Many of us are pretending in our lives but we may not even realize it. Sometimes we think we have to pretend in order to get along with others, sometimes we do it because we are avoiding something, and sometimes we do it to get what we want. The problem with pretending is that it can quickly become a habit, and it has consequences.
Some of the ways the we pretend:
- People pleasing
- Invalidating our own feelings
- Overlooking situations that cause us unhappiness
- Saying one thing but feeling something else
- Acting like we don’t want or need something
Pretending is not a sustainable strategy! We can only do it for so long before it leads to frustration and resentment.
Harry Palmer says, “Compulsive pretending soaks up one’s attention and consumes creative energies. Compulsive pretending destroys motivation and displaces intuition. Compulsive pretending reduces one’s ability to operate harmoniously in the world. Compulsive pretending creates an internal stress that seeks an outlet. Sometimes the result is disease, sometimes violence.”(Living Deliberately p. 61)
We may get a temporary sense of relief from not having to deal with something. But what we are avoiding does not go away. It keeps getting louder and more apparent until we pay attention to it. So dishonesty actually intensifies what we don’t want. Plus, our own truth is like a compass. When we pretend for too long, we lose touch with our true voice. This can lead to feeling confused, without a clear direction or reliable inner guidance.
“But there is hope. If we drop the pretense and become really honest, something divine within us begins to awaken and grow…” (P. 82 ReSurfacing)
Letting go of pretending is one of the most liberating things we can do for ourselves and others. Any step we take to become more honest helps create more happiness and peace. We can honor what we are feeling, become more real with someone, get in touch with what we want, and be willing to see what is really happening in our life. There are many actions we can do to bring more honesty into our own life. Each time we do, we are empowering ourselves, our connections, and our own divinity.