Big Little Lies, Liar Liar and The Young Pope. What do these three shows have in common?
If you’ve chosen the path of the glib and answer, “You’ve watched them all?”
You would be correct, glibness aside.
Or perhaps your answer is of a more thematic nature. “Each cinematic vehicle is yet another example of how these megastars perpetuate their respective box office appeal as they manage the eternal, Everest-like task of securing not one but multiple footholds on the slippery slopes of Mt. Hollywood.”
Again you would be correct and before you tire of my evasiveness and find that inevitable tether’s end, I shall get to the point and the inspirations that bubble in my brain which lie behind this post.
“About f*@#ing time!” you say.
Gotcha. Here it is. All three have an overarching thread where earth’s beings navigate life through a web of untruths (in other words, lies), not only spun by others but by the self.
Interestingly though, these shows are also ones which I have most recently watched or am currently watching. Why the spate of lie-based entertainment? Hmmm…
Most days around 3.15pm, I mill awkwardly around the front of school, alternating between checking my phone for new arrivals in my inbox and executing that salutational finger flutter you do to other parents, who are also killing time before tearing away with their offspring to commence the grueling, late shift. On one particular day, I found myself in conversation with another mom or ‘mum’ in my case. Like me, she has the daily juggle of career and motherhood.
Note: for anyone who has not experienced this zesty lifestyle, let me assure you, there’s good reason behind why we haze out mid-conversation or bounce oddly through topics…we are constantly switching between work, school and home modes in a desperate attempt to ensure nothing falls through the cracks, while in reality, much does.
Through our conversation, she revealed that her impression of me is that I always appear so relaxed and carefree.
“Me!?” I spluttered with minimum elegance. “How is that possible? Inside I’m a mess!”
Once I recovered from the shock, it occurred to me that like the characters in the shows, each of us stores and files parts of ourselves which are catalogued according to levels of confidentiality, much like at the C.I.A. or F.B.I. Granted, the characters’ lives and plots are geared for entertainment and often, in an unrealistic manner, but still, they illustrate an interesting facet we choose to face or not, and the struggles in doing so, or not.
This brings me to the question, how much of what we truly think is revealed? To that loquacious neighbor who seems hellbent on delivering her entire marital history in one passing hello. Or to the personable waiter whose name you can never remember despite having graciously delivered your Pollo al Limone for the past three years. Or to your spouse, to whom you have promised a life of interconnection and togetherness. Or (and I believe of the utmost importance) to ourselves.
Of course the truth can be difficult, abrupt and even unbearable, but what is true for the individual, whether they have decided to partake or not, is undeniable and pure. We can try to dictate to others what their truth should be, and coerce until their truth more comfortably aligns with ours, but an individual’s truth remains theirs alone. Our mission, should we choose to accept, is to find peace with what is true for us and then find ways to strip those outer layers (or stories) which have been manicured since birth that do not speak honestly, until we can express those truths without inflicting damage or condition.
“Impossible!” you say, “Can you imagine a world where we all said exactly what we were thinking?”
Yes, that would be disruptive indeed and I’m not even for a nanosecond, suggesting we shoot truth-soaked darts at each other through each interaction. I’m just here to share a thought, to possibly unlatch a doorway through which if you choose to step, is of course your choice and your choice alone.
And for those of you who think this could very well be a big crock of manure, it is your right to conclude as such…if that indeed be your truth.