Talking about facades is easy when it is a photoshoot or a movie set.  In these settings, it is “ok” to present something that helps with the finished product that maybe a stretch from reality.  It is the staged photograph at a Wedding that captures the emotions between two individuals and is still beautiful even though we know it was staged.  It is the slightly rearranged elements that make everything wonderfully complex and beautiful in a photograph at dawn that lingers in my mind eight years later.  It is a movie that stays with us because if was filmed in the shadows from different perspectives that enhanced the story in ways we never quite understood.

There is a “however” coming in this observation.  Facades are good except when they apply to what I see.  I think I want the unvarnished truth!  As I listened in a conversation about transparency and honesty, I wondered if the conversation itself stood up to our aspirations.  Is this truly what we are looking for in others or in ourselves?  Experience reminds me that for many, the recurring comment if only to ourselves is a psalm; “I’m a joke in poor taste to those who see me; they take one look and shake their heads.” (Psalm 109.25)

I realize that others have demonstrated behaviors that help me be authentic with them.

I am accepted without conditions.  There is no judgement applied to my story, except of compassion and understanding.  The critical eye seems to be on leave, except when it comes to opportunities to support and encourage.  I am not challenged, except where there is trust and others can see what I cannot.

I am part of a larger story where my role is undefined except by myself.  In conversations with others, I find that I am automatically included in their story and the larger community.  I have a place!  What I do with it is up to me.

I am responsible for my facades.  In the best of circumstances, I tear down my facades because I know I am safe.

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