I read what’s undoubtedly the saddest post I’ve seen in a while. A girl stuck in an arranged marriage feels sad about it. I offer her what little comfort I have, words I’m not sure can pierce through the wall of loneliness and misery she lives in now, but no less words. I can not think of anything else to give. I say am sorry she’s had to make this decision. I’m sorry she feels… is alone. I’m sorry the people she should talk to expect her happiness. I’m sorry she has to lie everyday, wearing a screen of happiness in place of her grief.
And I remembered me not too long ago. Heart broken. Smiling. Falling apart. Laughing. Crying. Dancing. And pretending everything was well in my world when it wasn’t.
I heard of an expression in an episode of Game Of Thrones: You must master your face. Because your face can say a million things your mouth and actions aren’t saying. I can tell when a person I know is telling a lie simply by watching their facial expression. I can spot sadness in the eyes even when the lips curve in a smile.
I can because I understand that true deception lies in being the master of one’s face, so that nothing escapes.
Sometimes I am able to pull this off; other times I’m not. It all depends on how important it is for me to cloak my feelings, project a new image and sell it. Or on who I’m trying to deceive.
Why do we feel the need to act other than what our emotions dictate at a particular time?
Why do we pretend happiness when we’re not?
Why do we hide the tears and laugh when our hearts are shrinking in pain?
Why stay behind a screen and project a fluke of a life to everybody else?
Because it’s easy to assume no one cares about the way we feel?
Because we’d rather not deal with how they deal with our pain?
Because we’re scared that our grief translates to weakness?
Because even when we spend our lives searching for community, we don’t know how to open ourselves and become a part of it.
And I wish we would. I wish we’d dare to let out the sorrow and receive the help that is sure to come, because even though a million rejoice at our pain, there will be a million more who identify with it and offer comfort.
We say misery loves company; perhaps not. Misery today seems to love solitude. But company is not a bad thing, it’s what we are made to do– share our joys and share our sorrows because we are worth it. Because we deserve to receive whatever solace lies out there. Because there is no better balm for the aching heart than another heart that cradles it in love.