Thursday, July 05, 2007
I want you to know that it is not difficult for me to be honest.
So those of you who think that I'm some kind of incredibly brave or courageous person, although you're being very sweet, are mistaken.
Honesty is not difficult for me because there is nothing I have written that I need to hide. I do not find it difficult to express my emotions; neither do I find it difficult to tell the truth. This is possibly because this truth does not, as far as I am concerned, shame me. What could you do to me with what I tell you? Could you blackmail me? I think not. Therefore there is no bravery required.
The reason I am honest and tell the truth is because I believe that many people stand to benefit from this. We are generally not honest when we speak to one another face to face because we are worried about how we will be judged. We wear masks. We act polite. Not all of us; some are truly genuine, but many of us.
I think it is necessary to understand that there is so much that we beat ourselves up about that so many others have shared or done, so many flaws we have that others have in common, that we share the same weaknesses and potential for greatness.
So maybe you don't believe in God. Well, maybe I don't pray. Maybe you hate him. Maybe I do, too, at times. Maybe you're not the person your parents think you are. Maybe nobody is. We could go on to list the many "maybes," all the many problems, flaws and doubts that greet us in the night.
Maybe you're the only one who realizes how flawed you are and you feel sick accepting other people's praise because you don't deserve it, but you can't protest.
I think that's the way most of us feel. We all feel that we have something that is too big to share, some flaw where if anyone saw it, they wouldn't like us anymore. So we hide it.
But I wrote once, and this is what I've always believed, that we're all hiding the same monsters, and if we shine some light on them we will see the similarities. You see, "when people let their monsters out for a little onstage interview, it turns out that we've all done or thought the same things, that this is our lot, our condition. We don't end up with a brand on our forehead. Instead, we compare notes."
Maybe you've secretly fantasized about something forbidden.
Maybe you're not who you seem. Maybe you're pretending. And maybe you're sick of it.
Oh, welcome to my life. Welcome to everyone's lives, while we're at it.
We've all done this; we're just not all able to admit it.
The reason I feel I can admit this is because I think it's normal. And I've decided it doesn't make me bad, or flawed or somehow ought to instill some sense of unreasonable guilt. Something is a normal feeling or emotion- let's put it out there, discuss it, deal with it. Let's not just avoid it. Avoiding only leads to more time to turn this idea over in one's head and concentrate on how bad one is.
There's a wonderful quote in The Perks of Being a Wallflower where Charlie writes, "I just need to know that someone out there listens and understands and doesn't try to sleep with people even if they could have. I need to know that these people exist."
Each person has their own solitary pain or problem that can only be borne by themselves.
But sometimes it is enough to know that someone else has shared that pain and can therefore understand it.
That someone is willing to listen.
And someone understands.
So I'm honest. That's true.
But please don't praise me for it.
It's just that, when it comes to this, I don't know how to lie. And that is a selfish action.
Because I also want to know that there's someone out there who understands. Someone willing to listen. Someone who will accept me for who I am rather than what I seem.
I want that more than anything.
We all do.