My mom read Debbie Macomber's series that is now a TV series, Cedar Cove. I watch this show with her. Last night we watched the second episode of the second season. Olivia gives her daughter, Justine, this advice: I have found that no matter what the situation, the truth always waits at the end.
Justine was swept away in what her boyfriend wanted for their lives (or thought he wanted) and she was going along to make him happy. By the end of last night's episode she had to confess the truth. She didn't want that future he was so intent on pursuing. And it turned out that he didn't really want it either when he looked deeply enough into his own heart. Truths can be hard to accept. It is so easy to get caught up in what someone else wants (truly or mistakenly). Their desire for that future can feel like a riptide that pulls you under... and it is just too much work to break free.
However, in the end the truth awaits.
I thought about my own life and how I allowed the desires of other people to pull me into things, situations, even life-altering changes that I didn't truly want. I thought about how unwilling I was to face this truth that was waiting for me in the end. I didn't want to face it so much that I LITERALLY made myself sick in order to avoid it. How much sickness is actually just stress over truths we don't want to face that manifest into very real physical illness????
I have spent the last year, with the help of a truly wonderful therapist, facing each one of these truths one at a time. It is painful and freeing to see the truth for what it was. And is. It is a terrible thing to know about yourself that you desire the happiness of others over your own. That, my friends, is codependency at its most unhealthy. It is freeing to understand it because it doesn't have to be part of your life ever again. The truth is always waiting for you at the end.
I told you that horrible first date story a few weeks ago. There was a time when I would have marginalized how bad it was and/or decided that this person TRULY needed my help. Oh, the crazy thinking there. One of my hard truths is that we can't save anyone but ourselves. Anyone but ourselves. So, when this person practically begged me for the save I said, "No." I learned that hard truth and refused to be pulled into his riptide.
I am currently facing another situation where I feel like there is a truth just waiting for me. I am not sure yet what that truth will be because I don't have enough information yet. But, the challenge is this: When I uncover that truth, whatever it is, will I act on it? Will I tackle it right away? I hope that the answer is "Yes," because I know the Bigger Truth. It will remain the truth right up until the end. I can face it now or I can face it ten years from now, but the truth is unwavering.
Understanding that Bigger Truth is an imperative for me. If I don't want to hurt someone else by acting on my own truth I am not saving them anything. That truth will demand to be heard at some point. It will hurt less earlier than later, for the person saying it and the person hearing it.
Can you think of a time when the truth was waiting for you at the end, so you sidestepped, took a right turn, or even doubled back just to avoid running smack into it? How did those maneuvers change the truth? How did they change you?