TO: Men all over the planet
FROM: Melissa
RE: Looks can be deceiving
DATE: February 15, 2012
Everything looks good from the outside, boys. Perfect, even. The house on the end of the busy street, with its perfectly manicured lawn and its beautiful olive-green shutters. The majestic blue 1950s Corvette, its fresh coat of paint still soft to the touch.

I'm thinking the same logic applies to people, too, and I can't help but question: Why is it so hard to tell people how we really feel? Why do we feel like we have to hide? And, if we're always putting on an act for people, doesn't it become that much harder to truly know someone?

I'll be the first to admit that years ago -- and especially the first few years after my father's death -- whenever anyone asked the all-too-popular question, "How are you," I'd reply like I usually do.

"Oh I'm fine."

"I can't complain."

"I'm good. And you?"

I'm not really sure if I actually believed it, or if I had just said it so often that I tricked myself into believing I believed it. I got really good at it, though. It's not anyone's fault. No one is to blame, of course; it's just that we're a product of our culture, whether we like it or not. We expect people to "pull themselves up by their boot straps," to be the strong, silent type. Any hint of emotion and we get scared.
Sadly, though, there has to be some point where we realize that's not healthy. We can't get to know someone, really know them, if we're not willing to get to know all of them. Scars and flaws and problems included.

What would our world look like if, instead of soldiering our emotions, we laid them out. Not because we want sympathy (OK, maybe sometimes we do), but because we can't go through life alone. We need people. No one is an island, contrary to that pesky rumor Simon and Garfunkel started.

I challenge you this week, boys, to shred those stock answers you give — and get. Dig a little deeper. You just might realize you're not so scared of what you find after all. xoxo

[Photos via Le Love]


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