The Truth about Lying
Let’s be honest…at one time or another, every single one of us has told a lie. Whether it was a “white lie” (Why no, Susan, that orange dress does not make you look like a lumpy pumpkin on steroids) or an “intentional lie” (I did not know the speed limit was 60mph, Officer!) or a “lie of omission” (He asked if I spent a lot of money at Kohl’s, which I did not. I spent a lot of money at Hobby Lobby, which he did not ask, so we’re good), we have all done it. So, it’s funny to me when people are so outraged at lying in general. I mean, I get it, being a liar is not an attribute I want to be associated with, but I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t done it. It’s uncomfortable to admit that, but there it is.
When I was a little girl, lying was a confusing subject for me. When you grow up with a step-father that is abusive – not to mention a sexual predator – you are expected to lie; to the teacher, the school nurse, your grandparents, and whoever else might get the perpetrator in trouble. So, if you were asked questions, you better believe you had to lie your ass off with great fervor and believability, because if you didn’t, your life was about to get even worse. However, lying to my Mom was a sure-fire way to get a spanking, while also being shamed for telling the lie itself. It was hard to keep it all straight in my little head.
When my Mom died a few years later, I used lies as a means of escape. I wanted to be anyone other than who I was, so I made up elaborate lies to “become” a person I thought others would like. Unfortunately, I wasn’t good at it, and I lost my dearest childhood friend because of my propensity to make up stories. I would like to say that cured me, but by this time, I was generally up to no good and lied habitually to cover my tracks. It became a pattern that sickened me from the inside out. The truth is, I was a good enough kid to understand that lying is wrong and you shouldn’t do it. So, I went through years of being twisted with guilt, liking myself even less because of the things that came out of my mouth. It was a vicious cycle and one that weighed on me heavily.
As the years went on and I developed a deep spiritual relationship with God, I no longer had to lie to be someone I wasn’t. I have tried very hard to live in a way that is completely transparent, even when it means exposing the parts of my life that aren’t so pretty. I have been at the mercy of a man who fed me lies on the daily and in the uncomfortable position of having to tell a friend the hard truth. I will admit, it is very easy to get self-righteous about lying when you’re on the receiving end of it. It feels so disrespectful, dismissive and just plain gross. Yet, if I can look past my anger for two seconds, I can usually see that the lie itself is not the issue; it’s why the person felt like they had to lie in the first place. Those are the difficult conversations to have, because it takes listening on a soul level, which is hard when you kind of want to punch that person in the face.
Lies have all sorts of consequences and the liar doesn’t get to decide what those are. Maybe lying will save you from hurting someone’s feelings…maybe it will cost you your marriage…maybe it will cause you to spend time in jail. I don’t know, but it hardly seems worth it to me these days. When I met the love of my life and best friend, we agreed to a life of “full disclosure” and we talked about everything, no holds barred. We did a lot of laughing, had some painful discussions and had some embarrassing tales to tell, but no matter what, we stated our truth. It has been the deepest, most satisfying relationship of my life. That doesn’t mean we don’t tell the truth without care and compassion, but our lives are lived with total transparency. It’s extremely refreshing.
My point to all this is, we live in an age where the truth is very difficult to discern. From our political leaders to our work spaces and into our most intimate relationships, lying can become an accepted way of being. And before you start in with the hate mail, let me ask you this. Are all of your pictures on social media really you, or have they been edited in some form or fashion? That’s what I thought.
Now more than ever, we need to return to our most authentic selves. We need to have discussions that make us uncomfortable, to find ways to express ourselves in sincerity and truth, without tearing others down in the process. Lying might “help” you in the moment, but it won’t serve you in the long run, trust me. It will only serve to devalue yourself and others, which is such a waste of your precious time here on earth. The biggest lies of all, are the ones we tell ourselves; they are also the most difficult to untangle, because if you tell yourself a lie long enough, you will eventually believe it. That’s a slippery slope, my friends. So, the next time you are tempted to tell an untruth, ask yourself why that is. Are you afraid to say what you really think? Is it more comfortable to live in the lie of the moment than to have the scary conversation about an uncertain future? Are you just being lazy? Yes, I know we have all done it, but we don’t have to keep doing it. State your truth and be your most awesome, unique and incredible selves. The truth of who you are is exactly what this world needs right now and that, my darlings, is no lie.