April 18, 2021

Our True Self

We live in a culture that seldom wears external veils, but we also live in a culture where we each wear a veil every single day. I’m talking about the facade that we all want others to see. We all want others to see our positive traits and not our negatives. We want everyone to like us, and our egos are so in need of stroking that we have a problem thinking that certain people may not have that high of opinion of us.

This is especially true in the church today. The one place that we should be free to acknowledge that we are sinners and that we all have common struggles is also the one place that we have to be the most perfect. Our kids can’t be bad, our hair cannot be messed up, we must have on our best clothes and makeup, and by all means we can’t have any problem that we’re dealing with– unless we’re sure that it’s outside our control. Then it can be a prayer request.

Heather Bixler talks about removing the veil and had the following to say:

It’s hard to love in spite of whatever, because when we let down our guard and become vulnerable to new relationships and opening up to the point to where we allow ourselves to have love for someone else, then we are just that vulnerable to pain and hurt and heartache. It’s just easier for me to not allow those things in my life.

In reality, when we hide behind a veil, we are keeping people away and not showing them love. In turn, they cannot help us and pray for us either. We erect a wall, and then we fortify it with more things that are “easier to keep to myself” than they are to share.

God wants us to be as innocent as little children. He wants us to be transparent and to be bearing one another’s burdens. We cannot do that if we keep hiding behind the veil.

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8 thoughts on “Our True Self

  1. This might be obvious, but it’s important to note that we remove the veil to our same gender (woman to woman, man to man). There might be instances when we need to be transparent to other genders, but I can see where if being too transparent to someone other than your wife might be detrimental…or being too transparent to another man then your husband. I’ve just seen this cause conflict in many marriages.

  2. This is good. I agree with Colleen, women need more of this with other women especially. So often there’s walls up that keep women from sharing their true feelings about child-raising and housekeeping, etc. Women can be mean, blasting one woman for her choice of attachment parenting and another for choosing to schedule her infant feedings. Or a woman might share that she hates housecleaning to the point where you envision her house as a pig-sty, when in reality, it’s fairly clean, she’s just got a different standard/insanity level for cleanliness…

    We need more grace and less judgment toward each other in these areas, and then I think we’d be a lot more encouraging and feel free to share the things that really matter with one another. We women just tend to be so opinionated!

  3. “We women just tend to be so opinionated!”

    Maybe this is part of the reason why, Mary? Because “we women” are forever saying things like “women are so catty…women love to gossip…women are cranky and need chocolate when they have PMS”.

    On the one hand it seemingly draws us together as sisters and is great for starting up a conversation in the teller’s line, but in reality it seems like what it does is drive a bigger wedge between us and our husbands, brothers, fathers.

    Although some of them are amusing, I generally dislike getting those “men are big, stupid cavemen” or “women are silly, controlling nags” jokes in my email and no matter how stereotypically “accurate” or even funny in a B-movie sort of way, I rarely pass them on to my email list as I don’t like to perpetuate that type of thinking.

    Add to that the pressure to look like we just stumbled off a Victoria’s Secret shoot with a Martha Stewart-ready house and it’s no wonder “we women” are stand-offish with one another.

    And the men, we make it so they aren’t comfortable crying or showing tender feelings for their wives, and feeling “safe” to give their low opinion of Hooter’s lest someone think they’re not A Real Man. And we want them all to look like Brad Pitt, smell like the Stetson Man and rope cattle like the Marlboro Man. Instead they look like the pits, smell like the cattle — or worse, a Marlboro — and feel fine doing so because — hey, “you girls” ain’t no lingerie models to impress anyway.

    The way we’ve set each other up is a crying shame.

  4. I think being true to who you are– in a transparent way– doesn’t necessarily mean spilling out guts to whomever walks by but it does mean telling people what we really think rather than hiding behind vagaries. Certainly, if we spend more time confiding our inmost feelings with the opposite sex that is not our spouse we’re going to foster feelings for that person and it’s going to lead to problems. Best to keep some things to the same sex for sure.

    I think you’re right, Mary and Heather, a lot of the problems that we face is because we set expectations on everyone, and instead of turning around and saying “I don’t have to do that, I don’t have to look like that…” we try to measure up to a crazy standard and get depressed when we do not. I think more transparency would work here too– since we would be saying how we felt and how we truly are rather than what we feel we have to pretend to be.

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