how can I be authentic?

This is not what I planned to write about today but it's still on my mind so please indulge me.

Yesterday in church we talked about the social acceptability of sharing negative feelings, feelings of sadness, worry, doubts, fears etc. It was a very interesting discussion but it didn't end with the lesson for me. I kept thinking about my own need to be not only honest and open but authentic with people while at the same time I never feel like I can answer a "How are you doing" from the average person with anything other than fine/good/well.

Have we created a barrier by consistently using phrases that we already know will elicit the correct/normal response? I think that if I asked someone what had been happening in their life and they answered sincerely with candor about their personal struggles and also the good things that I would be glad, feel closer and hopefully not feel the need to solve their problems. But I can't be sure because I've never had that experience. I haven't answered that way either. I am a private person, which may come as a surprise since I have a public blog and share many aspects of my personal life on here. But only certain aspects. I am happy to share my goals, plans and dreams or talk about some of my hardships and the difficulties that I have passed through. But those are first and third acts of the play of my life. I don't willingly/easily talk about the drudging second act part, when I'm in the middle of a struggle and devoid of the perspective that the other two acts provide to my story. I don't completely know why I don't feel comfortable sharing those parts. I'm not trying to build an illusion that my life is perfect--it most certainly is not. But I do like to share my happiness because I am generally a happy person. I reserve sharing my struggles for talking to my closest friends and family members and sometimes not even with them. There's no moral to this blog post, just more questions that I still have on my mind.

About J.M. Barrie's thoughts on the importance of the second act


  1. I think it's totally normal to feel uncomfortable with sharing the second act... and sometimes it is unnecessary. But, of course, it is also important as bloggers that we attempt to be real with our readers... and not pretend that our lives are somehow perfect. It's something I think we all struggle with... I'm not sure I have the moral either. :) ... but it's good to think about it, and for us all to talk about it.

  2. I struggle with this, too.

    One Sunday morning at church I was working in the check-in for the nursery. A friend said "Hey! How are you?" and just out of instinct, I said "Living the dream, friend!" And then he followed up with "...really?" I had just had my second miscarriage, lost our precious Micah at 16 weeks, and I was smiling and completing my task and lying to everyone, even those who actually cared out of a deep need not to crumble at the check-in counter.

    So I think about this a lot now, and about my level of sarcasm (as my response to him was in my typically dry and sarcastic tone and I kind of got called out on it.) It's not such a terrible thing to protect yourself from being a completely open book all the time, though. If your windows are constantly open, you'll get input from places that aren't always the best sources of advice. You know what I mean?

  3. the fact is that, though sad, this is so true and I can absolutely agree. we rather say we are fine than to explain the miseries we have in heart. we should be more honest to ourselves and to others.


Thanks for your nice words. I appreciate them so much.