What I appreciate about fruit is that they’re always genuine. A banana, whether you peel it open in Canada or in Thailand, is still a banana. It looks like a banana on the outside, and the inside is also a banana. You don’t peel it open and find it to be an orange.
(I know using fruit analogies only go so far…especially as there are those hybrid melons now where it looks like a honeydew but when you cut it open, looks like a cantelope. Or the fruit that look fine until you cut it open to reveal it’s gone bad. Tricky tricky. But I digress…just stick with me on the common fruit analogy.)
So likewise, apples are apples, no matter where you go. Oranges are oranges, and not kiwis. My question is, are we the same person wherever we go, and to whomever we present ourselves to?
I’m guessing for most of us, we don’t have the same degree of character consistency as fruit. (Except maybe how some look fine on the outside but are rotten inside.) To our coworkers we portray ourselves one way. To church friends, we’re another way. To other peers, we’re yet another way. To significant others and maybe even to our spouses, we pretend on…if only for a little while. But to your family…perhaps they’re the only ones who see who we truly are.
I found keeping appearances to be rather tiring. And I was challenged years ago to be more transparent about myself, wherever I go. To whomever I meet. Granted it takes a little longer to get to know more of who I am compared to that first impression you might have of me…but I try to not hide anything. There’s a lot of freedom in that! (Though, I must caution, being an open book isn’t necessarily wise either. A post for another time.)
We’re all drawn to genuine people…and want genuine relationships. How does it happen? I think it’s to first be genuine and be real about yourself. I don’t want people to like me because they think I’m a certain way and then find out I’m not truly what they thought I was portraying myself to be. I’ve lost nothing in not having the interest of someone who doesn’t like who I am. This is particularly applicable to potential marriage prospects. When I was single, my Dad in particular, bless him, was advising me to be more this and less that in hopes I’ll be more attractive and less intimidating. I told him I’ll attract the wrong guy that way and that the right guy will take me as I am…prickly, blunt, quirky and all the rest. (Skywalker was totally game and so I married him. He does tell me I need to work on not being so prickly though. I do agree with that. ha ha.)
So with any genuine relationship, it should be no different. Don’t generate expectations you weren’t meant to live up to. Forget trying to impress others with things or qualities that you aren’t. Forget trying to be what you think other people might want you to be. Be humble with your strengths, be honest about your weaknesses and don’t hide either of them.