Monday, April 27, 2015

Monday Mantra: When We Lie to Others, When We Lie to Ourselves

mantra is a sound, syllable, word, or group of words that is considered capable of "creating transformation".

Every Monday I will post a new thought, idea, or focus for the week. When you need a breather from life, when you need a little inspiration, or when you're about to jump over the conference table and strangle your co-worker, remember the mantra.

Monday Mantra: Trust your gut instincts

Trust is a fragile, delicate thing.

It is not something easily repaired with tape or glue or even time, in some cases. Time does not heal all wounds.

That is a lie in itself.

Once upon a time I was lied to. A lot. For a very long period of time. It was an awkward and uncomfortable situation because a lot of people on his side knew I was being lied to, they helped with the lying, and they agreed not to tell me the truth.

There were small signs and clues along the way, but I ignored them. I'm not sure why entirely, but for the most part it was a combo of denial + giving the benefit of the doubt + not wanting to be a statistic = "Overlooking" the facts in front of me. On top of that, there was a feeling I could never shake. No matter how much logic I tried applying or what I tried to tell myself, my gut knew something was up.

When I found out the truth, I was furious. Things were heated and angry and bad, but eventually we worked past them and tried again. It took me years to get to a point where I could trust him fully and completely.

And then it happened all over again, exactly the same way.

I was lied to. A lot. For a very long period of time. Everyone knew and everyone kept it from me.

This time, though, the key difference was that he got better at lying and hiding everything from me. Over the course of the years I was lied to, I only had one moment when something appeared to be out of order, but not enough to cause me to second guess it. No big signs or clues like before. Nothing out of the ordinary. Nothing to alarm me.

All of that being said, throughout this time frame something was wrong. Something I couldn't put my finger on, but that I could feel instinctively. Something that didn't go away until the day the truth became unhidden.

There's a saying..."Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me."

Shame on all of us.

I used to consider myself a second chance (or third chance, fourth chance, fifth...) kind of person. That part of me died that day and I have no intention of ever bringing it back. It did not serve me well.

I think it's important to note that I wasn't cheated on. The lies that were told to me hid other things. I mention that only because lying is most often associated with someone cheating, when in fact lying encompasses many different forms. All lies - no matter their size or shape or reasoning - are damaging. 

People lie all the time. We use small lies, white lies, big lies, hurtful lies. We lie because we're scared, because we're selfish, because we think we won't get caught. We lie because we're trying to be polite, because we don't want to hurt someones feelings, because we actually do want to have our cake and eat it too.

We lie to get things, to keep things, to have things we can't have. We lie to protect our own feelings, to avoid facing the truth, to try and "skip past" what we don't want to deal with.

We use lies to excuse ourselves from the terrible, horrible human beings that we are. We lie and we lie and we lie until we believe our own web of deceit that we've spun.

We lie because we can and we continue to lie until we get caught. And then, maybe, we lie again.

The worst part of all of this is that each and every time we choose to lie to someone (let's be honest, lying is a choice) we're really just lying to ourselves. About what we can have and what we can't, about why lying is easier than just telling the truth. We try and trick everyone - including ourselves - ultimately hurting everyone collectively and digging a much deeper hole than necessary, had we just faced the truth from the beginning. Trust is the hardest of all hard things to rebuild. Many times, it never can be.

I didn't write this post as a way to lament over my past or to punish the people involved. 

I wrote this post today for two reasons, my friends.

First, in the event you yourself have told one (or more) lies that have hurt someone or are continuing to hurt someone, please stop. You are creating irrevocable damage. You don't have to believe me - it's there. It will always be there and it will only get worse unless you immediately head down the path of honesty. Do not dig a hole of lies so deep that nothing, not even years of truth, can fill it. Maybe, just maybe, the someone you're lying to is yourself. The same damage will happen. It most surely already has. Love yourself enough to face what is happening in your life.

Second, because we all, unfortunately, have been or maybe are being lied to right now, it is critically important to pay attention to your gut when it tells you something is wrong. If you have "a feeling" do not ignore it. Our bodies are equipped with mind-blowing instincts that date back centuries. Instincts that tell us we are in danger, that we need to pay attention, that we need to run. Instincts that cannot be bound by logic, rather set free with belief.

Remember this next time you're faced with an uncomfortable situation. Remember this next time your inner wisdom knows something is wrong.

No comments: