This is my first link up with the girls from the #1 Word Blog LinkUp and my word for the week is "reality". It took me a moment to get my head around the concept of reality, but I think it comes back to is "what is real?" In this postmodern world we live in it seems to be about the image we project to others - "the wrapper is the reality" (in other words what is on show is what we want others to believe is our true self and our true life) As long as the wrapper appears pretty, it covers all the stuff happening on the inside.
I was having this conversation with my good husband the other day in regard to facebook updates and Christmas newsletters (amongst other things) that I see from friends and family. Everyone seems to project picture perfect family life, their delightful children/grandchildren, their latest purchases, their travel stories etc etc and the question is......Is that their reality or is it just a glossy picture that they share because they feel that everything needs to be perfect? Are we the only family whose reality is a little less shiny at times?
I was also wondering whether it was a "church thing" and whether Christians felt that they needed to come across as perfect - because if things aren't all sunshine and rainbows then maybe God isn't blessing them. My husband didn't agree with me that it was Christians in particular that weren't being real, and at that point the conversation got interrupted by our daughter phoning......I told her that she had called in the middle of a discussion on whether Christians were real or not and her response was "What! Christians aren't real? So what? Are they like unicorns?!" Typical smart alec response from her but it did divert the conversation and we never really came to any deep and meaningful conclusions.
There is a saying "your truth is your truth and my truth is my truth" (or something along those lines) and I think that also applies to people's versions of reality and how much of the not-so-lovely parts of their lives they share with other people. My husband gave an example of this with how much information he passes on to his elderly parents - he tells them the good stuff and omits the bad stuff because they'd only worry and stress and couldn't do anything about it other than get upset. I think that he has a valid point, but I still feel more connected to friends who share their good times and their not so great times - it makes me feel that we are on the same page and that my world isn't so bad after all.
Reality is a very diffuse term in today's day and age - we shape it to fit what we want it to look like and each person has their own preferences of what they want to acknowledge to the world. Some choose to close their eyes to stuff they don't want to deal with, others gloss over the details and some just let it all hang out (which can make for interesting facebook posts at times!) I think it comes back to how your were brought up - how much reality your family chose to discuss and how much was swept under the rug.
I love a real heart to heart conversation and I think that happens when reality is up front and centre. True friends accept each other warts and all - the glossy wrapper comes off and reality is shared and we find acceptance and love - and isn't that what real friendship is all about?