Thursday, September 22, 2016

The Great Pretender

What is a pretender? I think we all know the answer to that question, but just to clarify. A pretender is a person who claims or aspires to a title or position.  I can see how that definition would apply. For me pretender means more. It is not just about who someone claims to be, but about how that person is perceived by others. Of course perception is based on what another person sees or notices, so I guess it all depends on how you present yourself. I know lots of pretenders. Those who act one way in front of certain people.  In fact, I am a pretender.  I hide my true self to all the people in my life. I don't want to let me secret out, but I will tell it here. I am really Wonder Woman! What? You have never seen me and Wonder Woman in the same room together have you?

Just so you know this is a difficult post to write about, so I thought a little joke would ease my nerves just a bit. 

To say that I am a great pretender would be saying I am good at hiding things, mostly what is on the inside.  I get up everyday, put my life is great face on and head out to meet my world.  My world consists of my husband, children, my church family, my extended family and one little girl who calls me Tink.  Everyday I have to put up a front that everything is peachy king.  If my marriage is struggling I hide it. If my kids are being rebellious I hide it.  If my heart is hurting I hide it.  Most days I do pretty good keeping the emotions in check and putting on my happy face. Then there are days that I can barely manage and by the end of the day I am flat out exhausted. Do you have any idea how tiring it is to go through an entire day with a broken heart, but you have to hold it all in? It is very tiring. So tiring in fact that you just want to go to bed and sleep until the next day. Of course with a family that is not an option. You just have to trudge on through and try to rest after the day is done. 

I am almost certain that the majority of people we come in contact with are pretenders. They are just trying to get through each and every day, hiding some problem or distress from the world. How many times do we ask someone, "How are you doing?" and they respond, "Fine". Are they really fine or do they say that because it is socially acceptable? Do they really want to talk about what is bothering them and feel they can't? I am guilty of giving the "Fine" answer, but really wanting to talk about it.  I tell friends, family, even my husband that I'm fine, when on the inside I am broken. 

How many times do we pass people on the street, they smile and say hello and look happy, but they are really broken on the inside. They have their mask in place hiding their true selves from the world. I think we should be careful of what we say or do to others, you never know who is fighting a battle and who feels like giving up.  I am reminded of a certain passage in the Bible,

  Matthew 12:36

"But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgement. 

I have not always been the best at watching what I say to others or even the tone I use, but Jesus is still working on me, to make me what I ought to be.  

The points I am really trying to make are these:1. Everybody struggles, we all have problems and we all face things. We all do a good job of hiding it. 2.  We should all watch our words, tone and body language when we deal with others. There should never be any bullying, pressuring or making us feel like our emotions/feeling are not valid.

Always ask Jesus for guidance and the right words, he will give them to you and help you to speak them.

Of course, I could never write about being a Great Pretender without a shout out to The Platters and the song that says it.

"That's my 'two-cents worth', what's yours?"

Thanks a lot Jane

Some of you may know a girl named Jane. My Aunt Shirley's middle name was Jane and so was my great-grandmothers.  This is not about just any Jane, sorry all you Jane's that might be reading this post, but  this is about one particular Jane and how she ruined men for us all.
                                                  (This one is for you J.A.)

Many years ago I had this idea that romantic love between a man and a woman was something extraordinary (and it can be with the right one). Of course I was just a child and I thought as a child. I always dreamed of a meeting my Prince Charming, who would of course have either a British, Scottish or Irish accent. He would sweep me off my feet and carry me away across the pond and we would live like so many did in J.A.'s novels.  Well I learned right quick that love it not entirely like that.

Don't get me wrong, I love my husband dearly. He may not have a European accent, but he has a southern one and he really did sweep me off my feet.  Our courtship was short and sweet and here were are eleven years later still together and still making it work.  (Although some days are harder than others!).

But let's get back to Jane, in her novels she presented us with certain truths about relationships, but I will use my favorite of her novels, P&P,  to explain:

1. They are not easy to be in: Being in a relationship takes time, patience and willingness to work at it. Things just don't fall into place like some believe they will.

2. Often Pride gets in the way: There may be that perfect person out there for you, but you fail to see it because he/she doesn't "fit" the ideal you have of your perfect mate.  We let our pride and prejudice get in the way of seeing people for who they really are.

3. Your family can ruin something perfectly right for you: How many times has this happened to people. You have met the one, your soul mate, your perfect match and then they meet your family. I have no personal experience with this point, but I heard of those who have. Trust me, there are mothers out there who will sabotage their children's relationships just to keep them at home. It sounds crazy, but believe me it is true.

4. People are not always what they seem: This kind of goes along with my second point, but in a little bit of a different way. I have to say that sometimes what we see is in fact what they truly are, we ignore that to be with someone and get hurt in the process. Listen to me if the warning signs are there, if you see any red flags at all, get away from them.  You will end up with a broken heart and quite possibly physically/emotionally broken.

5. Relationships are not always necessary: Why do we always feel the necessity to be in a relationship?  Y'all do know that it is perfectly acceptable to be by yourself. I understand that we long for and need companionship, but we need "me" time as well. I know women who will jump from one relationship to another without a moments hesitation and they never seem to work out.  Why not just take a break and look after yourself first.

6. We have to look for our own happiness: I know that sounds cliche but it's true.  How can we ever expect to be truly happy if we look for that happiness in other human beings.  I have always been a happy, go-lucky person, but the last few years have taking a toll on my personality.  I am not the woman that I used to be and I may not seem happy to others, but I am my version of happy.  I found true happiness when I let Jesus into my heart and honestly that is the only way to be truly happy.

I actually began writing this post about one month ago, I often start with an idea, leave it and then come back to finish it.  It was so funny that about a week after starting this I read an interesting article in a magazine that talked about the exact same thing. In fact, it felt as if she had taking my thoughts and put them down on paper. Weird right? It gets better.  About a week after that I was shopping at our local good will when I found the book, "Me and Mr. Darcy".  Of course I had to buy it, the price was only seventy-five cents.  It was a fairly good read, minus the many unnecessary words the author chose to use.  In the book she discovers some truths about Mr. Darcy and how he might not really be what every woman dreams of.

I am guessing y'all might have figured out who J.A. is, but just in case you haven't, it's Jane Austen. So hats off to Miss Jane for not only being an amazing author, but who in truth, actually did show us how love really works and what the perfect man really is. He is the one that is perfect for you.
Lizzie fell for Mr. Darcy from the beginning, but a lot of things got in the way.  It worked out that he was the perfect one for her and as the story goes they lived happily ever after.

Wow, these relationships sure can be a  tricky business!

"That's my 'two-cents worth', what's yours?"