Saturday, December 1, 2012

No Time for the Okey Doke

Honest Abe had it right.

I like real plants, real wood floors, and real gold jewelry. In short, I favor the authentic, and this includes people. In fact, this is especially true of me concerning people.

Please stay away from me with your fake smiles, your hidden agendas, and your tiresome mind games. If you want to live in that world I feel sorry for you—but not sorry enough to play along. It’s soul killing work.

I know there are others like me out there, people uninterested in “going along to get along,” “playing the game,” and all that other junk. In “Unfold,” singer and songwriter MariĆ© Digby sings, “But I don’t wanna go on living/Being so afraid of showing/Someone else my imperfections/And even though my feet are trembling/And every word I say I’m stumbling/I will bare it all … watch me unfold.” In “Bottle It Up,” Sarah Bareilles tells us, “I am aiming to be somebody that somebody trusts/With her delicate soul/I don’t claim to know much/Except soon as you start/To make room for the parts/That aren’t you it gets harder to bloom in a garden of love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love.

Amen sisters.

I have an aunt who’s a nurse, and she told me about a patient of hers, an eighty-plus-year-old-man, whom she asked “What is the secret to a long life?” His one-word reply? “Honesty.” I like to think that he wasn’t just talking about ‘fessing up to taking that cookie from the cookie jar, but about being genuine, real, and authentic, unafraid to be seen as someone with faults, fears, and imperfections. Someone who wants and is dependent on the affections of others. Someone with personal integrity—not like one constantly bending this way and that because it's easier than standing firm for something you believe.

I want to live a life that celebrates my humanity, but it’s hard, because the world is hard and people are cruel. But I’m of the age when I can’t fathom any other way to be. As a friend of mine would say, “I don’t have time for the okey doke.” (That’s urban for “con,” people.)

In Paul’s second letter to Timothy, Paul writes, “For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and love and disciple.” I think about this scripture often, because being true and faithful to truth requires courage of a sort that is not easily found, in my experience.  So, I thank God for the courage, because being true is what I aspire to—despite how much it hurts. 

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