Most of my life until quite recently was spent living for the exterior manifest image - a perfectly curated social media image of myself. It was edited. It was photogenic. It looked great on paper. And it was a façade for a grand shit show - a shit show born out of the need to uphold the façade.
I have come to firmly believe that much of what keeps us separate, hidden, anonymous, and ultimately stuck in our own hell is our fear of what other people will think of us if they knew the truth. What keeps us stuck is the attachment to the façade, and what digs us deeper and deeper is the work that goes in to maintaining it. If they only knew x, then they would think y. And my God, they can never think y. Because then it all comes crumbling down.
But what if we could just focus on x, be x? What if we said screw it and forgot about what people thought? What if we didn't have to maintain the façade? What if we could just be?
Whether we are hiding a mere feeling of inadequacy or jealousy, a mental health issue like anxiety or depression or a personality disorder, hiding an addiction or compulsive behavior to something like drinking, drugs, or porn, or hiding anything that shames us, what we are really doing is hiding a perceived weakness or flaw. What we are really doing is hiding the parts of ourselves that we think make us unattractive or unacceptable or good enough. The x parts. And therefore, what we are really doing is hiding the parts of us that make us human.
When we hide the parts of us that make us human, we become more and more inhuman on the surface, and we make it harder for our brothers and sisters to maintain their humanity. When we hide the parts of us that make us human, we fuel the collective fire, the collective madness to appear perfect. When we hide the parts of us that make us human, we uphold the collective façade, the collective shit show. We collectively destroy humanness and humanity when we hide our own humanness.
We are not in the Martha Stewart generation anymore. It is not our duty to host a perfect dinner party or make a perfect scrapbook depicting our storybook lives. We are in a generation that is connected, a generation where information from all four corners of the world is available to us, a generation where we each have a megaphone and a network and a profile. And we are in a generation where depression, stress, anxiety and related compulsive coping mechanisms are epidemic. A generation in pain. A generation whose pain cannot sustain hiding behind the Martha Steward façade.
In this generation, it is our duty to be ourselves, our flawed, complicated, beautifully imperfect perfect selves.
In this generation, it is our duty to be WHO WE ARE regardless of what THEY may think.
In this generation, it is our duty to be human. So that the rest of us can be human.