Facade: deceptive appearance: the way something or somebody appears on the surface, especially when that appearance is false or meant to deceive

We live in a world of facades: dropped ceilings, raised floors, faux finishes. We wax it, pluck it, tuck it or lift it. If it’s straight we curl it. If it curls, we straighten it. We color the gray, add highlights for sparkle and low lights for depth. We buy furniture and then distress it so it “looks” old. We brag about our antiques while spending too much money to trying to stay young. Only the most discerning eye can spot the fake. And it all works. For a little while. . . But, it only takes one touch to realize what is fake and what is real. A little light will expose the roots that just can’t be hidden and those too new edges will betray the created antique. Reality can be harsh when uncovering all those things we think we have hidden so well.

We try the same tricks when it comes to our emotions. We build emotional walls in an attempt to keep others away from our unpleasant truths. We don’t want to look silly or weak or needy, so we put on a “stiff upper lip” and push away the very people who want to offer support. We want to be strong for others, but have no idea how to accept that strength when offered in return. To keep from ever feeling the pain of betrayal or loss, we don’t allow anyone to invade that area of our lives that might touch kindness or love. We teach our children that “big boys/girls don’t cry” and then wonder why they are distant. Through our own actions we teach that sex is a good substitute for love, money is the only thing that matters and pursue your own happiness at any cost.

How do we break away from these facades we have created? When do we stop fearing the pain and embarrassment that “might” occur so that we can pursue love and connection with those around us? How much will it take to allow that one touch that breaks thru the barriers? It’s no easy task. Love and betrayal, joy and loss, kindness and pain are part of the world in which we live. Exposing our tender emotions will always be a risk. There is always the chance that you will be rejected. You may not receive the same that you give. Your sacrifice may not be appreciated or even accepted. But, there will be that ONE moment that makes it all worth while. And then you realize that the wall first built for protection has become a prison. You will no longer seek safety but now crave connection. Giving unconditional love, regardless of the cost, becomes your passion. It’s not easy to drop the facade, but it’s worth it. Love is always worth it.

“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.” 1 John 4:18