*This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events I experienced firsthand, used with permission.
A couple of days ago, I confessed to my partner. I revealed a shameful secret that I had carried for nearly three weeks.
It was a simple thing, really, but it morphed into something else all because I was too ashamed to come clean.
Now I’m going to confess it to you because shame loses its thunder when it’s acknowledged and shared. So here goes.
My partner had a jam-packed day ahead of him, and he was leaving early.
So while he was in the shower, I decided to make him a cup of coffee for the road.
He has one of those single-cup Keurig deals that even a coffee novice can operate with little thought. I poured water into the reservoir before removing the old k-cup and inserting a new one. A clean coffee mug was already resting beneath the spout, ready to receive the hot, fragrant java.
In a matter of minutes, the coffee was free-falling into my partner’s oversized BEST DAD mug. But instead of stopping when the mug was 3/4’s full like it usually does, it kept going and going and going.
I pressed the stop button just seconds before it overflowed.
Oh, I forgot to mention one critical detail. Before the machine began percolating, I casually told my partner that I was making his coffee. And he replied, “I already took care of it before I got in the shower.” That explained why the machine kept going. My partner had already added a new k-cup and water. Then I came along and replaced that k-cup and added even more water.
To say that the coffee was weak would be an understatement. But I transferred the piping hot feeble-tasting coffee to a travel mug before adding cream and two Splenda packets anyway. And I told my partner that the coffee was weak, but I failed to mention why.
But that wasn’t the worst part.
When he returned home later that afternoon and brewed a second cup of coffee that also came out weak, I remained silent. And when he said, “something is going on with the Keurig, it filled this cup to the top,” I replied, “that’s strange because that’s what happened this morning.”
Yep. I lied.
There was no reason to lie.
It wasn’t a big deal, but I lied anyway.
Why? Because I felt embarrassed for not being able to do this one simple thing because I created a story about not being good enough.
For three weeks, I carried the guilt of not only ruining the coffee. But also for lying to my partner. And allowing him to believe that there was something wrong with the coffee machine.
I tried to convince myself to let it go, but I couldn’t.
I tried to meditate it away.
I journaled about it.
I rationalized my reason for not pleading guilty.
I even Ho’oponopono’d repeatedly.
But nothing worked, so I decided to do what I knew was right from the very beginning — confess.
My partner was very gracious about the whole thing. He listened without judgment and held space as I ugly-cried while divulging my dirty little secret.
You might think I was being a tad dramatic about this whole thing. I mean, it was just coffee, right? Wrong. This wasn’t about the coffee; it was about the charade.
However seemingly harmless it may appear, I still lied.
And one thing I know for sure is when it comes to relationships, small things become big things.
Little things create tiny fissures in the structure of a relationship. It doesn’t take much for one mini crevice to become many, causing the foundation to become unstable. Then, before you know it, the container of the relationship is irreparably damaged.
So my flub resulted in an uncomfortable conversation that made me feel 10x’s lighter.
And thankfully, my partner forgave me.
Originally published at https://medium.com