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.
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.