Are we staged or real? Is it good, or does it just look that way?
Many of us are familiar with home staging; the process of rearranging and minor redecorating of a home for maximum optical value. I experienced recently the dynamics of a family stager; a person in a family whose role seemed to be to keep the family looking its best to onlookers.
Now I mean no offense to home stagers. Their role is vital and genuinely value-adding to the home sale and home ownership process. Most people are heavily influenced in their buying decisions by a few simple optical criteria. The flip side is also true in that it is not uncommon to choose against a purchase due to some small detail(s).
The family I am referring to is in crisis. To continue the house analogy, clearly there was a cracked foundation, rot in the walls, warped floorboards, and a leaky roof. But the family-stager seemed to want to simply re-arrange and re-decorate over it all. In fact, the family-stager had reportedly been doing this for decades. It had become her role.
Sadly, the current crisis involves children. It is greatly impacting their emotional wellbeing, sense of security, and sense of identity. Family-stager to the rescue! In her denial of the structural damage to the family, she attempts to get the children to simply go along with what is going on with the adults and their insane, selfish behaviors so that “we can all be a family again”. But the kids are not buying it. How can they? It is false and veneer-thin. They don’t feel safe. They don’t trust it.
Look back a generation, and this is the way the family-stager managed her family. So this is now a well-rehearsed set of behaviours. So when the crisis de jour arrives, why would she do anything else? When she reaches into her tool kit, she only has her staging tools, not her repairing tools. She doesn’t even own any or see the need.
But the kids need more than just re-staging and optics. They need the adults to act like adults. The family, in my estimation, needs professional help by a professional, objective, capable third-party. They need to look at the cracked foundation, leaky roof, and rotting walls. But how will they if another coat of paint, a new area rug, and rearranging the furniture always worked before?
What about us? What about me? How easily do we fall in the trap of staging when foundational and structural repairs are needed? Not just with our families, but with our health, our relationships, with our finances?
The journey forward is not re-staging. It can only be real. Otherwise it will crumble, crack, and peel in very short order.
Do we know we have done some deep foundational work on which to build and move forward? As we move forward, have we continued to do so? Have we sought and utilized every resource available to us?
We live in exciting times. There are more resources available to us at this point to learn, heal, and grow than any other time in known history. Many are free. Most are affordable.
Lets keep building what is real, and not fall into the trap of just staging.