If you were to ask your neighbor, how truly happy their married life was what do you think they would say? What about the staggering statistics of people whose relationships have to endure infidelity? Take a look at any recent research about how many people are living above and beyond their means, and the recent revisions that indicate 1 out of every 4 people are losing their home to foreclosure. Alcoholic Anonymous, states that 1 out of every 6 families is living with an alcoholic, keeping their family indiscretion a secret at all costs. Today’s drug addicts and pill heads are often middle classed, married with children, regular folks who are trying to hold down jobs and keep up appearances that all in their ‘glass house,’ is anything but dysfunctional.
According to the American Psychological Association there are more people today being medicated for depression, many of whom are children and more kids and teens being counseled and controlled behavioral through pharmaceutical drugs than at any other time in the history of the world. This doesn’t even mention the fact that 2 out of every 3 teenager admits to using drugs or to contemplating harming themselves or others before they reach the age of 16. While child abuse arrests are on the rise and foster care agencies are brimming with more children than they can handle, agency experts suggest that they are only truly ‘seeing,’ and prosecuting a mere 22% of all cases. There are also millions of homosexual adults and teens that are still fearful of coming out, and who are creating lives that perpetuate the lie.
In fact, every where you look whether it is to the glamorous ‘have it all’ marriages made in Heaven that come from the Hollywood, to the neighbor down the street who appears to have the perfect life, the truth is that most people are living a lie. A big fat, life encompassing lie that whittles away at any chance these folks have to be truly, genuinely happy.
In a house down the street from yours is a stay at home mother who is wiping away tears because her husband called her a pathetic piece of crap who hasn’t done anything in the last ten years. There is a child who is being left home alone, sinking into depression and clinging to peers and peer pressure for any shred of hope of being loved. There is a 13 year old girl standing on a softball field who is filled with so much anger and envy, that her coaches think she is misbehaved or rude. There is a frustrated husband who goes to work each and every day hoping, wishing that he could hide the pills his wife hides in the drawers in order to keep his children from riding around in a car with her after school. The white picket fence around the corner house, with the perfectly manicured yard and the husband and wife couple who work all day earning six figured incomes reeks of marital disconnect and happiness, where the extra bedrooms are used for one another to sleep in, rather than for guests.
Is there too much pressure for people of all ages today, married or single to follow the rules of life so closely that they end up tossing away any shred of happiness’ true happiness that might be coming their way.
And sadly, the ones that are the happiest, that are living the most authentic lives to match their inner beliefs and stirrings are often dubbed weird, strange, or worse selfish. The mom who keeps her career in tact because she has a passion for her work is dubbed a ruthless witch who doesn’t ‘care’ for her children. The husband who spends his weekends indulging in games of golf or working on his Shelby Mustang is seen as lazy, and incapable of helping his wife with the kids. And the lonely folks who share a life with an addict, are living a lie in order to hide what they see is their failure from the rest of the world. All of this, and counseling centers, shrinks and social workers, life coaches, and empowerment speakers are making more money NOW, then they have historically. Today, the self-help market has become a multi billion dollar industry, enabling more and more people to live the lies of their life, while secretly looking for a way out.
If you look at the trends and the things that people look up most online from the privacy of their own homes, most of them would have to deal with something, some THING’ that people are seeking to make themselves happy again. The problem is that they are so busy living the lie for the sake of others, for the sake of being the Joneses that they are unable to unravel the complicated quilt of their own happiness.
Or maybe, just maybe, they don’t know where to start looking because within the map of what is ‘supposed’ to bring us happiness are no left turns that can help us bring us back to where we came from.
But who is to blame. Is it the wife who is covering her bruises on her arm with make-up so that others will not see that is to blame? Is it those that hide? Is it the ones that are lying to themselves and the world because they are embarrassed to admit that they might be seen as a failure? Is it the parent who hides their child’s problems or pretends that their marriage is happy, or who cleans up the messes after their spouse gets drunk that is to blame for perpetuating the lie? Or is it the fact that we have created a society where anything less than perfect, is seen as unacceptable?
So many of us living the lies of life, the lies of perceived happiness do so because of the immense pressure to be normal. No one wants to feel that they haven’t been able to provide a life for themselves, for their children, for their family that is anything less than perfect. And so the lies are passed down from one generation to the next, and life is spent webbing a constant string of lies together to make the unhappiness feel okay.
it’s difficult to know what any of us are afraid of. it’s even harder to understand what silent manifestation of society keeps so many from breaking free, from spreading their wings and making the decisions they KNOW in their hearts will make them happy. Whether it is coming out of the closet or seeking a divorce’ the power to make these things happen comes as difficult.
In a million ways, from living under the government that we ‘falsely believe,’ we elect to the staying in a marriage that breaks our spirit, to making excuses for the reasons our children are turning to drugs or failing school’.each of us is somehow living a lie. And this lie, is robbing each and every one of us of the authentic life that is waiting for us.
So what are you so afraid of? What lies are you living with today. In the end, if we spend any time at all living a lie, we are not living at all. One of the greatest gifts that we can teach our children, perhaps even ourselves is to realize that the truth of happiness, will set you free!