When the tethers of generational hand-me-downs can be unlocked and severed, we realize that we are free to live to the rhythm of our very own heartbeat – a playlist custom made. I was raised traditionally, to fit the mould. Like a perfect panna cotta – just enough firmness, just enough flavour, just enough wobble; constantly being fixed and measured. But after a while, I wanted more than to be just some perfect little jelly dessert on a plate for the eating.
I knew well how to be desired. Oh, I was so good at being wanted and acknowledged and placed on a pedestal, and until I knew better, I craved that. But then, I wanted something different – something wild and unordinary, deep and satisfying – I wanted more. I wanted to desire. I wanted to dream and unfold my own greatness, outside of the shadows of those close to me. The more I suppressed, the more the pressure built, eventually oozing out of every crack it could find, like larva out of a quiet but lethal volcanic eruption.
So, we become liars. We become liars trapped behind scriptures and moral facades. We learn to hide ourselves behind our reputations, as long as we look good to society. We put others and their aspirations before our own. We are taught that if we make a promise before God, then that covenant is cast in stone, even if your feelings do not align. That if you were once out of integrity, you can never go back. Even if it means you become a blatant, perpetual liar. We learn that there is no point of return; and no turning forward either. We learn that where we make our bed, we sleep. We learn that there is no justification solid enough to even tempt squeezing our new, evolved, wiser self through the cracks of a promise once made.
We are told that we are warm when we are cold; that there are many things to be happy about, when we feel sad. When we cry out that we are hungry – hungry for more – we’re told we should be grateful for the fill we already have on our plates. We are told how to feel. And we are told how not to feel. We are moulded into an expectation of uniformity; homogenized into a fictitious ideal of normality.
So, we stay.
And we pretend.
We mask and we ache. With a smile. We laugh when all we really want to do is cry. We close our eyes and focus on the positive and turn away from the knowing – a constant gnawing groan from somewhere deep inside of us. We tell ourselves that we’re being silly – a hopeless reiteration of what we’ve been told is silly. We turn a deaf ear to the loud hungry pangs from our gut. So, we look good to the community and we stay faithful to the Word. Not our word, the Word. Like there’s a difference!
We don’t dare utter the verity that howls from the nucleus of our birth right.
No! We shut right up and throw away the key.
We lock it out, and we lock us in.