Tuesday, September 8, 2015

The Isolation of Invisibility and Inauthenticity

“It is not good for man to be alone “… but my o my does he go out of his way to be alone.

In the case of our God-created need for visibility, understanding, and companionship, many choose to remain invisible. The thinking here is that loneliness is far better than revealing a self that we believe will probably be rejected. One of the ways we do this is by pretending to not be ourselves. Rather than increasingly becoming the person we were created to be, like actors on a stage, we take on roles and pseudo – personalities.

We are like Kirk Lazurus (played by Robert Downy, Jr), in Tropic Thunder:  I know who I am! I'm the dude playing the dude disguised as another dude!

My parents insisted I become this person and, so as to garner their approval, I became that person.

My mother or father are like this-and-that and, in reaction to their shortcomings, I build a persona around the intent to Not Be Him or Her. What role is being taken on here? “Not-him!” (Bad news: when I do this, I cannot help but become whom it is I am focusing on.)

No one will love me as I am, so I have to pretend to be the kind of person others will love. Or, if I believe no one will love me, period, I go out of my way to reject them before they reject me. In this case, I take on the persona of the lone-wolf, or the perpetually misunderstood victim who must connive and manipulate others to love me.

And the award for Best Actor goes to … the Lonely Guy!

We are the dudes playing the dudes disguised as other dudes. So, which dude are people relating to? And are any of these dudes actually the real “me”? No. Therefore, as I know people are relating to a role I am playing, I know without a doubt the relationship is not real. However many people may appear to be in my world, because I am not being real, my world is not real, therefore these friends are not real.

I say we know, but, with some, they have forgotten what they knew: that the self they are projecting, what people are seeing, is not real. They have been playing a role for so long that they are invisible to themselves!

Interestingly, one of the ways we can discover that we, in fact, are pretending to not be our true self, is feedback from the individuals in our lives whom we know are authentic. Real people spot role players fairly easily.

Role players are seldom comfortable in their own skin

Dudes playing dudes are constantly calibrating for approval where, if they sense they aren’t performing as expected, they morph into another role or character, not understanding that what an authentic person is looking for is … authenticity!

Actors are all buttoned up, perfectly put together, with just the right lines. Even the disheveled look that The Victim takes on is perrrrfectly cast: tears flow just so, and guilt-manipulating phrases are spoken with Academy award winning timing and pathos.

So. When you are ready for some reality, ask the authentic people in your life about how they experience you, as well as the “you” they see behind your mask. And, Yes: you DO know who these people are, for as soon as you read that sentence, he came to mind; she popped up on your radar. 

Copyright, Monte E Wilson, 2015

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