I was talking with a friend the other day who experiences an internal struggle, as many of us do, between the desire to be seen and loved for who he is on the one hand, and on the other hand a fear that if he does not manage his image he will not be loved. He both abhors pretence and fears it is the only way to get what he wants. When he looks out at the world he sees a gigantic game of poker — some cards are visible but many are not. He worries if people are weaker than he is and are bluffing or conversely that people are stronger than he is and are biding their time.
I explained to him that I approach life differently — that I am what I am consequences be darned. I have no strategy because it takes too many mental resources. I move through life and throw aside concepts of success and failure, winning or losing, and this throwing aside allows me to be myself.
Aha, he said, — that is your strategy. Your nakedness is the ultimate disguise. By pretending not to play the game you hope to win it.
Not really sez I, I don’t see any game, and if I did I would not be interested in playing it. But I do believe that your disguise is the ultimate nakedness. You are losing the game on purpose so some day you will be revealed to all. You are playing the game so as to achieve your heart’s desire, which is to have all your cards face-up, and to be found out.
Maybe so, sez he, but nobody knows it.
No I said — everybody knows it.
And I was right!