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Everyone has a front stage and a backstage, a public self that we show to everybody and a more private side reserved for our trusted others. And while at times there might be sharp contrast between the two, they’re held together by the integrity of our soul. And we’re not being a hypocrite just because everyone doesn’t get full access to who we are.

To be sure, we cannot live every moment on stage for others with everything seemingly put together. But there are times in which we’re serving others and our personal issues must take a back seat. We’re not hiding, down playing, or lying about our personal life, it’s just not the focus of attention at this moment. We give others our public self when the focus is on meeting their needs or when it’s simply not appropriate to share the private side of who we are.

All the same, at some point we must clock-out from our various public roles and allow ourselves to be undone and raw in our private lives. Said another way, we simply allow ourselves to be human without the pressure of being “on” and polished in every interaction.

Of course, we should still be consistent – the values we profess publicly should also be lived out privately. But just as an actor is not always in character, so we too will have good days and bad days when we’re behind closed doors in our private life.

And recognizing this allows us to extend grace to each other and ourselves. Rather than trying to maintain pretenses or being overly shocked when we get glimpses of a person’s private life, it’s remembering we’re all human and our private side is not always glamorous.

We risk dehumanizing each other when we believe the front stage is all there is to a person.

In the end, graciously allow yourself and others to have a public and private self. This is not hypocritical and simply part of being human.

Photo by Sam Marchenkov on Unsplash

Dr. Corey Carlisle

Licensed marriage and family therapist and certified sex therapist - providing Christian counseling and soul care to individuals and couples, with a special emphasis on developing the masculine soul. Suwanee, GA 30024

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