Have you ever been lied to? Of course you have, you’re human. So what do you think is most disconcerting, someone lying to your face, or finding out later about the lie? What if I told you that neither matter as it really has nothing to do with you? What if I told you that you shouldn’t take being lied to personally, because lying has more to do with the liar than it does you? Would you believe me?
I have come to realize through much trial and error, that honesty opens the door. When we chose to be (lovingly) honest over indulging someone’s non-truth, we are both honoring ourselves, as well as the other person. Allowing honesty to come forth in an exchange holds space for resolution. Although a positive resolution may not happen right away, honesty is honestly the last hurdle that needs to be cleared before the relationship/exchange can progress healthily. The conversations that take place after the honesty can propel friendship/relationship to the next level. Being honest with others about why you don’t want to show up to the party, to the event, to the job, to life, can set forth an entirely new course of events. This is quite simply because, it is impossible to be honest with others without being honest with yourself at the same time, That is why people lie.
People lie for all kinds of reasons. All of the reasons come from within the person that lies, and none of the reasons actually have anything to do with you. People that lie have something burdensome within that they have not examined yet. Be it denial, anger, hurt, anxiety, vindictiveness, even laziness. They lie for an easy, albeit unsustainable, gain because they have no awareness that the sustainability of a gain is in direct proportion to the amount of dedication that is poured into attaining the gain. They lie to save face, or to cover their ass. They lie to avoid confrontation, because they don’t want to tell you that they don’t actually like you, or that there is something they feel is unresolved between you. Or they don’t want to come out and admit that they have social anxiety, that they are broke, or miserable. If they admit any of that to you, then that means that they would have to admit it to themselves so they can’t bear to speak it out loud. Therefore, they think that covering up the (insert inadequacy here) is the easiest thing to do. At least for now. If you think of those that have lied to you personally, did that person appear truly happy to you? Are they really as happy or rich, or successful, or smart as they project? The bottom line is that they haven’t figured out yet that projecting a facade is much more work than actually just doing the work to be all of the above things. To be honest takes vulnerability.
I grew up a choir girl. Literally. I was also into my riding lessons, ballet, and volunteering in a nursing home. It never occurred to me to lie. I didn’t start lying until I was in my late 20’s. It started innocently enough with “I am happy with my job/relationship/finances/self.” Little did I know how much of a snowball effect that statement would have. It would lead to years of attempting to make sure that no one really knew how miserable I was, at the great mental and physical expense of myself. It took my house of cards falling to force me into honesty. See, the thing about building a house out of cards, is that it will always fall. It will begin slowly, with one card. While you are attempting to resurrect that one card, the bottom will give way. By then you will be so emotionally and physically depleted from stacking wishy washy cards, that you will have no choice but to accept the vulnerability of revealing yourself practically stark naked to the world, and you won’t even care. It will actually be a relief…if your serious that is. IF you are serious about rebuilding on a solid foundation. In the meantime, you have two ironic realizations; 1. Everyone mostly knew about your lies all along, and 2. The house of cards falling really isn’t as bad as you thought it would be.
If someone lies to me today, unless it is dangerous to myself, them, or others, I just chose grace. Sometimes you have to let people be on their own time frame for growth. Your homework then is to decide when and where your boundaries are. When someone lies to you, your job isn’t to fix them, make them feel badly or to shame them. No, the lesson that is being presented to you is of grace, tolerance, and compassion. If it is a lover that lied, you should examine your self worth and whether or not you are marking your price tag too low. If it is a friend or family member, then you’ll need to evaluate boundaries and where your current involvement in their life should be. Their lesson will undoubtedly be one day to come face to face with themselves when their lies eventually lead them to that enviable place of self realization and the personal growth that accompanies that experience. Through it all, they need your compassion. And if you don’t have compassion for them at that time, perhaps that’s where your work is.