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A Hickey is a Bad Advertisement When Playing the Field...

Whole lotta truth in that statement...Luckily it doesn’t apply to me today. Not playing the field and no hickeys. Whew!

But I do know someone, someone close to me that this does apply to. And the advertisements that she has on her neck, evince her lack of honesty which is really kicking her ass today.

I never knew how much lying caused so much damage in my relationships. I also, similarly, never knew how much my own dishonesty prevented me from having an authentic real connection with another human being. How selfish it was, how much every lie I told really was a statement...

“I care more about doing what I want than any commitment I have made to you. I care more that I get to do what I want, than I do your feelings and wellbeing.”

Every lie. Every time this was really what I was saying. It took me longer than I would like to admit to realize this. For a long time, lying was something that I couldn’t even be honest with myself about. The biggest lie that I told was that I was honest. When I had to be honest with my first sponsor when I shared my inventory, no one was more shocked than me at what a liar I was! I seriously didn’t know! And of course, I knew but I had so lied to myself about my lying that I had come to believe that I was honest because that fit my narrative more than admitting that I was really a pathological liar.

Today this is still something I work on. And back in the day when hickeys were part of my life (a million years ago) it was the truth that they told that I hated the most. There was no way to evade the fact that I had been intimate with someone, and now everyone would know. No hiding it and I couldn’t really lie. I mean I could lie about who gave them to me, but I couldn’t lie about the fact that I had them.

And that is a hard thing for someone who liked to play the field. It is kind of hard to admit to one guy that you were with another guy when you have been playing fast and loose with the truth. Hickeys rat you out every fucking time. And, from what I can remember, you aren’t always in control of whether a hickey is what happens during a passion stoked tryst. I mean the other person can mark you before you even have a chance to object, then you have to carry the badge of intimate connection whether you want to or not.

I am sure affairs would become less the norm if hickeys became a part of all love making. I mean, they are impossible to hide and they take their sweet fucking time going away. Totally powerless over all of that. No you are a marked woman (or man) until you are not.

Perhaps the world might be a better place if hickeys were the result more often. I mean affairs would not be the norm, and honesty might have a fighting chance...

Of course I am making light of dishonesty and hickeys and trying to find a little levity on a subject that is pretty fucking important: honesty. I have learned a lot on this particular subject and have grown up a great deal. However, it sometimes embarrasses me and brings me up short when I realize just how much more work I have to do in this department.

Today I do see every lie, white or otherwise, as an indication of my selfishness. Every time I lie, I am hiding and telling the other person that I am more concerned with me and my getting whatever the hell I think it is that I want than any commitment I have made to you. Lying erodes all intimacy. Always.

Sometimes we seem to need things like hickeys to bring us our knees on the honesty front. A good hickey front and center goes a long way to causing us to own that which we might lie about otherwise. Today I am super grateful that I am not a teen and that I have found my own intrinsic motivation to be a teller of truth and I no longer need the flashy hickey to rat me out. I can be honest without the threat of being ratted out by something as trivial as a hickey.

Today, I want to build authentic relationships with people. I want my word to mean something. I want to tell you and every one else the truth even if that means that you don’t like me anymore and choose to not be in any kind of relationship with me. I want to be held accountable for my actions, all of them. Even the ones that I would prefer to stay way better hidden.

Life is hard. Relating harder still. Being who I am without all the add ons that lying provides is terrifying. But it is such a better way to live. And I am happy that I am further along on this road than I ever have been before. I am also really happy that I am not 15 and playing the field. Hell, I am happy that I am 52 and not playing the field. And I am happy that hickeys are not part of my current story. Fuck, can you imagine me walking around Ojai Day today with those all over my neck? HAHA! Wouldn’t that be something to talk about?

I know that perhaps maybe this connection I am making with honesty and hickeys falls short for you. But I ask you to liken back to when you were a teen and when getting away with stuff felt like the point, the goal and that you were winning at life. Now think about how many people you know who never grew out of that particular way of feeling. I am grateful, albeit perhaps for a weird and tangential reason, that today I am not worried about a hickey being the thing that rats me out to my partner. I am instead more grateful that I just have the one partner and so far anyway, my feelings and behavior match up. I value him and our relationship so I tell him the truth. And I don’t run around on him behind his back which is not something I could claim in the past. Even the more recent past...which is humbling.

I am grateful to be 52 and not 15. I am grateful that I have done the work and find that honesty really is the best policy. I am working hard to build authentic relationships with the people in my life. People who can and will know that my word is my bond. That if I say it, it must be true. And that feels pretty amazing today. I am happy to be this version of myself instead of the much less honest and forthright person of my past. And finally, I am super glad that hickeys, at least for today, are not the perilous threat to my integrity. And I will revise my previous statement: hickeys are actually great advertisements regardless if what you are selling matches what you are doing.

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