Monday, January 07, 2008

“ But, what you said. I mean about hiding inside lies. I guess I’ve done that one way or another most of my life”
“Honey, you’re a survivor. No shame in that. Your daddy hurt you something fierce. Life hurt you. Lies are one of the easiest places for survivors to run. It gives you a sense of safety, a place where you only have to depend on yourself. But it’s a dark place isn’t it?”
“So dark, “ Mack muttered with a shake of his head.
“But are you willing to give up the power and safety it promises you? That’s the question.”
“What do you mean?” asked Mack.
“Lies are a little fortress; inside them you can feel safe and powerful. Through your little fortress of lies you try to run your life and manipulate others. But the fortress needs walls, so you build some. These are the justifications for your lies. You know, like you are doing this to protect someone you love, to keep them from feeling pain. Whatever works, just so you feel okay about the lies.”
“But the reason I didn’t tell Nan about the note was because it would have caused her so much hurt.”
“See, there you go . Mackenzie, justifying yourself. What you said is a bold faced lie, but you can’t see it. Do you want me to tell you what the truth is?”
Mack knew _____ was going to go deep and somewhere inside he was both relieved to be talking about this and tempted to almost laugh out loud. He was no longer embarrassed by it. “No-o-o-o,” he drew his answer out slowly and smirked up at ____. “ But go ahead anyway.”
____ smiled back and then grew serious.

“The truth is Mack, the real reason you did not tell Nan was not because you were trying to save her from pain. The real reason is that you were afraid of having to deal with the emotions you might encounter, both from her and in yourself. Emotions scare you, Mack. You lied to protect yourself, not her!”
He sat back. ____ was absolutely right.
“And furthermore, such a lie is unloving. In the name of caring about her, your lie became an inhibitor in your relationship with her , and in her relationship with me. If you had told her, maybe she would be here with us right now.”
_____ words hit Mack like a punch in the stomach. “You wanted her to come, too?”
That was your decision and hers, if she had ever been given the chance to make it. The point is, Mack, you don’t know what would have happened because you were so busy protecting Nan.

This brief and maybe confusing, I hope intriguing exchange is from the book The Shack. It came into my life at a time where the questions outweigh any answers and that is becoming comfortably uncomfortable.
The idea of managing others emotions … I thought I was helping….I thought I knew things I didn’t know….and only recently do I, am I beginning to see it for what it is…
I knew lying was an issue for me… but the desire to manage another’s emotions ....just never seemed to be what I was doing and IF I was doing it, it wasn’t bad……yeah denial is not just a river in Egypt ….this exchange spoke to me. So read the book and would love to talk about it and anything and everything. I want to learn to listen and you all here teach me much.


Barbara said...


I do this too. I have been doing this all my life and never realized it. I was taught to do this as a child. I do it even more as an adult. Not doing it - facing the pain - living in truth - not protecting others and/or myself SCARES the heck out of me.

I can't wait to get this book and discuss it with you and others.

Smitty said...

I ordered the book yesterday. I can identify with this conversation so very much. I don't others to hurt and I do EVERYTHING I can to keep that from happening. All the while, probably not helping them or myself.

We'll all have to chat about the book. I'm looking forward to it..I think.

jennypo said...

Yikes! I, too, have built myself a little fortress - maybe a whole city - based on what I've thought of as perhaps a more "comfortable" perspective. Maybe the benefit of the doubt isn't something I ought to be giving myself. Maybe I'm just building walls and walls of lies to avoid dealing with the uncomfortable reality.

Not sure how much responsibility I have to give the truth to those who don't want it. I guess maybe my first step is to want it myself.

You're making me uncomfortable, bjk. I think I mean thank you.

Robert said...

so sorry im late jumping in here becky i need to get this book as well just like barbara smitty and jennypo have shared i have hid behind being the helper and the counselor the listener so my own emotions dont go all whack wow so much to unpack still so thrilled we all can talk about these things

airlex said...

hmmmm...sounds like a book i need to get my hands on. lynz has been telling me about it. sounds amazingly familiar. a little too close for comfort...but it's as if somewhere back there my heart knows comfort is not the point and i am drawn to the uncomfortablity in those words.