A great source of personal suffering for me has been the innate capacity to know when people are being untruthful.
To be more honest and direct: since the time I was a child I could always tell when people were lying.
It wasn’t until I was well into my adulthood that two very pertinent perceptions came to me that unlocked the prison door to my suffering around said dishonesty.
First, I always thought that people knew that were being dishonest. I thought they were intentionally telling tales. I came to learn that very often people are coming from a place of unconsciousness and disassociation, thus unaware that what they were communicating simply wasn’t true. This was huge for me. It also deepened my own exploration of what I might think is true that really wasn’t.
Secondly, my framing was that people were lying to me.
To me. Lying to me. Doing something to me. I took that completely personally, thinking I somehow deserved the deception and dishonesty. I took it on, and I suffered. Removing energetically the words “to me” loosened the chains of my bondage and largely the shielding from my heart. People don’t lie to me. They simply lie. Mostly to themselves. Other peoples loose hold on reality meant nothing about me. Lies are fear based. We all have our fears, and we all are at times dishonest. That is simple a part of the human experience.
I vividly recall the pain of this dynamic, especially in my formative years. I remember staring at authority figures. Watching the lips move and the facial expressions set. And knowing that what I was seeing and hearing was in fact not the facts. I remember the sadness. The grief. The disconnect. Because I did not have the capacity or the maturity to call it out it got suppressed and internalized. The sadness, the grief began to fester into rage. The rage became recoil and rejection. My mode of operation was to remain silent about the lies until an eruption would occur. Relational drama then ensued, and I put people who lied to me out of my life.
People who lied to me.
Honesty is a core value of mine. And I am not always honest. I seek to be. I pray to be. I often have great justifications when I am not. I fear sometimes that my honesty will hurt others. I suspect that my silence is often an indirect form of lying and collusion. I work daily with being more direct, honest, authentic, yet also kind.
I work with daring to tell the truth.
Truth telling takes enormous courage, awareness, and internal inquiry. I stay constantly vigilant to what is unconscious dishonesty in others, and projected untruthfulness in me. I surf the waves of hurt when I fall into the temptation of making others unconsciousness about me. When I tell myself the lie that it is about me.
I work with daring to tell the truth to myself about myself.
It isn’t easy. It is often embarrassing and even humiliating. I cannot let myself off the hook and remain in my own integrity.
And I am relentless.
So, the old game of “truth or dare” has become a profound spiritual practice. There really are no winners or losers. When I dare to tell the truth I always win. And the truth continues to set me free.