I always tell people I’m a terrible liar, but the truth is I’m actually pretty good at it. I tell myself people don’t mean any harm when they do. I tell myself people do mean harm when they don’t. I tell myself I didn’t mean any harm when I did. I tell myself I am a victim when I am to blame for whatever circumstance I don’t want to own up to. I’ve certainly lied and told myself some of the men I dated really cared about me. Once I even told myself that I didn’t mind waiting in line at BestBuy overnight on Black Friday even though I came away with nothing “because I was glad I had the experience”. Some might call that looking on the bright side, but the truth is the truth… some experiences I don’t need :-).
On the other hand, I find it very difficult to lie to other people. If I’m happy, you’ll know it. If I’m angry, you’ll know it. If I like you, you’ll know it, and if I don’t like you, you’ll know that too.If I think you’ve wronged me I’ll tell you (if I think it would do any good), and if I think I’ve wronged you, I’ll admit it and apologize.
So why lie to myself when I don’t lie to others? Maybe because I need to create my own reality. Maybe because the truth just seems too simple. Maybe because sometimes the truth is stranger than fiction. Maybe because my desire to be positive doesn’t always match my own negativity or negative circumstances. I really don’t know the reason, but I do know these two things: 1. If I’m lying to myself, it is impossible to be honest with others, and 2. I’m not the only person who sometimes visits the land of make believe.
So how do I know when I’m not being honest with me? I spend a lot of time convincing myself of the truth buried in the lie. I use statements like: “I can’t believe she did that, but it’s ok…” or “why would I say that, I must have meant…”. I know this is a clue, because I never have to convince myself of the things I really believe to be true. If I think a person is a good person, I don’t have to give myself reasons for believing it or remind myself of the good times, I just act as if it’s so. If I think a person is a bad person, I don’t have to list all the bad things they’ve done every time I hear their name, I just act as if it’s so.
I have always believed that lying serves no purpose and that you can get a lot further with the truth. So I will now re-affirm my commitment to be honest, but this time I promise to always tell myself the truth, whether I like it or not… Lord help me!