I fucked up and I love you can exist in the same room. One does not negate the other. One certainly does not empower the other. Together, though, they can coexist in the same sentence. What does this mean for relationships? What does it mean for the people involved? It means that consequences are imminent and unavoidable. For the sake of this piece, withholding the truth and telling a blatant lie will be used interchangeably. Although they are quite different, the result is the same in most cases; someone feels betrayed.
My biggest problem is that I am not forthcoming. I either won't answer a question or I'll avoid the conversation where I have to tell a difficult truth. It wasn't always this way. I used to be very blunt and open about who I was and what I was up to and then somewhere I stopped feeling like telling the truth was worth it. With some people, I was afraid of their reaction. With others, I simply didn't think they deserved to know that personal piece of information (because likely it was layered with guilt, shame or idiocy).
Recently (as in within the last 24 hours), I uncovered a startling truth about myself - one I had not yet admitted to myself, never mind anyone else. I am comfortable with who I have become holistically but I do not share or express that comfort when certain people are in the room. What is that? Is it the fear of consequences? Is the pressure to be liked (in bits and pieces) more desirable than the crushing weight of being unloved (for who I am in totality)?
In one particular case, I can say that the fear of losing someone caused me to lose my damn self. My demeanor changed, my tone changed, my voice was damn near non-existent and my light had dimmed. Putting all of my resources into holding on only ended up holding me back.
WHEN WE LIE OR WITHHOLD THE TRUTH, WE CUT OURSELVES INTO HALVES AND QUARTS AND PEOPLE CANNOT LOVE US IN PIECES.
I'm going to end this piece a little differently than I do the others by including an action item. On a piece of paper, in the notes section on your phone, maybe even in a tweet, I want you to tell the truth about something in one sentence. No fluff, no excuses, no rhyme or reason. Just one sentence of truth that may have its own set of consequences but it will no longer divide you between who you are and what you wish you were. Let me volunteer my own truth here: I tried him and he wasn't you. I'm proud of myself for trying but I'm disappointed for even feeling like I had to.
If you decide to post your truth on social media, you extra open & brave soul, hashtag #TruthwithTass. I'd love to read them. If not, feel free to send them to TassikaLloydPR@gmail.com. Once I see them, I will respond. Or keep them to yourself because that's cool too!
Whatever you do, tell the truth, even if your voice shakes.