19 Sep Telling the Truth
Have you ever noticed yourself being afraid to tell the truth? Or have you noticed that what you just said was slightly exaggerated or slightly off from the real truth? That has happened to me.
Yet truth telling is the foundation of trust and intimacy.
With no forethought, I’ve heard words coming out of my mouth and knew immediately that they weren’t quite the truth. I’d wonder, “Why did I do that?”
Almost always I’d find myself trying to protect myself or someone else. Or, I’d find that I was trying to make sure someone liked or respected me. Then I’d feel off afterwards, somehow ashamed. I felt out of integrity, which is something I highly value, and I felt bad because I’d denied the other person the opportunity to know and act from the truth, not from my lie.
We’ve all heard the age old adage, “The truth will set you free.” It was only when I truly started exploring telling the truth that I actually got the power of that statement. Telling the truth lets me relax and allows me to feel at peace. It sets me free of worries, fears, and concerns.
And… I can rest assured that the response I’m getting from the other person… is at least based on the truth I told. Their response is NOT based on some facade I put up. Imagine the facade alternative for a moment… since you know the facade isn’t real, how can you trust that the other person’s reaction was real? There starts the downward spiral of distrust in relationships. It starts with you not being real… plain and simple.
Our relationship with honesty brings up a powerful question for couples and even singles. Couples, even if you’ve never discussed this, I invite you to look within yourself and discover how you feel about being fully honest. Then share your thoughts and feelings on the topic with your partner. Singles, as always, it’s critical for you to know what you truly desire in a relationship… before you get in one. Once I got clear how much I valued total honesty in relationship, I started discussing it by the second or third date. If the man I was dating wasn’t interested in open honesty and authenticity, even when it’s hard, then I wasn’t interested in a relationship with him.
The truth will set you free…
Here’s a hint, when you’ve made an agreement to be honest with each other… Don’t ask a question that don’t want to hear an honest answer to… including the question, “How do I look in this?” Listen women!
As you go within and explore your feelings and desires on this topic, notice how you’d feel if you made a commitment to be honest all the time. Does being honest make you afraid at times? When we imagine that our answer to a question may upset another person, many of us get uncomfortable about how to answer. Have you ever beat around the bush or been a little less than honest so you could attempt to preserve the peace or protect someone else’s feelings?
Unfortunately, our very attempt to remain connected and loving actually separates us.
We have to have to pull away, create separation and protective barriers – for ourselves or the other – in order to tell a lie, even a little one. Notice it… if you think about lying to someone, is your energy moving toward them or away from them? Is your heart fully open or more closed? Not only do we energetically separate ourselves, the relationship gets built on and decisions get made based on little white lies or sometimes big fat lies.
To top things off, lying is controlling and manipulating. We lie, as I did, to attempt to have a situation turn out “better.” Our lies, even when we believe we’re protecting someone, are actually attempts to control the situation.
I heard a speaker ask once during a talk on truth… “Who am I to decide what this person gets to experience? Who am I to deny this person a potential learning or growth opportunity?” Is it your right to decide what someone gets to hear or not hear, know or not know, experience or not experience? Do you want someone else deciding for you?
As a Facebook post recently said, “Hurt me with the truth, but never comfort me with a lie.”
Several years ago, a boyfriend broke up with me and I just couldn’t make sense of it. I knew something wasn’t working, yet so many things were working, that I was quite confused. I pressed him for the truth and he resisted. Yet when I asked him directly, “Please tell me the truth, even if you think I don’t want to hear it or think it will hurt me.” Cautiously he shared that he just wasn’t as attracted to me physically as he wanted to be. No, I didn’t really like hearing it, but honestly, it set me free. I didn’t have to wonder any more. I didn’t have any reason to “work” on it. I had no reason to pine over him or try to win him back. My body was my body and it didn’t work for him. (Women, here’s an opportunity to save yourself some grief in the future. Men tend to be attracted to certain body types. They have types that work for them and types that don’t. All kinds of men like all kinds of bodies. You simply want a man who loves your body type. You’ll be much happier, I promise…. but more on that another day.) By the way, he and I remain friends today and I have enormous respect for him.
“Hurt me with the truth, but never comfort me with a lie.” ~ Jim Carrey