“Where there is much pretension, much has been borrowed: nature never pretends.” – Johann Kaspar Lavater, Select Maxims, 1831, p. 234
If you were to immediately cease all efforts to present yourself in a certain way, to make something of yourself that you presently are not or to change others on the same basis, how much more time do you suppose you would have in a day? In a world driven by appearance, it is easy to overlook the option that we all have: being ourselves.
To be yourself, you must drop all pretense. You must let go of the past with your left hand and release the future from the grasp of your right. You must come to rest in the moment as you now are. It sounds so easy and makes perfect sense (at least in our more rational moments), but to come to the point where you are at peace with how you are, where you are and who you are at the moment – genuinely, unapologetically, and without your fingers crossed – you must take specific action.
Let go of pretense and let go to the real you!
7 thoughts on “Pretension”
What would I do with all that extra time???
In review, pretension has occupied the background of much of my personal experience, and until now, it was thoroughly rationalized as part of discovering purpose, however in this light, it can be seen as the very thing that’s preventing that understanding from emerging. Wrestling with the past, present and future, generates a tense experience.
Free of this tension, what I’ve sought might flow freely….huh.
Count me in!
I recognize releasing what we think others may be thinking about us along with trying to act accordingly allows for rest.
Also it is good to think on what it means to be our true self. Thoughts springing from worldly temporal origin are full of pretense regarding appearances that can never be lived up to. Here there is a constant barage of thoughts of casting oneself and others down. No amount of trying to think good thoughts regarding this will ever win this fight. It really is good to consider a perspective of heaven where all is one where all is in valuable complement to each other where all has its place and part .
It is such a relief to let go of caring about putting on an appearance. When you let go of your fears of what others will think of you, then you can truly be yourself. This also allows others the privilege of knowing who you truly are.
“without fingers crossed”?? – that really made me laugh…I know your point is much larger than that but it brought a funny image to mind. My 5 yr old son will do just that, cross his arms, fingers, ankles, and toes… – he has told me it works if you also cross your eyes, which I’ve yet to master.
More to your point, it is curious how young children most often present themselves just as they are and who they are, free of pretense. Makes me wonder why we teach otherwise and what happens along the path to “maturity”.
Thanks for the reminder and laugh to start the day!
I think much of pretense is designed in an effort to gain some type of approval or acceptance from others. We can assist each other in this. To give others the space to begin to relax, be that person in their life who offers unconditional love and appreciation. Kindness, tolerance, non judgement and understanding pave the way for pretense to vanish and we may be surprised what falls away in ourselves as well.
The intent to be vigilant in the present sure enough demands release of an exaggerated sense of awareness of the past and of the future. The incredible ability of directing our focus needs exercise, training and deep realizations in order to free itself from impulsivity, and perhaps above all, this whole matter of pretense is the biggest deterrent of living the incredible life.
Thinking about it a bit more, to maintain a pretense, you have conjure up all sorts of dramas which then you have to maintain to be consistent with it to allow both yourself and others to believe it. I can see clearly how that would consume so much of your precious life’s resource in proportion to the degree of pretension. The word itself contains it – tension. I suppose that’s why oftentimes people and situations simply end up snapping as the forces of reality always end up outweighing any bit foolishness.
I think about humility as well, and this makes me ever more dedicated to live clearly.
I am in the process of trying some new things and I had a friend remind me that we will make mistakes along the way and that is part of learning. So often we are so worried about what others think, how things might turn out or not turn out that we are immobilized with the fear of failing or not doing it right that we just don’t live life or be ourselves. I have found that joy comes as we release all of this and yes there are mistakes and regrets but the joy of living life in the truth and love God has provided us with is remarkable.