Last week Gary and I were sitting on the porch solving the world’s problems when we realized that we approach our worlds in very different ways. We will look at the same glass of liquid and will describe it in opposing ways. He tends to be a half-empty individual and I tend to be a half-full person.
These paradigms grew inside of each of us as a result of our genetics and upbringing. I look back on my life and I see myself always believing the best in people. Even after I’ve been let down, I approached the same person or situation with a naive trust. Much like a puppy dog that keeps coming back to get some love.
Throughout my Christian school upbringing I believed that everyone was trying to be good. Who would want to do bad things. Such a childlike world I lived in. I started to put on that “I’m ok-you’re ok” mentality. An armor of sorts, religious armor no less, (the best kind) that both protected my naive heart but also projected a false strength.
That disingenuous spirit grew in me throughout my adulthood. There were very few who knew me without my armor on and those people were the ones who I knew were more than just the plastic world that we were walking through. I was working in a land of make believe where everyone did what was right. Which is why I was so shocked when people didn’t do what I expected.
I couldn’t believe that family and friends, people I had trusted had misrepresented themselves to me. But then again, I was guilty of the same thing. A bunch of fakes riding an ark together discussing how beautiful the weather is while waiting for the rain to stop.
Those experiences are what led me to doing this today. As I’ve said on a previous blog, vulnerability isn’t necessarily valued in our society. But today I’m not just talking about being vulnerable, I’m talking about being real.
Each of these days last 60 days, I’ve been mining myself to find and refine the real me, and not just the character I play on tv.
I feel like getting my body in shape has also strengthened my mind and spirit. It has, I believe, given me a true confidence and not just a cocky spirit.
I still look at the glass as half full; I still believe that people are capable of so much more than what they do, but my experience on the ark has also given me an ear to distinguish the sound of hollow plastic words.