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The lies I tell myself

I have no idea how to be honest anymore.

I might seem on top of my game sometimes (only sometimes), but the fact that I never truly rest speaks of my dishonesty. Nothing so simple as a secret, scandal, or cover-up. A search of my closet would reveal no singular skeleton, or even a set. There are stories I don't tell, of course, but my silence is usually not motivated by shame— I don't know how to tell most of those stories, not now or not yet. My lies, I suspect, are deeper and more subtle. Mostly, they're about me.

Vaguer than usual. Nate told me yesterday of a couple of things: The first, a thought from Frederick Buechner, spoke about how we look through the photographs and yearbooks of strangers, somehow searching, however illogically, for a glimpse of someone we recognize, or even of our own face. One of the reasons I sometimes write vaguely here is in the hopes that another might catch a glimpse of themselves as they read. Today, that's a big hope.

The second idea Nate shared is from his father, something he said in a talk that Nate didn't remember himself, but that burned into our friend Jim's mind and heart. Now it's in mine as well, a principle whose truth at once still staggers me and holds me up:

You never defile the one you love.

I needed to hear that. It answers a "why?" that's been haunting my soul for months, and whys are so rarely answered.

It'll be okay, I'm sure. It's just hard to know how to move forward when I don't know who I am.

And that's not true, either.


"You never defile the one you love."