Oh what a tangled web we weave,
When first we practice to deceive!
~Sir Walter Scott
She sat before me unweaving the tale of all tales, something that should have been on daytime television. It was a sad tale of deception, abuse, infidelity and incongruence that was exploding before me because she could no longer uphold the heavy canopy of fabrications.
“But a year ago, you said…” I had started to say.
She interrupted me with a terse reply, “Yes. And, eventually, the truth comes out. Eventually everyone knows the truth.”
I breathed deep, nodding in agreement. It is one of the reasons I don’t lie – the having to keep track of the story. It is just so much easier to tell it as I experienced it. She saw me nodding and took that as an opportunity to open up her heart to me. Thus ensued a lengthy conversation of full disclosure, which left me sitting there jaw agape and stunned. I had no idea she had been through all that she had. I was speechless.
All I could think at that point was… because of all the lies, she went through it alone. There was no one there to support her, help her or ease her pain. I understand that there are some things in life that people don’t want others to know and, to keep their heart safe, they cloak it in deceit to put a wall between them and the world. Still, I was astounded by the amount of pain she had not-so-convincingly hidden.
I find myself continually amazed by the lengths to which people will go to hide their truths and when I have the opportunity to witness the dismantling of someone’s web, I am in awe. Life throws curveballs for all of us. There are times when I have been faced with the choice to lie or tell the truth. There have been times when, to save my life, I have lied. While I do not profess to be perfect, I do everything in my power now to speak my truths at all times. Mostly because I am completely aware that I am unable to gracefully tell a lie and get away with it. My truths are there on my face, plain and clear for anyone to translate if they care to.
More importantly, I am now aware of how much energy is required to support a web of deceit. There is energy invested in remembering the story. There is energy in holding onto the literal double-life it creates. And while those who are well versed in the art of deception will say that, if you are going to lie tell the same lie to everyone, there is still the needed energy for remembering who has been told what.
I looked into her eyes. I could see the pain etched strongly and deeply in the creases. I could see the lies settled in the darkness beneath her eyes. She was absolutely exhausted. I knew it wasn’t from being a single mother. I knew it wasn’t from her training in her new career. It was clear that the struggle to extricate herself from the sticky strands of the lethal web she had woven had left her depleted and drained.
Looking at her, I decided that, for me, there was one more really good reason for living in my truth: deception eats away at the soul. I want to be alive while I am here on this planet.
©Angie K. Millgate 5/11/08
(This post was originally written on 5/11/08 and posted on a now-closed site)
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