Theme: “Beyond the Surface” By: Kutless
Quote: “The world is satisfied with words, few care to dive beneath the surface.” –Blaise Pascal
Have you ever noticed just how deceiving looks are?
Look at that dormant Volcano and how peaceful it looks, but all too soon magma and hot ash spew forth. How about the iceberg, which really doesn’t look quite so big. What trouble is a hunk of ice anyway? Ever heard the saying ‘That’s just the tip of the iceberg’? Because you are seeing maybe twenty percent of what is really there, the rest is just below the surface.
The results in both of these can be quite deadly. Appearances can be just as deceiving with people as they are with nature. We have countless movies that focus on methods of trying to coerce confessions or truth serums. Why? Because people are experts at showing one thing on the surface, while there is something else going on underneath.
Is it all sinister in nature? No, but it still can be quite as destructive. Like it was with me...
Have you ever looked at someone and saw ‘that’ smile? You know the one? The ‘I’m faking it till I make it’ aka ‘I’m FINE’. Yeah, Foul inside, neurotic and emotional. How about the automatic response people? The “How are you? I’m good!” Before you can even respond? Sorry pal, we’re not buying what you’re selling.
The fact is, we are all wrecks at times, and we do our best to put on, what I like to call, the ‘Great Facade’ or the ‘Grand Masquerade’ when I’m feeling fanciful. We are master illusionists and sadly that is not a skill to be proud of. Now I’m not saying we should just come to work or show up everywhere and let our baggage just lead us, but there is a balance between being real and being fake. I think that is where I struggle the most. For me, the more ‘fake’ I am, the less real I feel and the more my soul suffers. My identity gets lost and the more sick my heart feels.
For years I told myself, ‘No one cares if you’re not okay.’ a few times I was told that I should share, when I did, I was proven that I was right in not sharing. I was betrayed and what and been said in confidence was used against me or... the person demeaned and mocked me.
I give you permission to say “Ow, that hurts.” and all those rude people out there who say you’re a wimp, a push over or to grow up. Just shake your head. Their tune will change when it’s them who are hurting. It’s always different for people like that, when it’s ‘their pain’ and not ‘your pain’. You also have the right to stand up on behalf of another person who someone is hurting and say. “Stop it. You don’t have a right to judge them, you haven’t been through what they have. You don’t get to say what’s tough, what’s hard, what hurts. Keep your opinions to yourself.”
The biggest misconception when it comes to pain? “I’ve had that happen so, I know what it feels like.” Yes and No. I currently struggle with Anxiety, Depression, I used to have panic attacks regularly. Now, just because I have experienced these, does that mean I can say, ‘I know exactly how much it hurts’? How hard it is? How difficult? Or that I can put myself as judge and say what’s what? No, of course not. There are factors to consider. Other health conditions, for instance, say there is a perfectly healthy person who suffers from depression, but they have no other health issues. Then you take a person like me who has been in an accident, struggles with her weight, has asthma and add to that depression... Now the math has changed, but go back to the other person. Yes, they have no health issues, but that person is homeless and suffered horrible abuse as a child? Oh boy, that changed the math big time!
Here’s the point. It’s not a competition. We all struggle and we are not to judge what’s tough for one person or what’s not. Don’t compare or minimize others pain and we shouldn’t assume anything. Remember, what happens when we assume (Ass-U-me). We can never know what’s going on beneath the surface. So, before we place ourselves as, some sort of judge and say ‘So and so, just needs to X or Y’. We should maybe talk to so and so, hear their side. Build relationship instead. Stop looking from our side of the fence and maybe walk life with that person. Instead of ‘assuming’ something is something. We can instead get to know each other, learn and share our hearts. Share time and life. See the iceberg under the surface, the beauty and hurt, the good and bad, the talents and wounds. Maybe, we can even help heal some of our own along the way.
The benefit of looking under the surface? We see ‘everything’ under the surface. Theirs and ours. We might get hurt, rejected, but we may also make a lifelong friend. A brother or sister on the frontline. So, can we be brave enough? Can we take that step and be willing to take a peek? It won’t be easy, but the rewards I guarantee far outweigh the risks.