Recently we found out someone we know allegedly isn't who she purported to be. It appears she falsified a significant part of her identity. It’s early yet and the allegations are being investigated. It could be some time before the ramifications of her choices are clear. We are only tangentially associated with her, so we’ll be basically unscathed, but yesterday we spent time with someone close to her, someone who has been like family.
This individual is experiencing a whole range of emotions. Primarily shock, along with anger, disbelief, questioning, wondering if the relationship built over the better part of two decades has all been a lie.
Looking in from the outside, we are experiencing more questions and amazement than anything. What causes a person to weave an intricate web of deceit, which goes so far and wide and involves so many? If the allegations are true, how did this individual get away with it for so long? While it’s fanciful to create possible back stories, we don’t really what happened and we may never fully understand.
On our basement landing hangs a framed print that lists a dog’s rules for life, as written by a dog. They are both accurate and amusing, especially to dog lovers. And they are cause for human contemplation, wondering if we adopted these rules to our lives, how improved might our lives be. One of the rules is “Never pretend to be someone you’re not.” In light of the current duplicitous situation, that rule came to mind as I watched our golden retriever wag her tail and vie for attention today, immediately after being disciplined for misbehavior. She wasn’t apologizing – she was simply being who she is. The misbehavior is over, in the past, so time to play. She is an excellent example of transparency. She is who she is. If she wants to play, she tells you. If she wants love, she’s sure to let you know.
What if we lived completely transparent, authentic lives? Most of us likely live mostly honest lives, but sometimes it’s easier to say we’re fine when we’re not, take a little more credit than perhaps we should, or not correct someone when they offer us credit that isn't due. As I watch this particular situation unfold, I am challenged to live honestly and react in grace, in both big and little things.