Comforting lies

I need a comforting lie to believe in.

I honestly wish I could believe that everything will be all right, that reality is just, that I am safe and no harm will befall me or mine. . .

I have heard the quote “Your childhood is over the day you realize you are going to die”. It is simple and easy, but it does not fit for me. I’ve never had a fear of death, of suffering yes, but not of dying. Rather, I think my quote references not a personal death- the death of being, but that of an idea.

When you were a child you lived in a world of your parent’s devising. A safe world, a loving world it was. In that reality the worst that could happen was a scraped knee, the pain of which was banished by a kiss. The boundaries of that world were clear, numbered by blocks, streets signs and daylight left. You rested peaceful and unconcerned with nothing but the most persistent and vague fears of things hiding in darkness.

What then do you do when you first realize the world is far more vast than those close borders? How do you handle the realization that “fair” is simply a construct? What do you do with the knowledge that there are things stalking this earth far more terrible than the most frightening monster you could imagine?

You begin to grow up.

It is the end of childhood- the death of your first comforting lie.

Some people find it again in religion or science. Others regain it in altruistic endeavors, or the giving of themselves to another. Some simply invest in distraction, or lose themselves in forgetting. Goodness knows I’ve attempted them all at one time or another.

Every day I can clearly remember I’ve struggled to fit myself into this reality, to accept the generally accepted truths, to make peace with it. Those days I’ve found I could try no longer, that my energy had run out and I’d lost heart, I have slept. I slept and woke to make another attempt.

But I grow weary and wearier still. My last comforting lie is becoming tattered and less believable. I become cynical, fearful, apathetic, and bored.  Still I try, though not so much for me these days, although that is my hope, my lie: that one day I’ll take a genuine and lasting pleasure from life, and stop living for other people.

Maybe one day.

Sure would be nice.


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