I grew up in a small Midwestern town during a time when kids played outside at night and parents felt safe letting us do our thing without a lot of supervision. When it got dark enough, we would all gather in the street to play this game called “kick the can”. It was a version of “hide and seek” with a twist. When you were found hiding and tagged by the person who was “it”, you had to race back to the manhole cover in the middle of the street. The loser of that race would be the one who had to find the next person.
Back then it was fun to hide. We all understood it was a game, and that no one would get hurt.
Looking back I realize that maybe it was fun to be the person hiding, but not so much the person who was stuck doing the “finding”. No one really liked to be the one left searching for someone’s secret hiding place. We all sort of knew this. In fact, it was an unspoken rule amongst us kids that if you were the last person hiding you would do something to help the “seeker” know where you were so you could finish the game and move on to another round… or go home for dinner.
Lately I have been trying to understand why some of us continue to hide — even as grown ups.
Perhaps those of use doing it have no idea we are even hiding. We get stuck in self-destructive patterns like little “white” lies that weave themselves into a giant web that eventually surrounds us with a cloud of deception… to the point where we hardly even know who we are, who we told what to, or how to get out from the middle of the web we have woven. The deception reaches a point where the people who love us no longer feel respected or safe because they can’t tell the truth from the lies any more. But, why do we do it? Because sometimes it’s easier than telling the truth.
During the past 6 months or so I have asked a lot of people this question, and what I keep hearing over and over again is this — Most people lie to protect themselves.
For whatever reason some of us fear our truth is not “good enough” for the people around us so we tell a small fib. That fib is like a mustard seed that grows over time, being “watered” with more fibs until it grows into a deeply-rooted “tree of lies”. We don’t intend to hurt the people around us, but many times that is exactly what we end up doing in the end, as well as hurting ourselves. Our quest to find an easy way out of a sticky situation ultimately results in even more pain than being truthful with ourselves and those around us.
This reminds me of a scene from a movie I watched the other night where this guy confronts his coworker at the office “hey man I am so sorry, I heard…” to which he responds “oh wow, you heard I was getting a divorce?” The first guy says, “Oh thank God, we all thought you had Cancer or something”. Perhaps we don’t want anyone to know we will be alone during the holidays so we continue to talk about the plans we have with a significant other… one who in reality is no longer a part of our life.
Sometimes our perception of how our personal truth will impact others is completely out of line with reality. We sit and stew day after day wondering what other people will think if they find out. Will they think we are less worthy of their love… damaged in some way? Living our truth is more important than anything else we can imagine when it comes to the people who “truly” love us. The people who can’t handle our truth have some growing to do themselves. But… that growth is their lesson, not ours.
It’s time to “come out of the bushes” and let the “seeker” find you… the real you. Perhaps the person afraid to reveal they may be facing the holidays alone doesn’t realize that if they spoke the truth… the door would open and allow someone even more amazing come into their life… someone waiting patiently for that truth to be told. Hiding holds us back from living life the way it was meant to be lived… in harmony with the universe and those around us. What an amazing place to be.
Love and Light,