Throw Off That Disguise, Let Us See You, Open Your Arms And Let Us Love You
Alex was about to go on a date with a girl he’d only just met called Erin. As he was getting ready, he thought about all the things he was going to tell her about himself, and all the things it was probably best to hide if he was going to impress her.
Across the other side of the city, Erin was adding the final touches to her outfit for the evening, and thinking similar thoughts. She had to make a good impression if she had any chance with Alex, so she too had thought about all the things she was going to keep quiet about.
The date was perfectly pleasant. The meal was delicious, and they’d talked about the latest TV dramas, the local elections that had just been held, the recent warm weather, and the economic climate.
Alex had stuck to his plan and hadn’t mentioned how much he adored French films, especially those ones about tangled relationships where a subtle glance or the drop of one’s eyelids spoke more than hours of dialogue. He didn’t tell Erin about how he was learning French so he could watch his favourite French films without subtitles and understand every word.
He’d not said anything about how he loves to cook, and how every weekend he would try a new dish he’d never tried before. And he didn’t mention that he adored cats and was an investor in the cat rescue sanctuary in the next city.
He certainly didn’t mention that he wore pyjamas in the evenings and to bed, or how much he liked ice cream.
He didn’t think Erin would be interested in any of these things, or that it would make him look very cool or manly.
Erin, also, had been true to her plan. She hadn’t mentioned how she went to Paris at least once a year and felt more at home there than she did in America, and how one of her favourite activities was to catch a few French movies in quirky local cinemas there where everyone thought she was a native.
She didn’t tell him she studied food nutrition and was teaching herself to cook more healthily. She didn’t mention how she had three cats and donated regularly to animal charities, as well as volunteering.
She certainly didn’t mention she loved nothing more than slouching around at home in the evening in pyjamas with hearts on, eating ice cream and, well, watching French movies after dinner cuddled up with her cats.
She didn’t want Alex to think she was too soppy or girly.
Alex and Erin decided not to go on another date. While perfectly “nice”, the evening held little spark or interest to either of them. They appeared to have nothing in common.
Erin was looking for someone who was more into the kind of stuff she was, not TV, politics, economics and the weather.
And Alex, well, he was looking for someone who was more into the kind of stuff he was, not TV, politics, economics and the weather.
What a tragedy!
This (un)romantic story is an illustration of what happens when we don’t let ourselves be ourselves, and when we don’t take an interest in what other people are REALLY like, what drives them, what they’re passion about.
When you don’t give people a chance to get to know you – the real you – how will they ever like you? How will their life be enriched by you in a way that only you can provide?
Alex and Erin in effect didn’t take themselves on that solitary date. They took along instead a stunt double, a hologram projection of themselves, one that was tweaked and airbrushed and censored in a way they thought the other might like.
In hiding the real them, they succeeded.
But in making a genuine connection with another, one that could have led to one of the most rewarding relationships of their lives, they failed miserably.
Don’t be a hologram, a fraud, a ghost of yourself. Just be you, be all of you. There are people who will love you just as you are, who NEED you to be exactly as you are.
There are people whose lives you will change for the better, with your art, with your personality, with you just being completely you.
Take off that disguise and let us see you. Open your arms and let us love you.
Only you can save us. But we need you to be you.
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