Painting My Easter Egg

Within me is a self that is organic, a yolk that has real life and the potential for growth.

But then pain came. I constructed a shell to protect myself so that others would never have the opportunity to damage the fragile organic materials inside. I learned early on that I could skillfully paint this shell with lurid colors so that others would be in awe of it. It seemed to work. People were amazed.

And yet my beautiful Easter egg didn’t bring me what I yearned for. Why did people not relate to me? Why did I have no real friends? Why were all my apparent friends distant? Why was it that the few true friends I did have were exactly those people who seemed able to bypass my façade, my fastidiously-painted Easter-egg shell?

The voice encouraged me to keep painting the egg, keep up the maintenance. People will admire your work, it said. I redoubled my efforts. In any new social situation I made sure that the shiny artificial colors were the first and brightest thing anyone would see. The voice’s unspoken message (which I now see) was that people would naturally despise the real me; I should be ashamed of the messy, vulnerable, organic person inside the ornate shell.

I now recognize that was all a lie.

The task before me, then, is to shatter the shell. In doing so I will regrettably destroy a beautiful work of art, built up over many years with thousands of hours of effort and diligence. But it is too costly to maintain any longer. It has to go. It has prevented me from growing and interacting in the way I was intended to.

The treasure in heaven is people, friends bought by sincerity, generosity, vulnerability, and love. It is not too late. I have time to invest in that treasure.

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