Rumour has it…

I read a quote recently that said something like, “sometimes people who need help don’t look like people who need help” and that walloped my soul and whacked my mind…we all wear masks in a way don’t we? Most of us play a role; some part we perform that is not necessarily our true self, or who we think we are…it’s the parts we auditioned for…earning husband, doting wife, obedient daughter, athletic son…cookie cutter parts of the “right” way to be, and some of us play multiple roles throughout the days of our lives. I’d say most of us try every day to engage in some meaningful way with others, and sometimes while we play our parts we are dying inside from any number of maladies…as the holiday season nears, please dear readers remember that everybody is likely fighting some sort of battle, and not all wounds are noticeable on our outsides, and scars are very easily hidden behind masks…Everybody hurts, sometimes, as Michael Stipe has told us all. When we hear bad things about other people, or bad things that happened to other people,or something that person did-experienced-said, whatever, most of us pause for that briefest of moments with one of those “so glad it’s not me” thoughts or relief, but rumours and stories are easy to misconstrue or to misinterpret and I am just reminding you, all of you dear readers, that what we all see on the outside of each other, or hear in a retelling, is not what always is.

I have always been a rather open person. If I put it out there then I understand I am open to criticism, however, I don’t have to absorb the jabs or duck from the punches…I can let the opinions of others go in one ear and out the other…I can heal on my own time by my own rules…I can be happy some days and sorrowful others…I can take as long as I need to tend to my upsets and if I choose, I can rapidly sweep any tears away and move on immediately with a new purpose and renewed sense of what will, or won’t, work. I can set new boundaries and nobody has to know where I stand but me, and I can slam the door on my “openness” just as fast as I kept it ajar…I watched the interview with Oprah and Adele the other night and I felt deeply connected to much of what Adele said, and how she was so open and honest about how writing made her address her feelings, and how being a mess in the public eye has its challenges, but it also lets other people see, and know, that it’s okay to be a mess and then you dust yourself off and start all over again. I loved how genuine she seemed about her roles as a woman in her personal life and not just the public mask she gives to the world. Oprah quoted her, that she is not shy or embarrassed to fall apart and I loved that, because on the surface, she sure looks put together; extraordinary talent, exquisite looks, enormous wealth…things any one of us would covet and she too was a mess, fell apart, and had to pull herself out of the ruts she felt she was stuck in…A PERSON WITH MILLIONS OF FANS probably cried herself to sleep just like you or I did…A person with more money and success than any of us can even imagine, and will never achieve, probably had days where she felt like a total loser and a shit of a mom, and sat on her sofa wondering how things could have gone so wildly wrong, and could not believe her good life could feel so bad…A PERSON WHO SEEMINGLY has it all, felt exactly like the rest of us have felt.

She has millions of fans. I have, I think, less than 300 followers, so amuse me a moment while I compare myself for a brief bit to Adele, but… I feel like it’s a good thing to BE OPEN and BE HONEST when things are going to total shite, and not just being open and honest when you are bragging about your honor roll kids, expensive vacation, over priced new car, or spectacular engagement ring, or perfect spouse…all of which are lovely, and fun to see on social media and via text or in real life, BUT life is not always rainbows and butterflies!!! Life is all too often dreadfully sad or scary or infuriating, AND IT CAN LOOK LIKE A PINTEREST PAGE while it is spectacularly imploding!!! I think it is a gift to everyone when you are comfortable enough in your flaws and failures to take off your mask and let the world see you. It gives those who might be too scared the freedom to break free from all the mask wearing…rumour has it that she really is a mess, rumour has it that his credit is maxed out, rumour has it that …LOTS of stories are behind the masks…let us try to be kind to those who are hiding still…

This dear readers is just a gentle pre-season nudge to remember that all of us, shall I write “all??” rather than some, or most, well, I think it’s true; all of us have suffered at one time or another with either a bad habit, a bad break up, a bad job loss, a bad addiction, horrendously bad decision, a terrible illness, an awful relative…SO much can be said about a person when all you see is what is on the outside…but rumour has it that what you see is hardly ever what you get…her highlights may be flawless and her manicure never chips but she sits and cries in the parking lot at Target wondering where she went wrong..his success is apparent by his fleet of work trucks and philanthropic generosity, but he goes home alone and sad to an empty house every day and wonders why he can’t find a meaningful or loving relationship…they get honor roll marks, they belong to all the right teams, but there is no laughter in their kitchen, there is nobody to help them with their homework or to wish them sweet dreams because their dad is already passed out and their mom is out at Macy’s buying things they can’t afford to fill the empty spaces in her soul…These are the people in your neighborhood, it’s going on right under your nose behind nearly every mask…What shows is not what is…the rumours that we hear about people and their lives are just words, their reality sometimes bites, and bites hard and causes wounds that can never be soothed, and for which there is neither a pain reliever nor an antibiotic that can heal…

If you are lucky enough to have no secrets, no scars, no mask, then please do spread that pure and purposeful clean living to others…Don’t be a judgmental jerk, be a giver of good vibes, positive advice, beneficial tips, opinions with kindness…There are people who are very much in need of love, support, resources, or guidance, and you don’t know they are so deeply in need because it doesn’t show… it seems to you like they have it all, but it’s not real…they need some help but it’s hidden from view. If you share your gifts of “how to make it in this world” or “look how I turned things around for myself” it might inspire someone to take off their mask and turn over a new leaf, make a change, make a choice, do something different that supports their future better self. I suppose my point in all these words is that, as the holidays near, just make that tiny nudge to always remember that a little kindness can go a very long way, a daily dose of gratitude is the best medicine you can take, and a smile to someone suffering might literally make their day or holiday season. If somebody falls, don’t look away and laugh, look them in the eye and reach out your hand to help them up….rumour has it that the holidays can be happier for the not happy, if you generously gift some of what you have in abundance, to those who are in need…

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