Living a Lie Will Reduce You To One
We are born. We are introduced to Barbie (thanks for the premature body issues, there). We introduce Barbie to Ken (HELLO Ken!). We read Forever by Judy Blume – if we can get our hands on it – then we decide never to name our future son Ralph. We gauge our worth at school from our peers who haven’t a clue about themselves, because they too are 13 years old. We spend much of our school years comparing what our friends have to what we don’t have. If we have been blessed with a great family upbringing then maybe we know something of our real identity, but it’s rare.
Many people never take the time to discover who they were really meant to be. Instead they wake up at 45, one divorce down, maybe two, and discover they are a combination of everyone they’ve ever known. Every piece of history, every past sting of rejection, every fault-filled lie that they believed was true. Very little of them is original.
But there comes a point where an inward revelation occurs. Where we finally find exhaustion in not knowing who we really are. No more excuses, no more over-compensating. We are not our Facebook walls and we are not the palatial apartments we own, any more than we are the poverty we struggle in. In relationships, we are not the ‘best behaved’ versions of ourselves. (That only holds up for so long: three dates, to be precise.)
Cupid’s arrow can never strike bull’s eye when we don’t understand ourselves. Until we know how we work, what our trigger points are, what gets our juices flowing, how can we possibly think of finding the ultimate team mate? This isn’t about loving thyself, but learning to hate how you don’t feel real unless people are watching. It’s learning to train the voice inside our heads.
A lack of self-knowledge unleashes unhelpful habits: we push away, in fear of being hurt; our worthiness depends on our performance in life; walls are created to protect ourselves. ‘Grace’ is just a name, not a virtue. Our heads are full of negativity towards others – and therefore ourselves. We spend more time thinking of ways to make people love us than how we can love them.
Seeking ‘nice men’ will not help us find our identities, but a self-sought identity will in turn find us love on all of the mind-blowing levels we can imagine.
Anyone who deserves your love deserves your undivided, unadulterated attention, coming from a place of sincerity and genuine self-belief. It’s far harder to reap joy in relationships if you’re not joyful in your own heart first – solo-style.
For me, that happened when I met love in its purest form – God. I asked Him how he saw me and my life changed in a second.
I couldn’t truly understand myself until I became overwhelmed with the insane power of God’s love for me, until I understood that I was created uniquely for a purpose – a bit like Velcro. I’m no longer ensnared with labels, judgments or nostalgia of past hurts. I choose to agree with those thoughts that shape my destiny; thoughts that can’t help but invite healthy and insanely beautiful relationships.
You find a new strength. A stillness that doesn’t seek for affection, manipulate or perform. You are rested in a love far more powerful than any other human could possibly give you. You attract healthier individuals. You don’t compromise more than you need to. You are interdependent, not dependent.
There is a grace that laces your head and ties your shoes. You are walking constantly in a foundation of who you are and you trust that the person who comes into your life now sees the real version of you, the one you always should have been. No veils, no pretending.
Words by Carrie Lloyd
Photographs by Lois Vega