I vowed years ago to live as transparent, read lie-free, a life as possible. Truthfully, one of my characters decided to live this transparent life and dragged me along for the ride. It hasn’t been easy. We both find times when we butt up against those tiny white lies. You know the ones, when it would just be so much easier, and quicker, to lie than to tell the truth. Maybe you just want to avoid hurting their feelings or misunderstanding, or you just plain don’t want to get into ‘that discussion’ again.
Being lie-free is easier with things that don’t matter, much harder with those things inside, those corners of darkness which tell me I am a fraud or a failure. I know intellectually that if people saw those places they wouldn’t shy away, hands before their faces as if warding off a vampire. That, however, hasn’t convinced the darkness to step into the light.
But what a world it would be if we all vowed never to lie again, to only deal in the total and honest truth with those we love and even those who just brush by the edges of our lives. Notice I did not say brutal truth. When used as a weapon, the truth can be just as painful as a lie. It can cut like knives, slash at our self-worth with ragged fingers, but only if we accept that truth as our own. The reality is, you can accept or deny truth as you wish. So when does that acceptance or not become a lie?
I used to beg my ex, “I don’t care if the truth pisses the hell out of me and I’m mad because I will always calm down. But if you lie to me, I’ll never trust you again.” Which is why, I might add, he is my ex. He never understood that the truth was the only place where we could honestly form a lasting relationship. He lived in a Disney-like world where, if he kept me happy now, everything would be all right. So, the actual truth is, nobody will ever have a true relationship with me if they lie. There are times when I think I’ll never trust again. That I will always question ‘is this a lie or the truth’?
I know one thing. I will never stand to be lied to again. Maybe if somebody said ‘you look great,’ when I feel like shit. Okay, I get that and understand what they mean. Is it a lie? Well… maybe to them I do look great. Maybe it’s just in my eyes that I look like shit. Here’s where the trust comes into play. If I trust the speaker, I can accept the words as truth. If I don’t…..
I try to own up to my mistakes. It’s hard and I feel as if I fail as often as I succeed. At work, I might feel attacked and fire back with the first thing that comes to mind, often the very wrong thing to say. But I count myself lucky if I can step back, realized what I’ve done and make amends. Sometimes, often times, this realization is a war waged inside myself. It would be so much easily to just let things drop, move on, but easy and right aren’t always the same things, just like a lie and a truth aren’t the same.
To be honest, I am still learning the difference, still struggling to open myself up like one of those transparent fish so that the light of truth can shine through. My character (darn him) is way ahead of me in this but I’m still trying and that has to be good enough for now. Hey, at least, I have a good example to follow.
What would happen to your relationships if you never lied again?