When I finally saw it, my heart broke a little.
No, not a little.
It shattered, ripped completely apart and shredded beyond recognition. It was destroyed.
Hopes, dreams, fantasies I had created in my mind and played on a constant loop for years were suddenly brought into the light and exposed for the fraud they were.
Things I didn’t even realize I had internalized were suddenly torn from me at the very moment I recognized them.
I had no idea how I felt… until I was no longer able to feel that way.
Everything I knew, or thought I knew became a dark, distant void in that moment.
It was all a lie. Everything.
It broke me. You broke me. And you were supposed to be my person.
But even as my heart was breaking, I had the realization that I was finally free.
Because a lie doesn’t just hold the teller captive. I was listening to your lies, feeding my heart on them, never realizing that there was no sustenance to be had. I was starving and I had no idea.
But I understand. I do. See, I did the same thing once.
I told a big, fat whopper of a lie. A lie that destroyed one of the closest relationships in my life. A lie that changed everything for me.
It didn’t start off that way. At first it was just a small lie, a lie I thought I could easily remedy. But it grew. And it kept growing. And before I knew it, I had been taken captive and it was all I thought about… I needed to keep it going because if I didn’t my world as I knew it would come crashing down.
Eventually, I couldn’t carry the burden anymore and I ‘fessed up. My world came crashing down and bridges I never wanted to burn were destroyed in the wake of it. And as badly as it hurt, I was thankful to be in the light once again.
But because of that experience, I realized the value of truth. Prior to that, I thought a white lie here and there was okay. Save face. Keep the peace. Make people feel good. But it never turns out the way we expect because a lie is a lie. Always.
Shakira said, “I prefer an ugly truth to a pretty lie. If someone is telling me the truth, that is when I will give my heart.”
Sometimes truth is hard. Its vulnerable, its raw, it opens you up to so much potential pain. If someone doesn’t really know you, they can’t hurt you as much.
But it is real. In all its ugly glory. Truth is real.
James E Faust said, “Honesty is more than not lying. It is truth telling, truth speaking, truth living and truth loving.”
If there is anything that I have learned through this experience, it is that I want more truth, more vulnerability, more real in my world.
I want to wear my heart on my sleeve, raw emotion for everyone to see. And no, I don’t particularly care if it makes you uncomfortable. Instead, I would rather you find comfort in being able to do the same.
I was done hiding years ago. I don’t like the shadows. I don’t want to wear the mask. It’s hot and sweaty and uncomfortable under there and frankly, it makes me sick.
I want people to know who I am and what I stand for.
I want them to know my advice is real.
I want them to know when my feelings are hurt.
I want them to know if I disagree with a decision they are making.
I want them to know that I love them. Without question.
I want them to know they can trust me.
Because that is the foundation of everything.