The other half of the story

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“I mean, one way or another, everyone goes down the aisle with half the story hidden.” -Violet, the Dowager Countess, Downton Abbey

I felt a soft blow when I heard this quote recently during a Downton Abbey marathon. It stuck to me like gum on the bottom of my shoe. Too true to ignore and too true to forget.

The instant I heard the countess speak those words, a series of snapshots from my wedding day began to reel away in my head. Pale pink flowers with a touch of baby’s breath. Blue garter wrapped around my thigh. Lucky penny beneath my heel. My arm, interwoven with my father’s, as we took one stride, after another, down a rose covered aisle. My heart bursting with love, truth, and honesty. I brought it all down the aisle, right? Everything. Every single piece of me. My faults, my hang ups, all my insecurities dumped at the altar like a grand dowry for my love. Right? Wrong.

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I think to a certain degree, the Dowager Countess, Violet, is right. Everyone keeps a little something hidden from the person we love. We all have things about ourselves we don’t like, parts we wish we could change, chapters we wish we could re-write, elements we know we must bury, because no one would ever love us, if they knew, let alone stick around to see how the rest of the story plays out.

See Love is a particular condition. Once we find it, we will do anything to keep it even if it means liking things we dislike, omitting the truth, and even telling a little white lie or two. We all know and are acutely aware of how fragile love is, one day two people are head over heels in love and the next day they are head over heels rolling out of love. Why take a chance on the whole truth? Why risk it?

We all want the very same thing, don’t we, though? We all long for someone to love us no matter what, regardless of how many zeros belong in our bank account balance, despite our reputations, despite our bad habits, our social status, our health, despite it all! The only way to experience love like that, is to lay it all on the line, to tell your whole story, even the parts you’ve kept hidden. After all, those things are just details, right? Merely insignificant details….

Love is so much bigger and covers so much more than just the details.

P.S. If you would whether not “tell” your whole story, “write” it instead. Isn’t that what blogs are for?

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