Being Real ~ Really

HolesI’m a huge believer that you should always bring your whole self to work. You should bring your interests and your passions. You should bring your authenticity. Being real is the only way to be. Otherwise work would be boring, filled with phony stiffs and fake conversations. Can you imagine that – 40 or 50 hours a week? Horrible. Like holding your breath until you get home.

But what about when you DO get home? Should you continue to hold your breath?? Many of us feel like home is where we are safest, where we can truly let our hair down and be who we are, the “me, unplugged” sort of thing. But are you really? Is there a side of you that you keep hidden from your home occupants? Maybe it is your deep-set fears, or your biggest dreams, who you want to be, what you want to become, why you do what you do. Maybe you hide those things, too.

What is so wrong with being real anyway? What are you afraid of? Will someone laugh at your dreams, your goals, how YOU see yourself on the inside?

Perhaps they will.

Is that so crushing, so bad? Will that sting? It absolutely will. Will it kill you – probably not. Will it deaden your relationships? It may, but then again, it may just help them grow stronger, become more purposeful.

So ~ work, home, play ~ take a deep breath, blow it out along with all those doubts, those fears and that stress. Then breathe back in, fill those lungs of yours. And do it. Here’s what I think:

Knotted Wood.jpg

Wood has knots. Lots of them. In fact, it is impossible to make something out of wood without having to deal with the knots. Unless you intend on making toothpicks – then you are probably safe… So where did this come from?? Life has knots, too. And they are hard, and they are awkward, and they don’t fit in well with our plans and they make it really, really tough to get around sometimes. Who gets to live without knots in their life? Certainly not you. Nor your neighbor, or your sister, or that really well put together guy that you know who never seems to struggle guy. Or the homeless gal that waits on a corner with a sign and a hope that you will help. But…

Knots are strength in disguise. They add a richness to the design, a beauty to the soul, those flaws actually make something quite pleasing to the eye. They add color changes and depth, character and personality. They are the trial and the end result is the overcoming personified.

They are Being Real ~ Really.

Rock Solid

I was reading today and came across this sentence that I lingered over for quite a while. It struck a pondering chord deep within my soul actually. It was this: “The bricks are fallen down, but we will build with hewn stones.” It got me to thinking about the reality of that thought. Bricks are an okay building material – they are generally uniform and easy to work with. Another plus? We can alter their appearance at will. They are easy to maneuver, stockpile and apply. They appear to be sturdy at first blush ~ likely, but upon further inspection we note that they are not all that they seem. They are constructed with tiny grains of sand – the tiniest fragments of stone that there is. To a microscope they are majestic ~ but in reality, they can flake apart and weather away bit by bit. Seemingly imperceptible, but erode away they do almost from the very beginning of their lifespan. A far greater building material is a solid piece of stone. Stronger, less flaws, better for foundations, more pleasing to the eye, longer lasting – that is a hewn stone. Stones are built tough Mother Nature style. Durable, purposeful. A masterpiece really. Much more difficult to obtain, to work with. How does this apply to us? Sometimes we settle. We settle for what is easy, what looks good for the onlookers in to our lives. We use the lesser quality things perhaps out of necessity or maybe it is out of trying to pull a fast one in our fast-paced lives. Sure, bricks look good. Tidy. Uniform. Looks like everyone else. But stones are heavier, tougher to wrestle into place. Stones are permanent. Sculptors favor them for their long-lasting works of art. But isn’t that what we hope our lives wind up being? Lasting works of art that inspire others to be better, live better, strive forward despite the daunting odds that face them? What are the stones in your life? Is it your family? Your character? Your habits? Your goals? Which of these life builders ~ bricks or stones ~ which one endures greater stress, has better longevity, is more desired? Stone. Rock solid.Stone Fence 1