When we first saw the hut it was a white speck in the distance and a few miles later we could see it more clearly. My wife and I both agreed that it was a beautiful spot to live, in a tranquil location and near to the sea.
As we got closer we talked more and more enthusiastically about how nice the hut looked and how it would make a nice holiday home.
As we walked past we were surprised that it was not as perfect or immaculate as it had looked from a distance. It needed some work doing on broken shutters and from the far side as you can see in this picture it doesn’t look quite so grand. In fact, if we had been walking from the other direction we wouldn’t have been so impressed with the hut.
As I thought about this later on, I realized that most of us are like this hut at some point or another. Many of us are battered and bruised emotionally but we often try to hide it.
When people ask us how we are, do we instinctively say fine, regardless of how we are?
Sadly, many of us have bought into the lie that we are supposed to be okay when in fact living in this world means that sometimes we will not feel or be okay.
Our behaviour can be worse than just pretending that we are okay when we are not. Sometimes people project a false, successful and happy life when really they are struggling inside. You know the sort of things that appear on Facebook:
This is me with my well behaved children
This is me on holiday looking happy
This is me on top of mount Everest
This is me winning the world cup
Okay, perhaps I’m beginning to exaggerate a bit but you know the sort of things I mean. The sort of statuses that can lead people to despair and depression because they feel that they are missing out on a perfect life that doesn’t consistently exist.
There is nothing wrong with celebrating happy moments but we need to realize that living a great life is not dependent on being in exotic places or everything being perfect.
You may have heard it said that the grass is greener on the other side, but the truth is that the grass is greener where you water it. So instead of envying what others have, lets learn to live the life well that is ours to live.
We can’t always change our circumstances but we can live well within our circumstances.
I hope that we can also give up pretending and mask wearing. We really don’t have to be okay!
When we aren’t okay, God longs for us to tell him about it.
Honesty is the first step towards our healing.
Until we face up to the things that are bothering us, then we can’t deal with them. You can read more about how we can talk to God when we feel wobbly and the difference that God can make in my post, ‘life is like a game of Jenga’.
Back to the hut, it wasn’t perfect and it needed some work, but I would quite happily stay there.
None of us are perfect and we all need some work but I hope we can have the courage to be ourselves rather than pretending.
If you live honestly rather than projecting a lie, you will be surprised at how people will still accept you and often people will respect you more for it.