I used to be a genuine, sincere person.  If I liked you, you knew.  If I didn’t like you, you knew.  I made it a policy to be sincere and honest.  OK, like everyone else in the working world that has a mortgage, I feigned “I like and respect you” once in a while, just to keep the paycheck coming.   Even then, I could almost always find something to like about a person or co-worker.  Sometimes it took real effort, but I could find something.

Yes, I would describe myself as emotionally honest.  I got up every day and I chose to be positive, to have a positive, happy attitude and I really did – well, at least 90 % of the time.  Sure, I had my moments, and maybe even days, when I was as pleasant as hemorrhoids, but I mean mostly, I was closer to Pollyanna than Lizzy Borden.

But that was the “BEFORE ME”.  The “AFTER ME” is an emotional LIAR.  Yep, a great, big, fat LIAR!  I am a huge phony baloney.  I am a Pretender.  I get up every day.  I pretend to be OK.  I go to work.  I slap on a pretend smile.  People talk.  I pretend to listen.  I pretend to care.  I pretend to give a sorry, fuzzy, rat’s ass about whatever stupid little grievance that fills their petty little minds.  I pretend the whole damn day and I hate every minute of it.

I pretend to be calm and collected and professional, when every single molecule in my body is screaming in agony – in RAGE!!  Pure RAGE!!  I am mad as hell!  Why did this happen to my son?  How can the world just keep moving on when I am so paralyzed in pain and grief and isolation?  What do these whiny, wretched, worthless people have to bitch about?

While sitting in meetings, I hear screechy little voices ranting about their jobs.  “I had to work 12 hours yesterday!”  “I am just so sick and tired of this place.”  “They expect too much from us and we have to work too hard to keep up.”  I want to gently cup their sour little faces in my hands, lean in closely, softly whisper “shut the hell up you whiny little wretch” and squeeze until their heads pop off!!

Once again, I am a pretender.

But my faith in Father God is not pretend – it is deep, sincere, and strong.  It keeps me going.  I don’t focus on “religion” or rhetoric.  I focus on a relationship with God, a friendship, a love.

That is the journey.


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