How Would My Relationships Change if I Resolved Never to Lie Again, Pt 2

In re-reading my former post on this topic, I realized I wasn’t actually totally honest in answering the question. I was honest as far as I went, but I stopped short of visualizing how my relationships would change if I never lied again. Instead I talked about what was in my present, how I was affected by trying to live lie-free now, instead of how these efforts could change my life.

That, I’ve realized, is a much harder question. So, now it’s time for the real truth.

How would my relationships change if I resolved never to lie again? No ‘that dress makes you look fab,’ or ‘I’m tired (just because I don’t want to go out).’ Neither would ‘I’ll be back in a hour (when I know it’s gonna be at least three),’I’m fine with that movie,’ or “No, I don’t mind when you constantly correct my grammer’ be allowed.

Wow. This is gonna be harder than I ever imagined. I have no problem being open and honest on questions about my money, my house, my job…. but get into my interior life and I’m going to have to make a lot of changes that are hard for an extreme introvert to even contemplate. Can I stand up and assert myself when confronted with a situation where, normally, I’d back off and just agree even if those agreements are lies?

For example, if a friend loves a particular book and wants me to love it as well, could I risk being honest if I actually hated the book? It would be so easy to just agree. What would that hurt? It wouldn’t hurt her would it? And it wouldn’t hurt me?

Or would it? Deep down inside, don’t we die just a little each time we lie, each time we are dishonest with others and with ourselves? I doubt my friend would care one way or the other, but I bet she’d be touched that I cared enough about her to give her an honest opinion.

I’ve tried to be totally honest with the people I’ve met lately and you’d be surprised at the distrust that I’ve encountered. Funny thing, but if you tell the honest truth, most people will think you’re lying.

My lies or truths are never going to change the world in the way most people would think. I’m not responsible for the Red Button or negotiations to stop the war in the Middle East. I don’t have the President’s ear and I’d be terrified (truthfully) of being a missionary or aid worker to a war-torn country.

But I truly believe that each honesty we tell, each lie we avoid, does change the world, one person at a time. And this is the only way that the world will ever change for the better.


JSW Prompt – 8/8/2014

‘Not all haunted places are houses….’

I know. And I’ll tell you my story. I’ll begin by saying I’ve lived a normal life. Regular childhood. Two happy parents, a dog, a succession of cats, a sister of whom, to be totally honest, I could have often done without. Not that I dislike her; we are just worlds apart in just about everything.

But back to the haunting. My haunting isn’t a house and it isn’t a place. My haunting is in my head and so it’s one from which I can never walk away. Have you ever had a memory that just won’t go? Trust me when I say it’s a hell of a thing.

Once upon a time as most stories go, I had a character named Nell. She was a reporter, living in Chicago and she was a good person. Strong, focused, living life the way she wanted to live. But because of events in my life, I allowed her to be snuffed out in a pinpoint of darkness. It’s a rare thing for a character to simply vanish. Since my characters are part of me, they all carry the spark of who I am. And mostly, they evolve and change as I change, coming forth in a new form, new name, new life.

Years later, I still feel that I betrayed the character. If I had been stronger in my own life, I could have saved her. I could have kept the weight crushing me from crushing her, too. But I didn’t and now her ghost lives in my mind, a reminder of how fragile that creative spark within us can be.

In what way are you haunted in your creative life?