Lies We Tell Ourselves
A recent web article about broken trust got me thinking, really thinking. About lies. How often do we lie? Has lying become habitual? Do we even recognize when we are lying? Is it the frequency of lying that matters? Is it the size of the lie that counts (or doesn’t count)? Or have we so trivialized lying that none of it matters anymore? And if you think it doesn’t matter, how do you explain the uncomfortable feelings you get when you get caught in a lie?
What if we could immediately be aware when we are lying? Would you want that? Remember when you were a kid and you had to recant in confession how many times you lied? (Or maybe it’s just me that had to do that.) Perhaps you also remember a pile of shame that accompanied that. (Was that only me too?) Perhaps it’s understandable that you might not want to be aware of your lies! But what if you could be aware of lying the moment you do it and what if there was no shame attached to that, simply awareness? You could then move from the state of awareness to a state of doing (or not doing), but the choice would be yours. This state of awareness often referred to as “being the observer and the observed”.
My first experience of this state of awareness occurred one ordinary day in my kitchen when I caught myself in a lie. It was shortly after I’d had my first sessions of Reconnective Healing and The Reconnection. My grandsons were living with my husband and me at that time. The youngest one, age 6, was collecting seeds for school, part of an exercise in learning to count to 100. He had collected maybe 10 seeds from his breakfast oranges and these seeds were placed in small white saucer on the kitchen counter.
This particular morning, as I was making breakfast, I saw the white dish in the sink. I lifted it out and saw that it was filled with water and the seeds were floating on top. At that precise moment, with white dish in my hand like the fox caught in the hen house, my husband walked into the kitchen and said loudly, “Why did you throw those seeds in the sink?” Feeling unjustly accused, I immediately became angry and defensive (triggered) and said, “I didn’t throw the seeds in the sink! I just found it there.”
My husband then said something like, “Well, somebody put it in the sink and I know it wasn’t me.” More anger, more triggering. And I replied (shouted), “Well, I know it wasn’t me! So I wonder WHO it could have been.”
At that time, my husband and I had been married 37 years. After that long together, you get really good at having these circle arguments…they go round and round, as we push each other’s buttons, being the TRIGGER for the other. Triggers give us this opportunity to explore and expose Truth. But most of the time, we don’t recognize the opportunity as such, at least not in the heat of the moment! Instead, we have these circle arguments that never end and each one thinks “I’m right and you’re wrong.”
Well, about half way through this particular argument, I realized that I HAD been the one to put the saucer in the sink! I had a flashback of tidying up the kitchen the previous night before bed, wiping the counter and (unconsciously) putting the saucer in the sink! But now I had to defend my position of being right and I wouldn’t admit what I had done! I could easily have said, “Oh, wait, maybe I did put it in the sink.” The argument would have ended right there. It wasn’t even a big deal that the seeds got wet because they could be dried off and still used. And yet, I wouldn’t admit what I had done! I wouldn’t back down, even though at that point I knew I was wrong!
Shortly after my husband left the room, I was standing alone in my kitchen and experienced one of those moments where time stops…everything fell away and there was just stillness and a deep, profound silence. And then, out of that silence, I heard a voice say “You are SUCH A LIAR!”
And there it was…this naked truth. And I stood there repeating to myself “I am a liar….I. Am. A. Liar. I AM a liar. I am a LIAR.” Here was this opportunity being presented to see the truth about myself. And in that simple moment in my kitchen, I learned to embrace myself as a liar. No judgment, just acceptance.
These moments of awareness arrive in life and present opportunities to see the truth about ourselves, to love all aspects of ourselves. And then, we have a choice. How do we want to proceed? Is there a belief that needs to be examined? To be changed? Is there a pattern of behaviour? Do we want to continue behaving in that way? Is there a different way? Once aware of a pattern, we may choose to change our actions right away. Sometimes it takes time to change. We may need to have that awareness again and again before we are ready to change. Sometimes it’s simply about becoming aware of our feelings, giving them expression. We become the observer and the observed, the witness and the witnessed.
What started as an ordinary day in my kitchen became a profound moment in my life! Many times since, I have had words that speak into my awareness. ‘Hiding‘ was one that was heard often and only stopped when I recognized mypattern of behavior. A simple word would provide an opportunity for examination and provide potential for action. Self awareness by itself does not change you without your choice (intent) and your action.
If you are interested in increasing your self awareness as a means to continue your personal evolution, consider Reconnective Healing and The Reconnection, and open to your full potential.