One of the most lethal aspect of our nurture and upbringing as Nigerians is presence. Many of us are raised to act, form and behave outside of the truth; the realities and how things actually are.
The foremost reason for this is the desire to be accepted, respected and appreciated by the people in and around our lives. When people discover the truth about you, especially if your life is not that rosy, prosperous, enviable and successful, they tend to disrespect you, subjugate you, ridicule you and in fact laugh at you.
As natural humans – sensitive to gossip, slander, mockery and ridicule, we are unwilling to let people know the truth about our lives and situation. We fear they will speak ill of us, embarrass us, disgrace us and treat us with disdain once they know our so-called negative secrets. This is the reason many of us pretend to be something we are not or cover up a lot of issues in our lives.
Perhaps a consequence of nurture, where many of us are raised to be fearful, suspicious and pretentious, we’ve carried the habit of pretending into our future, affecting many spheres of our lives subsequently. Pretending hence has become a natural part of many of us as independent adults.
One of the most injurious practice that takes away happiness, peace, freedom and sound health is pretending. To pretend is to behave as though something is the case when in fact it is not the case.
To pretend is to cover up your reality. It is to cover up your weaknesses, your struggles, your inadequacies, and your lack. It is a consistent effort to behave and act unreal – disconnecting with the realities of your life and living a superficial life perpetually. To pretend is to be fake.
Many of us today have endured very tough and painful experiences in our pasts. Many have been abused by parents, guardians, teachers, caregivers, neighbours, lovers and advantage takers. Today they are scarred, bruised and injured in their souls, the only way to move on is to act and pretend these things never happened to them.
Many also suffered acute poverty growing up, some were so poor even the poor called them poor, and they subsequently hated their lives for it. As youths, young adults and even older adults today, the stigma of that upbringing is so devastating they never want to be seen and categorized as poor ever again, hence they’re willing to pretend they have money even if they are totally broke. The fear of being poor or being categorized as poor drives them into borrowing without a means to pay back, purchase of many vain things on credit, and sometimes, even stealing. For Audio Version Click here
These people spend so much money not on self-development or improvement, but on packaging their fake lives to appear different.
The consequence of earlier hurts, disappointments, treachery, ridicule, scandal, disgrace and mockery has activated and sustained the need to pretend in the lives of many.
Many of us as victims dismiss our thought on the truth and realities of things, using cognitive distortions to minimize the emotional impact of negative things in our lives.
We most times pretend because we can’t emotionally handle the pain, the embarrassment, the shame and rejection that may follow the discovery of reality and our truth if made known.
Some of us also pretend due to self-rejection. We have been nurtured to feel inferior, feel unworthy, feel inadequate and less entitled to respect, appreciation and association with others and the society in general. We don’t like who we are so in our minds we create a fake personality we think people will like and accept and we daily dramatize the imagery of that fake person hence, we lose our real self to an imaginary self.
Some of us also pretend to avoid social criticism. We want to receive praise and admiration by retaining certain perceptions, associations and relationships desperately. Many of us live lives we hate smiling along as though all is well.
Many of us may have thrived for some time as pretenders, but living a life that is fake is the strongest power that derails destinies. You see, everything that happens to one in life; the good, the bad and even the ugly, has a role to play in ultimately revealing a life of great glory and success.
You see, life is not meant to be rosy all through, life is not meant to be beautiful all through; you need pain in your life to develop some aspects of your person. You need rejection, you need betrayal, you need lack, you need isolation, you need failure, and you need embarrassment. You also need success, encouragement, motivation, pleasant surprises, unconditional love, admiration, care and attention. You need the good and the bad for you to grow and manifest ultimately your true glory. It’s the blend of both sides of life that balances your capacity to handle your glory when finally revealed.
You need the prison, you need the palace, you need the lack and the surplus, you need the high and the low, you need the companionship and the loneliness, you need the scarcity and the abundance to build your essential character and capacity to sustain and manage greatness in life.
All things are working together for your good as long as you’re walking and working according to your purpose. To take on a pretentious life is to sabotage and derail your journey towards your predestined glory. Your wilderness experience is to toughen you and build your character and genuine appreciation for things and people.
In hard times you know your true friends, you learn how to stand by yourself, you learn how to endure hardship, you learn how to think creatively and solve your own problems yourself. Embracing a fake life in times of crisis is rejecting the lessons essential for your promotion.
Nothing hurts your destiny and your mind like a fake life. Pretending puts your mind on the edge, you’re stressed, tensed, anxious and perturbed when you’re not keeping it real. Why is pretending negative and unhealthy?
If you pretend, you will eventually be discovered by someone and the truth will be out and painfully embarrassing. If you succeed at pretending you will be an unhappy person, if you pretend you will eventually crash and burn out in that desperation to sustain a lie, if you pretend and remain fake for far too long you will lose your originality.
My dear friends, many of us are held back, held up and held down by pretending to people who want you to be a certain way, behave a certain way and live a certain way to make them happy and satisfied.
They want your life to be expressed in a fashion that brings them satisfaction, they really don’t care about you or your happiness; it’s all about you living your life to make them happy. They are not helping you to live right, they are manipulating you to live for them. Dear friend, let today be your freedom day from such persons. Anyone that can’t accept your real self, let them go. Stop pretending to keep and retain manipulators in your life. Open your life up to real people willing to accept your past, your scars, your pains, your struggles, your inadequacies, your weaknesses and bad habits and are willing to truly help you become better in life.
Instead of pretending to be what you’re not, why not find people that will help you truly become what you’re pretending to be. When you stop pretending, real people will show up in your life. Stop injuring your soul and your destiny, be real, fulfill purpose, fulfill destiny.