A friend who is close enough to speak blunt and honest about my failings hinted to me the other day that the secret to my success has been my skill at maintaining a facade. The fact that she sees me as successful by any generally accepted definition indicates that I might indeed have some of the skill she accuses me of.

Whatever practical value a facade might have, it is essentially a failing on the perpertrator's part. Facades are walls, a means of separation. The reality remains concealed from public scrutiny while the outside world only touches the image painted on the wall.  Once the wall is built, it must be maintained.  Over time the process involves more squeeze than juice.

Old habits are hard to break, however, and as long as showing oneself presents as an undefined risk, we go to unreasonable pains to avoid it. Who knows what we might have become if we had not spent our life's time and energies perpetuating a likeness to some other we admired or envied or thought impressive, rather than exploring and fulfilling our own innate gifts and potential.

Henry's books


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