To tell the truth and nothing but the truth seems to be for most of us like an unattainable task. Sometimes you don´t want to hurt peoples´ feelings, so it´s easier to come up with a little lie instead. Other times even though you know the truth, you don´t want to hear it from others, because you´d have to admit that you were lying to yourself. It´s easier to go with “innocent” lies and live in the comfort of the stories we made up about ourselves and others. But, is it? Really? That´s what I´ve believed for a long time. I thought that sometimes you simply have to “enhance” the truth or you don´t have to disclose all of it in order for your dreams and hopes to stay alive.
For instance, imagine that you are discussing a musical, which has been released just recently, with your colleagues. You went to see it with your friend and both of you had an amazing time. You loved the movie and for the rest of the week you listened to the soundtrack while commuting to work. Suddenly, you find yourself in the middle of a conversation where basically everybody is saying that they haven´t seen something that silly in a long time. Your hope is that your colleagues will see you as smart and cool and the last thing you want to do is to oppose them. So now, you have a choice. You can stay silent, which means you´re not lying, however, you are not telling the truth either. You can agree with them, while betraying yourself and pretend that you´re somebody who didn´t like the movie even though you did. Or the last option is to just simply tell the truth! Easier said than done… I know. You would have to say that you´ve seen the whole movie. And that you even liked it. Like a lot… Then you´d have to wait for a little while so the image others had about you can be shattered into pieces and you´d have nothing other to hold onto than the truth of who you are in that moment. Frightening, right? Let me tell you one thing. It doesn´t matter if somebody is going to question your movie taste, the way you dress or what you do in your free time. The feeling of betraying yourself is thousand times worse than having to put up with a mean comment. The way people perceive you is on them, however, how you feel about yourself – that´s something you are going to live with every single moment, for the rest of your life.
It seems like these little lies are not hurting anyone. Every time a truth wasn´t said, someone was hurt. I love this Byron Katie´s quote: “When you say or do anything to please, get, keep, influence or control anyone or anything, fear is the cause and pain is the result.” You can always choose between the momentary discomfort of giving up your ego, so the truth of who you are can shine through or you can live a lifetime of pain, because you were too afraid of what other people would think, if they knew the real you. At first, I didn´t even recognize those little moments in life, when we have the opportunity to speak the truth as we know it in our heart and become closer to the people around us and to who we really are. These moments don´t knock on our door to introduce themselves. The moments which are going to define whether you and others can trust you are as little as telling your boyfriend that, no, you actually don´t enjoy to watch baseball at all, or telling you friend that she might consider trying a bigger size because these jeans seem to be a little tight on her. We have to make up our minds whether we want people to like us for who we really are or we want them to like the edited version of ourselves that we tend to present so carefully. The first alternative will bless you with a couple of wonderful loyal friends, freedom, inner peace and power based on the knowing that you always have your back. You won´t be afraid to become who life is calling you to be because you´ll know that you won´t break the promises you give yourself. You´ll also know how to support others, because you know how to support yourself.
Nobody is going to take you seriously, if you don´t take yourself seriously. The world will never set the standard for the level of truth that is expected from you. You have to set the standards for yourself and others, with whom you are interacting. Since I always work on practicing what I write about, I am not going to lie to you. Taking an honest look at the choices and the moments where we either lied to ourselves or others is going to be painful. Painful for our ego. Nevertheless, on the other side of an honest inquiry, a freedom, which will be so liberating and powerful that it can´t be described by words, waits for you. The truth will set you free. Free to be, who you are. Free to set up a new standard for every relationship in your life and it´ll go along these lines…: I am going to be honest with you because I respect myself and I respect you enough, not to lie to either of us. I know that by telling the truth as I know it in my heart, we´ll grow together into kinder and more loving versions of ourselves and the truth will ultimately bring us closer to each other.
May you know the truth in your heart and it will set you free,