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Saturday, April 5, 2008

why we resist...part 1

Why do people have such a hard time being authentic with one another? Why do we put on intricate masks that hide our true selves? Why do so many people feel like they are, at least in part, living a lie? Why do we resist living as the people that God created us to be? And, why do all these things ring true in my life?

I think the answers to all these questions can be found in one simple truth: we long to be loved.

We want to be accepted, valued, cared about. Unfortunately our desire for these sentiments is so strong that, in many cases, we're willing to accept cheap forgeries (feelings of acceptance from those that only know our facades). We forsake the opportunity to experience the real thing and end up missing out on it altogether. How can we expect to experience real love and acceptance when we don't allow others to truly know us? Without exposing ourselves, the feelings and emotions which we hope to receive aren't based on fact, and are temporary at best. The affirmation we receive is hollow, which creates a wretched existence in which our deepest longing goes unfulfilled.

The reason is that as much as we long to be loved, we often possess an even greater measure of fear. Fear of not being loved; fear of being rejected. Our logic, although seriously flawed, asserts that by not letting others get too close, then their opportunity to dislike, reject, or otherwise hurt us is negated. We protect ourselves. It is a classic defense mechanism. It also works, to a certain extent: it is indeed harder for others to hurt us deeply when they are kept at arm's length.

And yet, the cost of employing this defense is the very thing that our hearts seek...love.