I don’t know about you, but there were a lot of thoughts running around my head as I read the Fifty Shades trilogy.
Yes, I am aware that they are a fun, erotic series of novels and that, of course, not one that can possibly be based in reality…or can it?
The truth is that while they are in fact perhaps exaggerations of what we define as “real” or appropriate, they are exactly that…exaggerations. Exaggerations built on thoughts that you and I often think and feel, deep down inside. Things like:
- Can sex be that passionate and crazy good?
- How much “experimentation” is “normal”?
- Am I a freak if I want to try a little bit of “that” (just a little!)…under “appropriate” circumstances?
- There is no way that a man like that could fall madly in love with a woman like that?
- Is it possible that a man could ever love me that much?
- Could I ever love a man that much?
The list goes on and on…and that is why this trilogy has skyrocketed to the best seller list. It opens the door to our imagination, our passion, and our possibilities.
One of the most significant lessons that I took from these books is what I know already to be true; that it is critical to speak our truth, no matter how afraid or how vulnerable we feel.
James, in her trilogy, created characters Christian and Anastasia, as dramatic exaggerations of what could be any two individuals that are seemingly so different from each other.
Christian Grey “seems” at first to be a sexual deviant, an abusive, crazy and “narcissistic” man. And yes, he is extreme (controlling, sexually “out there”, and self-centered)…for you and I. However, when viewing him through a lens of curiosity and compassion, Anastasia finds a man who has been deeply wounded, is carrying “fifty shades of baggage”, and ultimately, wants to love and be loved, but has no idea of what healthy love looks like. Of course, this is shrouded in over the top dominant scenarios and crazy drama throughout the book.
What I am talking about are the underlying messages. Shown through the relentless pursuit of Anastasia to understand him and extract his truth.
Anastasia is just the opposite. With no experience at love, intimacy or sex of any kind, she is simply nervous, excited, scared, curious and vulnerable. However, she is also smart and confident. And while she is also ultimately looking to love and be loved, she navigates being open to what she doesn’t know and understand, with caution, safe boundaries and her truth.
There is tension between them, not only sexually, but because in honoring their own individual truths, they learn that they will have to share their fears, their vulnerabilities and their deepest desires.
It is never easy to share with someone we care about what our deepest truth is. It takes courage, clarity and risk. Risk that the other person will be angry with us; that they will judge us; that they won’t love us. These fears often cause us to turn and flee, abandoning our truth and ultimately placing us in a situation we don’t really want at our core.
Christian and Anastasia take the risk; albeit painfully. And, they eventually reap the reward for it. But the messages are clear:
- get clear on what your deepest truth is
- be prepared to set boundaries that honor your truth but allow for growth; then,
- honor your boundaries; with kindness and compassion
- extraordinary love only comes when we share our truth; our fears, vulnerabilities, and deepest desires
So, do you know what your deepest truth is?
What holds you back from speaking your truth?