We have been observing Carrie all day as she has been observing herself. Here is the thing. She does everything right. She is earnest, living life with an integrity, making careful choices. Today she kept herself from slipping into old addictive overwhelm patterns by making those careful choices. But- oh- we are frustrated! She was designed for so much more when she agreed to come back. She thinks that trying harder and improving every day adds up to more than it does. It is the richness of life, the depth, the resonance, the larger heartbeat, the Music of all that she is missing. Under the surface life of integrity, she lives the depth of a lie.  Let’s see if she can hear her sister as she turns off her light tonight. It’s worth a try.


I have always studied my older sister, Carrie, idolizing her all my life, wanting to be like her, wanting her to play with me and sleep with me and pay close attention to me. But there was something that always bugged me about her at the same time. When I was little I couldn’t put my finger on it. She was part of my storming. Part of my stubbornness and unwillingness to bend to anything that others told me.


I see it now. She was not quite real. I was. I refused to be fake, as she was. She knew way too well what others wanted from her. She needed to be perfect and in control. Who knows why, I never thought to ask. Her room was spotless- not because she was so neat, but because she wanted to be seen as spotless– as spotless as her room. Even if she did something wrong – a rare push of the boundaries– she never got in trouble like I did. I wouldn’t say she exactly lied, but she had a way of shaping the truth and making herself glow. That put me out in the cold.


I was exactly myself. My room was a wreck. I not only got in trouble, but refused to apologize, to accommodate anyone who needed me to be something that I wasn’t.  She was the veneer and I was the real thing. Who was she at all? I actually always knew– better than anybody. But she did not show herself, especially not to herself. God, I hated that. How can she see me if she can’t see herself?


3 thoughts on “Veneer

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