Lies And Other Not-So-Bright Ideas
I have often spoken of loss and in particular the loss of friends. When one is bipolar and without therapy or medication it’s easy to bring plenty of problems into play when it comes to friends and lovers, workmates and strangers alike. It’s easy because one cannot recognize the severity of one’s behavior nor the impending loss coming toward your relationships.
I for one was in such turmoil that it wouldn’t have made me happy to have friends no matter their involvement with me, no matter how much I thought of myself as a failure, no matter that they were individuals with problems of their own that I had nothing to do with and could not recognize at the time had I tried. Everyone, including me, was a liar. I wasn’t happy and it had nothing to do with them. That they were involved at all was just another lie I told myself.
One For Thinking, One For Logic, One For Feeling
Not that I like using bullets to make a point, but there it is: the death of thinking. When I lost the ability to think clearly I began what I call the Chain of Doom. First, I lost the ability to think with any clarity. Second, nothing made sense at all. Next, my invented feelings were completely out of control because I could not manage the first or second step with any capability.
How could I possibly have made sense of the world? I was hurt, I conveyed hopelessness to everyone around me and I didn’t understand the consequences of that. No wonder I thought everyone else had a problem. But it was only after some clarity returned that I knew I had lied to myself and it was my own problem.
Oh, Hell, Yes, Can I Get An Amen
Each and every single human that has ever lived — not to mention many other species that inhabit the animal kingdom — uses lies and deception to advance in life. When we lie it is because we believe it gives us an advantage, an escape from a situation, a ‘one-up’ on others.
There are many schools of thought about lies. For example, it is believed that it is impossible to lie to yourself and completely believe it. In this instance your brain registers the fact that you are telling a falsehood so you cannot ultimately experience your lie as fact or truth.
Pish posh. I know better. I lied to myself constantly and of course since I’m still human I still do that from time to time. And sometimes those lies are dangerous, insidious, demeaning. They are poison to my progress in therapy, glass strewn at the feet of my journey. But if you repeat the lies long enough, if you allow fear to guide those lies into becoming ‘truth’ to you, then you believe them. You learn to live around the confusion and pain that those lies produce because in all of human history, there has never been an instance where lies truly did benefit someone.
Let me discuss a difficult thing. Lying is something that friends should never do to each other, right? But friends lie to each other all the time. Lying is social lubricant. Lying smooths the path, pushes aside the brambles as you get along.
I lied. My friends lied. Everyone lies. And if they tell you they don’t, then they are.
What happens when you are laid bare and finally have to face those lies? Can your friendships and relationships stand up to the truth? Are you able to move forward and face truth together?
Chances are slim at best. It turns out that, for the most part, people don’t want to hear the truth; truth is inconvenient (thanks, Al). Truth means work and lies mean going downhill. No one likes truth because it hurts to hear it. It’s hard to bear it. It’s something that many people will go to any lengths to avoid. You can tell them truth as you see it and they’ll make up any story they like.
And that’s even worse when it’s you doing the lying.
So, Who Decides What You’re Worth?
I’ve listened to and believed so many lies that I came to think of a new nickname: The Dupe. How gullible I was, and how insincere and unkind I was to myself.
I wanted so much to believe what people told me. And they told me plenty; I love you, you’re special, you’re the best, you’re incredible, you’re important to me.
And what a load of crap that is. I believed that people were special. I still do. But what makes them special to me? What does it mean to have a real and true relationship that can stand the tests of time and truth, the years of love and the work it takes to sustain it, the extended hand to hang onto that relationship without judgment and rejection?
“It is one of the severest tests of friendship to tell your friend his faults. So to love a man that you cannot bear to see a stain upon him, and to speak painful truth through loving words, that is friendship.”
— Henry Ward Beecher
I have no idea. Every relationship, including my relationship with myself, has been built on a slippery slope at best. It’s hard for me to admit such things but if we’re looking for some truth it’s best to begin with yourself because you’re the only person you’re accountable to in the end. And I very much believe that I am worth being told the truth. That is the single most important thing I have come to believe: I am worth getting past others’ and my own lies. I deserve to tell myself the truth and I deserve truth from others, no matter how much pain it may inflict.
I believe that most people are intrinsically good and they lie because they want to avoid causing pain, but there are many that lie from the intent to harm whose goal in life seems to be to cause the most pain possible. It’s hard to know which is which. Just because people have lied in the past doesn’t mean they’re worthless bastards unless, of course, they really are worthless bastards. You have to make the call and then follow through with your choice whether or not to believe them.
I Believe We Have A Failure To Communicate
Whether or not we believe all the lies others tell us or the lies we construct for ourselves, the only thing that really brings things into any kind of perspective is communication without falsehood. Open and real interaction on a constant basis without guile, without judgment, without anger or misinterpretation. Most people think they’re doing a pretty good job of that.
I, however, do not. Not at all. If the past is any indicator then I failed spectacularly.
Until I began effective medication and years of therapy I believed I was doing a great job of communication. But it was a lie. I wasn’t communicating, I was dictating. I wasn’t sharing truth, I was trying to force others into what I thought were the right attitudes and behaviors. Now I understand how hard it is to tell yourself the truth, let alone share the truth with others.
What Goes Around Isn’t Always What Comes Around
Until everyone, including myself, is able to consider what their ‘truth’ really is and how to best communicate it, the ‘karmic equation’ isn’t balanced. We misinterpret and place conjecture over fact. We experience discomfort and lie to ease the pain. We make ourselves believe that we are always right, that we are impervious to others, that we are above the fray.
And that, my friends, is the biggest lie we could tell ourselves — that we are better than anyone else in any way. For if we really were better all this, this miscommunication, this deep-seated need to lie, the pain that we cause ourselves and others, all those things would be impossible. If we were better, we’d be helping to create balance in the world, not to encourage false belief.
Think This Is Just Some Fairy Tale?
Anyone can tell any kind of story they like. We’re human, we built our history on stories, on myth, on fairy tales.
But the way I see it is Lie And The World Lies With You. Seeing your own involvement in lying to those you love is a terrible thing to face. Understanding why others lie to you is disheartening because you have to ask: if you lie to yourself, why wouldn’t they lie to you? And they do. But that doesn’t mean that you should punish yourself or anyone else for handing over some pretty white lies. Big lies come with big consequences, and small lies come with big consequences, too.
I believe that lying is for manipulative small children that want penny candy, not for adults that want invaluable relationships. Gotta grow up.
You need to be committed to balancing the karmic equation and stop entering your stories into the Fractured Fairy Tales. That’s where the real story begins: sharing a truth. That’s the beginning of love, of friendship and true relationships that won’t be fairy tales.