I have this friend. This friend doesn’t want to be my friend anymore. Maybe hasn’t for awhile. But I didn’t really want to see this truth because as I have mentioned previously, I don’t like to give up on things or people that I love. And I love this friend. I want this friend in my life even though my arm is tired from holding the door open hoping that this friend will walk through. Even though this friend is giving me nothing but crumbs here and there. Even though this friend is really no friend at all anymore. The truth of it is simple. It’s not easy.
Sometimes the truth unspools slowly. Seeing the truth means looking at everything for the first time, every time. And this I have done over and over again with this friend each time I was let down. Each time I was blown off. Each time I felt slighted. But blocking my view from what was true was a curtain stiched together with my fears and needs. I was always hiding behind this curtain, shielding myself from the truth. And so every time I was disappointed, I ignored it. I was always making excuses for this friend. I was always justifying this friend’s behavior. I was always giving this friend another chance. I didn’t want to feel rejected. I didn’t want to feel unvalued. I didn’t want to let go of the connection we had made, our shared past and history. I didn’t want to let go of what I thought our friendship was and could still be. Mainly, I didn’t want to let go of someone I loved and valued. Lots of reasons. And so I was always trying to force a space in this friend’s life for myself when clearly, to anyone looking in, this friend didn’t value our friendship anymore.
I remember the scenes in “When Harry Met Sally” in which Carrie Fisher’s character “Marie” was seeing a married man who kept telling her he was going to leave his wife. Throughout the movie, she brings up ways that he is indicating through his actions that he has no intention of leaving his wife. After each incident she thinks aloud, “I’m not sure he is ever going to leave her.” Marie was ignoring the truth because she wanted to believe something else. She wanted to believe something just because she wanted it to be true but the “not for profit” truth will always find its way to the surface. Eventually after many such incidents she proclaims,”He is never going to leave her, is he?” To which Sally says, “No Marie. He is never going to leave her.” Once Marie declares this truth out loud, releasing it to the universe, it is set free. The truth is set free and in doing so, she is set free from the burden of this fantasy-of her willing something to be true just because she wants it to be so. And in doing this, she frees herself to meet someone who is available, which she did.
You may laugh and find Marie pathetic and desperate but how many relationships or marriages do you know that remain together for the same reasons? Because of the children, because of financial interests, because of habit, because of history, because they believe there is nothing better, because they don’t want to be alone or just because they want it to work out when it clearly isn’t. Lots of reasons. But nothing you build on mere hope or longing that opposes the truth can endure. And sometimes, as Al Gore coined, “The truth is inconvenient.”
Perhaps the real truth that you need to see in your own life is hiding behind a similar curtain. It isn’t easy finding those pieces of your life that aren’t what they appear to be. It isn’t easy to pull back the curtain. You may feel trapped and with no options. You may feel confused, with no clarity. You may feel afraid of being hurt and rejected. You may feel powerless. You may feel tied to the past. And so you hide behind that curtain. But you have to examine those places that you are forcing into place that shouldn’t be there. You have to question them. You have to look for signs of forgery. Like a friend who isn’t really your friend anymore or a boyfriend who will never leave his wife and commit to you. It is simple, it is not easy.
The “truth behind the truth” is that nothing that blocks the truth can endure for long. It will be blown away down to the bedrock of what is real, what is true. Once you see the truth, you can never unsee it and that is why we look the other way for so long. Why we bury it beneath the surface. But once the glimmer beneath the surface breaks through, you know it by its shine that it is the truth. You can’t deny it. It is as brilliant as a diamond.
Following what is true no matter where it leads you is how you lead a more authentic life. And a more authentic life is precious. As precious as a diamond. Letting go of those things in yourself and in your life that aren’t true, that are inferior, makes room for something superior to enter. You don’t have to make anyone right or anyone wrong. You don’t have to close your heart. You don’t have to judge anyone or anything, just the situation and where you stand in it. You can keep hiding behind that curtain, you can keep pretending that the cubic zirconia you are wearing is real when under careful scrutiny it would never pass for a diamond. It could never be as brilliant. And you, well you, were only meant to wear diamonds.
The bedrock truth isn’t easy. It can and most certainly will piss you off or make you feel like shit. It can and most certainly will make things uncomfortable and inconvenient. It can and most certainly will leave you on shaky ground. But in the end, the truth will always set you free. You just have to be brave enough to put on a pair of sunglasses and look directly at its brilliance.