If I am not living honestly – if I am fooling myself or others – I will be sick. My body and mind and spirit will rise up and shake me awake.
When we don’t have the fairy-tale life of our dreams, sometimes we try to create one. We deny and we lie (to ourselves and others), pretending our way through and suffering silently because we believe that falling on the sword is the right thing to do in order to preserve the outer appearance of the happy ever after. But “happy” takes a back seat and we move through life with a slow ache because we aren’t being true to ourselves.
When I was married, my prized performance at the end of every year was creating the perfect Christmas card. The cards were selected (or handmade) carefully, with a theme and matching stamps, complete with the perfect picture of our children and a painstakingly written letter with only the most fairy-tale-like subjects addressed. I never mentioned I felt completely alone as I sat and watched the snow drift down outside our window in front of a warm fireplace in our amazing new home. I never mentioned how sad I was that my husband seemed to prefer a late-night scotch and porn than to be in bed with me. I never mentioned that I felt dead inside.
Every year I lied to my friends and family. I lied to myself with wishful thinking that one day I would have the life I so carefully detailed for the rest of the world. And I thought to myself, “It’s not that horrible. I have so much to be grateful for – why can’t I be happy? Something is wrong with me. This is life. Life isn’t always great.”
Our children lived the lie with us. And we lied to them as well. “Will you get divorced?” they asked. “No. We will never get divorced.” And it was a lie. We argued and walked around with dead souls, living the lie because it was the right thing to do.
We dazzled people at parties. Alcohol brought a false warmth and closeness that promoted the deceit. Until we got home and realized how terribly unhappy we really were.
Love – pure Love – isn’t a lie. It’s honest. It rings true deep inside of our souls and we bask in it, like warm sunshine after a long winter. It feels divine. We are alive and happy and the world feels right. We don’t have to make up stories because we live it.
I am Cinderella. And I know the fairy tale doesn’t end at the stroke of midnight. My prince will find me eventually, and there will be a happy-ever-after.
I’m counting on it.