Do you recall the song The Great Pretender by The Platters? It’s a 1950’s song, but growing up in the 60’s and 70’s, it was a pretty popular song, or at least it was with me. I remember singing along with the words and identifying with it on a level I wasn’t quite aware of most of my life.

During a conversation I was having with a wonderful wise friend and mentor, I came to the realization that I have been “the great pretender”. This realization wasn’t something new— it was a realization in a whole new dimension. Meaning I felt it in my gut, I saw it for what it really was and for how most of my life in many different situations, I have been a pretender.

I pretended to be okay with certain things and certain people in my life because I was afraid of what might happen if I expressed how I really felt about the situation or the person in my life. Peeling away yet another leaf of the artichoke and experiencing the reality of being a pretender, especially in an important relationship, I could see the pattern throughout my life. I then had the awakening of no longer wanting to pretend.

I can look back at times when it was important, and time, for changes in my life, but first I would consider everyone that would be affected by my decision. Most of the time I would not make the decision or make the change, and pretend all was well and I just needed to get over myself and think about the wellbeing of others.

Being honest about who I am, what I need, what I want and don’t want in my life, is the best way to be in the world.

There are times when it is important to consider the affect of my choices, like when I was raising my children because every decision and choice I would make would affect them somehow and I needed to consider my choices according to what was for their highest good.

My children are grown now and I still at times find myself questioning my decisions and choices because of the affect it might have on them and my loved ones. I also “know” that being honest about who I am, what I need, what I want and don’t want in my life, is the best way to be in the world. I say “ know,” because I have heard and resonated with this message all along my journey, but it is one thing to “know,” and another to really “get it” on a gut level and apply the knowledge into my life.

Today I don’t want to be The Great Pretender, I want to be real no matter what the outcome or how it might affect my loved ones. If I aspire to be authentic, vulnerable, and true to myself, I need to stop pretending that all is well when it is not. Once I am honest and let go of the fear of what might happen, I can set myself and others free and invite the possibilities of what Creator, The Universe, God, or Higher Power has in store for us.