The nature of what is beautiful is to be debated. What is beautiful for one person may be junk, unpleasant, or downright unattractive to the next person. Truly, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. While we each person may define beauty differently, the word means a person or thing which is pleasing or full of beauty.
It is difficult to imagine that a lie can be beautiful because lies can be devastating, they break our trust, and harden our hearts. Lies erode our beliefs and our faith in other people. And lies can steal our innocence.
Lies are destructive. Lies are hurtful. But lies, they are also human. Because, only humans have the ability to lie. Animals can camouflage for survival, but only humans can intentionally lie to each other. Lies are never beautiful, but humans can be.
Lies are just one form of our brokenness. There are over 6 Billion people on the planet. That means there are at least 6 Billion ways that humans can mess up their lives and the lives of other people. No matter the kind of life we live, every one of us have screwed things up at least once or twice.
My life is marked by beautiful lies. Not that I lie all of the time, but I am broken and I put on a good front that things are going well. Sorry to disappoint, but that’s a big lie. We all have days when it feels as if our lives are in the tank and we pretend (or we outright lie and say) that we are fine. We don’t ask for help and we soldier on as if we are on top of the world.
We tell lies and want to appear fine because we are too proud to ask for help or to admit that we are broken. And brokenness is part of what it means to be human. Our scars are gifts. They are like seals. They seal out infection, germs, and disease. Scars protect us from pain. Scars are gentle reminders that we are being protected.
“We are all children of the scar.” Switchfoot
One of the gifts of recovery is that we don’t have to have our shit together. We can let it out, we can cry and we have permission be a mess. In fact, our cracks are what make us unique. Our cracks are the way that the light can seep in and change us from the inside out.
Gotta kick at the darkness ’til it bleeds daylight. Bruce Cockburn
Our brokenness is what makes us beautiful. It is our flaws, not our perfect beauty, that make us approachable.
Think about a beautiful person, or someone who is super-rich, or a brilliant author. Their beauty, their wealth, their intelligence makes them intimidating. That is, until they open up and allow their humanity to seep through the cracks. You are no less intimidating when you keep yourself at a distance and appear invulnerable.
Invulnerability is distance. It is isolation. Invulnerability is a beautiful lie. Today, let your brokenness speak for you, let your brokenness tell your truth.
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Keep it Real
Photo by Jorg Schreier