Faux Painting or Faux Finishing are terms used when making one material look like a different material. For example, when we take a piece of wood and paint it to look like metal or marble we have given it a Faux Finish. I can remember Faux Painting the walls in the bathroom of our first house to make them look like marble. No, I don’t know why we did it but it looked good! In fact, now that I think about it, perhaps the reason why we painted the walls was simply because we wanted them to look better than they really were.
The word “Faux” is a French word meaning “false.”1 The word Real means actual or genuine. When we create something “Faux” we attempt to either replicate something which will closely resemble the original or cover up something that we want to look better.
A few words we use when making one thing look like another are replicate or duplicate or copy and while those words are accurate there are a few more words that describe something “Faux” like pretend, deceive and fake. So, how does this apply to us?
When we are Faux Real we often fake, create or cover up our true and genuine self in order to appear better than we really are. In fact, our life can be unraveling at an alarming rate but after a good Faux Finish on the outside we can hide what’s happening on the inside and no one would know the difference. We may have a personality that has been Faux Finished to look like we have it all together just to cover up the fact that we don’t.
Faux Areas In My Life
Here are four excerpts from my Journal six years ago. Four areas where I became an expert painter and finisher. Perhaps they will resonate with you.
1. I was counseling people who needed my help, yet I wouldn't go to counseling myself.
2. I would tell people they needed to be better parents, but I was failing as a dad.
3. I would talk about the importance of dates with your spouse, but wasn't planning them for my wife.
4. I would tell people to forgive their past hurts, yet I was holding on to bitterness in my life.
That kind of expectation without authenticity was causing a dilemma in my soul and it will for you too. After years of faking it, my soul had become numb. It became easier to fake spirituality than take care of my own soul. I was Faux Real, a fake representation of my real self.
How To Move From Faux Real to For Real?
1. Find Experts
Some of the finishes we create can only be spotted through the sharp eye of an expert. An untrained eye of a person on the street may not be able to find the subtle differences between fake and genuine. Find someone in your life that can spot the fake you. Your spouse or a counselor are good choices. They can usually see past the exterior finish to your genuine self. We all need these experts in our life.
2. Risk Authenticity
I say risk because it is. You may loose some friends, you may loose some sleep you may have your mistakes thrown back in your face but the wins you will experience from this risk far outweigh the losses.
3. Like Minds
Find others who are done creating exterior finishes to cover up what’s really going on inside. Sharing your heart, life, experiences and feeling with others is freeing, healing and healthy. Here is a reminder from James 5:16 CEV. “If you have sinned, you should tell each other what you have done. Then you can pray for one another and be healed. The prayer of an innocent person is powerful, and it can help a lot.”
So, how are you doing these days? Are you For Real or Faux Real? What do you think your next step should be? I would love to hear your thoughts.
Photo: istockphoto.com File #15273325 © Carlos_bcn<br>1 Etymonline.com, http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=real&allowed_in_frame=0 (Accessed June, 2013)