better. My status shouldn’t read that of a Buddhist mantra, but more of, “damn I feel stuck and not sure what to do and I ate but am still f’ing hungry!” Had I “authentically” scripted my thoughts as of last night, it would have mirrored that of a little boy pouting about not getting his way and asking “why not?, why not, why not, like 50- times in a row.
If I were being truly authentic, I would have expressed the short but vivd “nasty” thought that just ran across my mind, or perhaps, that I really do think some people are very stupid or even that I’d like to be a father soon.
Marketing experts would assure you that we are “branding” ourselves via FaceBook, Twitter etc. I say, doing so implies an expectation and forceful subservience to approval – an approval determined my pride and ego! Oh yes thats right…you want to be loved, you want to be liked , you want friends and god forbid you tell them what you REALLY think and feel – you’d be more lonely than “alone” itself. You and your friends are not friends. Your respective egos are friends and THEY like each other. We are all raised to conform to some semblance of acceptance and belonging thus inherently rendering individualism a bit of an oxymoron, eh? After all, who wants to be admit they are scared, afraid, uncertain, dumb, horny, playful or that they just sharted?
Sometimes we are so inauthentic, we won’t tell a stranger that there is cilantro in their teeth, or that there is toilet paper on their shoe, or you’ve left your gas cap off, or that ma’am, you’ve just come on your period, its come through your pants and you may want to get yourself sorted out – all b/c we don’t want to embarrass them or better yet, embarrass ourselves by embarrassing them. <—smh how silly are we? So um, yea, lets let these people walk around all day looking crazy as hell…smooth move ex-lax!
The thing is, though, all of those things are part of the human condition–and those things and the good things aren’t mutually exclusive. And so why should claiming them be a negative? On the contrary: I think there’s a promise of something pretty awesome that comes when we’re able to own it all. The sky doesn’t fall, but, like the curtain hiding the Wizard of Oz, the blinders do.
And so what is there to see? Maybe a refreshed perspective on self worth? The willingness to own our complex, dualistic not so sexy human nature? With no one to impress “true” self would always be the clothing of choice – not pride and ego.
Well I know I am the FARTHEST things from perfect, but everyday I let more and more of me hang out there. Here I am: sometimes I don’t smell good, sometimes I miss the punch line, sometimes I don’t hold the elevator and sometimes I just don’t wanna!
Join me – lets be free <— now THAT’S sexy! 🙂