Show Me Your Truth, and I'll Show You Mine
It's so difficult to have a relationship, isn't it? Any relationship. It's so damn complex. It sometimes feels like a game of chess in which each person is quietly contemplating his next move and anticipating what the other's responding move will be. It takes effort, concentration, intuition, and intelligence. It's all quite the challenge. The game of chess is fun and exciting because in the end there will be a winner who outsmarts the loser. In the game of life and friendship, the prospect of being the loser is not a matter to be toyed with. It's not a game, and it shouldn't be played as such.
I've had friends throughout the years who played our relationship like a game of chess. One in particular really stands out to this day, although it was over thirty years ago. The relationship was such a chore - like the game - yet I kept playing for some odd reason. Maybe I didn't know better, and I thought that was just the way it was. Perhaps I was afraid to be alone and without friends. We talked frequently on the phone and went out to bars, the mall, the movies, etc. We even worked together. But the entire relationship was a game of chess. It took so much effort, and I was constantly trying to contemplate the next move.
One day I caught this "friend" in a lie. It was the silliest thing to lie about, and the situation behind the lie had no direct impact on our relationship. But the fact that this person felt it necessary to lie to me really upset me. Don't get me wrong, I was no goody-two-shoes. I've been a horrible friend to others in the past. I played the game well. Hey, it was all about protecting my queen, right? I was born and raised in Newark, NJ. I know how to protect myself.
But I've received an amazing gift in recent years -- the gift of Truth. There is nothing so pure and as freeing as the truth -- and there is no better fertilizer for a friendship. If I want to play a game, I'll play chess. If I want to be in a relationship -- to share, to grow, to learn, to love, to play, to smile, to cry -- I'll find a friend. I'll find someone who is not afraid to show me their truth. I'll find someone who takes off their mask and shows me their scars. And I'll do the same. Because when it's all out there -- the whole truth (and nothing but the truth please!) -- there are no winners or losers. It's not about playing, it's about sharing. Two flawed individuals sharing their truths. There are no winners or losers because NOTHING can beat that.
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