Pleasant lie or painful truth? - Sage Hill Counseling

Painful truth is better than a pleasant lie. – Bryant McGill

Almost two years ago now, my family received some unexpected news. A painful truth, if you will. And it felt how I imagine a tsunami would feel. Frightening. Suffocating. Powerful. Inescapable.

And for a time, I longed for our “tsunami” to recede, gently, as a wave recedes. Just go away. Wouldn’t that be simpler? For this painful truth to just cease to exist. To go back to how things were before. Ignorance is bliss, they always say.

Is it scary? Absolutely.

But over time, day by day, week by week, month by month, I have grown to see more fully. The pleasant lie, the enormous secret, had a weight to it all along. Like a black hole, secrets suck life in and no light is left in its wake. Pleasant lies have a cost. To others. To our selves. To the trust between the two. Even unknown, secrets breed more secrets. They wound. They destroy. In the silence, secrets make themselves known.

To be certain, there is hardship in the revealing. The term “collateral damage” doesn’t even begin to describe it. But with truth-telling comes a certain freedom. With the passage of time comes perspective. With inner work, reflection, and dialogue comes a desire to inhabit our lives, our emotions, our relationships differently.

Is it worth it?

And you begin to see new life. New hope. New opportunities. New struggles. New challenges. New ways to stand in the face of the tsunami that would have never occurred to you before it formed, before it threatened to overtake you, before you saw that which cannot be unseen.

Is it scary? Absolutely.
Is it overwhelming? 100%.
Is it hard work? Yep.
Is it worth it? I think it is. There are still days I’d like to pull the covers over my head and pretend. But mostly. I like emerging from bed into a world that is a little clearer than it was the day before.


If you are in a hard place and need someone to journey alongside you, Sage Hill is here. Call today to start the process. 615-499-5453


Heather James is a therapist at Sage Hill Counseling in Nashville, Tennessee. She earned her masters in human development counseling from Vanderbilt University. Heather is active in homeschooling and keeping a busy family of six from falling apart. She serves on the vestry of St. Bartholomew’s Church and is an avid reader as well as a thoughtful, gifted writer.

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