Drop the Veneers: Authenticity and Love

on May 13 | in Inspirations | by | with 2 Comments

authenticity and love
The costume king Gustavus III wore to the masked ball,
where he was shot in 1792.
By LSH [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

In the comfort of our established routines, we become inauthentic and create veneers. We have these established masks of a father or mother, of a husband or wife, of a professional craftsman in our modes of occupation. In all our relationships, when we forget ourselves and let mental habit dictate our responses, we sleep and hide away from the world.

While we sleep, authenticity and love wilt and wither.

Instead of being people serving each other, we become employees serving customers. Instead of hearts carrying on the sailing of a homestead from endless horizon to endless horizon, we become providers of food and sharers of housework. Instead of guides of life and heart, we become strict enforcers of the law for our children. The shift from authenticity into roles is insidious and subtle… simply doze off. Your established circuitry can live your life for you while you’re away, although the Beloved will thankfully nudge you now and again so you don’t miss everything.

Mindfulness is, of course, the answer. When we are wholly conscious of our lives, minds, bodies, and the heat of the day pressing down upon us, we remember the living Beloved. We travel, even when standing still, rather than simply making gestures at the mirror. Meditation enables us to remain mostly mindful, and mindfulness makes a meditation of anything we do. But this rote answer overlooks so very much of the truth… how can we talk about roles and authenticity without talking about joy? And courage, and above all… love?

The veneers are, first and above everything else, shields. Of course you should not tie up all your happiness into outcomes and expectations, of course you should gently lay down your attachments and acknowledge that it is the Beloved who guides the unveiling of your path. Yet, for all that, you should not let the beast of apathy take a hold of your soul. It all matters, although not in the way of the world, not in terms of bank accounts, gadgets, and cluttered houses. No, it all matters because the living Beloved comes to us – imagine that! We do not need to seek out the grail, but rather simply seek to see the divine emanating out from every crack and crevice. To see, we must lower our shields and allow all these bundles to be hurt, if it be His will.

For what is this mind but a collection of memories? So what, if these cities of belief and expectation crumble? They were but drawings in the sand.

For what is this body but the processed, glued material we have consumed, aggregated around our points of consciousness as they upwell from the holy sea? It too is just a child’s plaything, loved and desired until it is forgotten.

No, the veneers that block out the light are not worth the blindness they cause. Drop the veneers! Let authenticity and love be our occupations, and everything else details. It is far better to walk hand-in-hand with the Beloved, whatever that means. It is far better to serve people, not their businesses. It is far better to write poorly than to run away from the attempt at expression out of fear of criticism. It is far better to love wholly and to have our hearts broken than it is to stare out the window with quiet desperation and regret.

It is an honor, dear hearts, to be chosen to be a part of your journeys.

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2 Responses

  1. Beautifully written. Such a return to authenticity is very provocative in this careful, guarded world. It can be scary both for those willing to “undress” as well as for those in the street who suddenly, very unexpectedly, meet someone “real”.

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