Have you noticed that we live in a largely fake world? There appears to be a society wide and personal pattern of pretending. Perhaps more than ever what we are looking at or hearing may or may not be real. Inauthenticity has become an art form. “Fake news” is a real concern. We are surrounded my reposts, retweets, CGI sounds and images, chemical food and artificial products. But it's not just the media. It's in relationships too. Who people are and who they pretend to be can often be incongruent. People post on social media about their great lives meanwhile they are dangerously depressed. It’s not easy to navigate anymore. People frequently manipulate images and words but worse than that – they manipulate their own mind. And if you’re not careful they try to sell the manipulation to you. You just can’t afford to buy it. Fake is fatal.
As we dash through our daily lives, how much time do we have to even question reality? Our own or anyone else’s reality just goes unexamined. As the ancient philosopher Sorcrates claimed: “The unexamined life is not worth living.” SPOILER ALERT: His commitment to his truth cost him his life which is really disappointing when one considers the genius he offered society. What if they had let him live? His truth cost him his life. I could give more modern examples but I think you get the drift.
Is your life examined or are you playing it safe?
How important is being “real” to you? In relationships sometimes when we look at what’s real, the relationship will have to end. Sometimes when we look at what’s real about a job, we have to move on. Sometimes when we look at what’s real about our lives we have to change and grow. Reality can be overrated. Oftentimes conformity and complacency are the comfy chairs of life. Sitting on the the cushy spots and watching from a distance. But that too comes at a cost.
We live fast so fake living is easier to overlook. In our social media, drive thru, multitask, sleep deprived, anxiety inducing Western World we often get rushed through the major parts of our day. It is so easy to misread a moment. A person. A career. A meal. A life. It’s also easy to forget to look at the choices in front of us. People are so concerned with what other people think they often forget to think for themselves. We often forget to exam our own reason for living. Why am I here?
As poet Mary Oliver once asked “What will you do with this one wild and precious life?”
So, that’s why I wrote this book. I don’t want you to sleep through your life and wake up when it’s too late. Getting real is not easy but it is possible and it is worth the effort.
There’s a wonderful story about a rich man who was very powerful and he was invading another neighboring castle. When he got there he fired his first shots. A soldier looked down over the wall and said to his approaching enemy “Who are you?”
The invader stopped his advancement and said to the soldier, I will pay you to come to my house every day and ask me that question.
So, who are you? I am here to ask you and now I want you to ask yourself this everyday.
Getting real about who you are is a powerful moment. For example, taking ownership of all of our being and choices can be hard. I struggle as many people do. As I recently said to a family member “ I am not made of stone”. I would LOVE to tell you that is in my past. I would LOVE to tell you I am totally happy with myself and everything about my appearance – but that would be a LIE. I am not exactly where I want to be or doing everything I want to do. I get me. It’s not always easy to accept but I am real about my reality.
Owning this allows me to make better choices today
We all have skeletons clogging up our closets. Unacheived dreams with faded edges. We are all fighting something, someone or somewhere. Some battles are harder than others. So is this way people hide? Why people pretend? Why people run from their life and make it about something or someone else? Addiction is hard, recovery is hard. It’s all about the kind of hard you are willing to tackle. Compassion for self is heavily required to be real. You can’t get real until you get kind.
Pretending is painful. Avoidance is expensive. Hoping is empty. Wishing is wasteful. Worrying is worse.
There is tremendous power in owning all of your stuff. There is freedom in admitting you need help to do something different. There is compassion in realizing you are not alone. We all have our crosses to bare – some are just heavier than others. None of us every really know what another person is dealing with in their life. Some people have it much easier than you and some people have it much much harder than you. Getting real is not a contest. It’s not a reality show. You have to get up and start over each day. You can’t live in yesterday’s reality. It’s gone.
Getting real and staying real takes calm, quiet and gentle reflection daily. It’s time to tell that chatty inner critique to shut the hell up. It’s time to put down the things that hurt you in the long run. It’s time to distance yourself from the fake world.
The answer to all this is to embrace the Natural world. The real world. The world inside and outside you that is beautifully authentic and genuine.
You have the sting of the red ant. The bite of the mosquito. The power of the hurricane. The vastness of the ocean… all within you.
Author and spiritual teacher Michael Singer, who I deeply admire said “Stop being stupid. Use your mind to do great things. Use your consciousness to look at the reality in front of you. It’s right there.” He kept waving his arms frantically in front of him as he said this. “It’s right there.”
I have been blind to the obvious and there is probably something obvious I am missing right now. I have to sometimes reign myself in like a hyped up toddler on sugary cereal to put the spoon down. Pause. Master the pause. Welcome the silence and just be.
The journey to real is a constant one with beautiful vistas.
Get real because it’s the only way to get free. Or keep being a slave to the Under-lord of what’s fake. He’s a cruel master unworthy of you. You deserve the very best. Let me know how you are doing on the journey. Love to you on your path.
With kind regards
Much love and MOJO,