This summer, in a strange “life imitating art” moment, the actors involved in the film version of America’s most celebrated supernatural love-triangle found themselves caught up in a Bizarre Love Triangle of their own. It’s still a morass of beauty, secrecy, and self-deception.
If I’ve learned anything in my 38 years, it’s that the most powerful lies that we tell are quite often the ones that we believe ourselves. Consider the lie on display in Kristen Stewart’s recent mea-culpa regarding her relational infidelity;
“…This momentary indiscretion has jeopardized the most important thing in my life, the person I love and respect the most, Rob. I love him… I’m so sorry.”
You might be wondering two things right now:
Where is the lie in the above statement, and how I know that a person that I’ve never met is lying?
To the first wonderment I’d suggest that the lie probably isn’t where you think it is, and to the second I’d say this, “You don’t have to know someone to recognize a lie; you only need to have been lied to.”
But first, let’s address the truth.
I fully believe Ms. Stewart when she laments that she’s “…jeopardized the most important thing in her life.” I also believe that she’s being completely honest in her assessment of respect and love for Robert Pattinson. I’m also certain that she’s experiencing a tremendous amount of sorrow over the entire situation. I feel really bad for both of them.
Remember that loving someone doesn’t mean that we don’t make mistakes regarding them.
What I don’t buy in her statement is the assertion that this “indiscretion” was “momentary”. Ending up in the arms of another person never takes place in an instant… that is unless money is changing hands, and even in those occasions both people set out to hook-up regardless of whether or not they knew who it was going to be with.
In virtually every other situation of this kind, even non-sexual betrayals, the humans involved actually spent a lot of time flirting with the idea of committing treason long before they ever acted on the impulse.
What we mean to say when we say that something, “just happened in an instant” is that there was a moment where we could no longer keep ourselves from acting on a thought that came to the front of our mind.
We fail to describe the situation accurately because we aren’t being honest about how we actually encouraged and nurtured that thought until it not only became welcomed, but comfortable in the front of our mind. Our mind only needed to make room for that thought to become action.
Quite truthfully, the original impulse to behave selfishly popped into our mind in an instant. Even more honestly, the action took place before we even knew what we were doing. But in reality, the sudden and irreversible avalanche broke loose after a period of accumulated snowfall that we purposefully refused clear away.
We justified letting the thought stay in our mind.
Then we turned to it for comfort.
We made fantasizing about it a habit.
Then we were presented with an opportunity “too good to pass up.”
So we jumped into it.
The moment of fulfillment actually failing to live up to reality.
And I haven’t been talking simply about sex have I?
I’m talking about any indiscretionary indulgence.
You see, it isn’t the “moment of action” when we fail, because our failure is found in the invitation of disaster that led us to a place of irreparable damage. Our leap into the deep end was just the indication of where we’d allowed our hearts and minds to visit for a very specific period of time.
We don’t truly “grow up” until we catch ourselves telling US a version of events that we need to believe… in order to present ourselves in the best possible light. This is ultimately how we come to understand that none of us can truly be trusted to save or protect anybody else.
Spotting the lies that we all tell ourselves becomes easier and easier over time.
You might be wondering why you should trust me about this?
Do you even know me?
To your second wonderment I would assert that you don’t need to know me,
and to the first… well you just need to know that I’ve lied to myself before.
It’s just easier to see it in someone else.
“Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death.” - James 1:14-15
*and by supernatural love triangle I clearly mean delusions of romanticized necrophilia and bestiality;)