I was unaware of how willing I was to believe a lie until that one day.
We all lie, and it’s often pretty innocent.
You must clean your apartment right now instead of doing your homework.
But how about these.
My wife deserves to be yelled at because she forgot to pick up my dry cleaning that I desperately need for the important presentation.
My boyfriend left me because he is a jerk, who deserved to be nagged.
I love my job and worked hard at it, and the boss said I was lazy to cover her ass.
I am confident and have healthy self-esteem.
Should anyone trying to tell us we are in denial, we fight, defend, deflect, and attack with such intensity and desperation. And we justify,This shows she wasn’t a true friend if she abandons me for just a little outburst. Will Smith said so.
And we believe it.
Our willingness to believe those lies is the manifestation of our willingness to trade connection for a pain-free world.
It was quite pronounced in my life.
My childhood was dominated by constant physical and psychological pain and torment, and the objective of my day was always to secure a safe spot and hide – physically or emotionally. I couldn’t wait to grow up. I didn’t think about a career. I didn’t think about a white picket fence. I didn’t think about what adventures my life would hold. My life’s goal was freedom from hurt.
I grew up and moved out, and the first few years were great. I started crafting a safe world around myself, and I discovered that I had a true gift.
They didn’t put me on the soccer team roster even though I’m talented because they’re cliquey.
It’s not that she is avoiding me. I don’t want to hang out with her because what she is a b!tch.
I almost failed biochem because I don’t need the grade.
The person who got hired for the job over me must have known those people.
My boyfriend cheated on me three months ago, and he deserved to be yelled at. I’m still angry at him, and he brought it upon himself.
Only after a few years, I hit the point where the discrepancies between the reality and the illusion were causing me to float over life. There was no way to connect to any of the life’s important moments. By crafting this safe world, I artificially create two worlds – reality and illusion. Because only in illusion a completely pain-free world exists. I was living in this pain-free world, and I was starting to really hurt.
My fiance left, shaking his head. My physical body was flooded with rage, sadness, or, ironically, hurt. Before, I hurt because I was being tormented. Now, I’m constantly hurting because I’m living in this pain-free world. I was unproductive at work, and counter-productive to developing friendships.
At this point, I had an opportunity to say “Oh oops. This didn’t work” and start living in reality. But that’s not what I did. Instead, I said “Well, he left because we is promiscuous. He cheated on me once, didn’t he!?” I just honed my lying skills, demonstrating that I not only had to hit the rock bottom but also had to smash my head against the rock bottom several times.
During those years, I met some other skilled liars. Sad, hurt, angry. Saying “i’m so happy!” and everyone else is thinking “You are so not, but I’m not going to tell you for fear of being berated by you for it.” Saying “I don’t care what others think!” only to demonstrate that they do because they say that too often. Nothing is their fault. Everything is someone else’s fault. Their today looks the same as their yesterday, and their tomorrow sure looks the same as today.
I am one of them.
Finally, eventually, that fear got big enough that I decided to make a change.
Well, I was still stuck there for a few more years. I am such a skilled liar that I lied to myself to conceal the fact I was still lying. This caused me to realize I had to do this black and white.
This is where I can be the biggest help to you. I can be a horrible example you’d be desperate not to repeat. I was 18 when I moved out. I made the first commitment when I was 30. I was 33 when I made the full commitment. I’m 42 today, and I’m still working on it. That’s 15 years of my life wasted and 24 years still trying to catch up to everyone else.
Anyway, back on topic. My commitments were:
– My friends are always right. They might give me criticism. They might avert their gaze. They might roll their eyes. They are always right.
– Accepting they’re right means I acknowledge what I’m doing, choose a different path, and then forgive myself.
Making it black and white was the only way I could make myself realize how often I lie to myself. How often I tried to lead myself away from personal growth and happiness.
I am proud to report that I kept with this commitment, and it changed my life.
I don’t need people. Instead, I appreciate people.
I am very comfortable being vulnerable.
I can connect with people and events and moments.
I have no secrets.
My identity is not wrapped around an adjective (“nice”) or a noun (“scientist”).
I am not thrown by anger, sadness, hurt, or shame.
I can handle fear.
I’m happy and joyful.
I still have a long way to become fully effective and constructive for my life, setting other goals in my life than just being safe. Try not to get sucked into the world of being fake when I’m around inauthentic people. Not justifying “staying home with my dog because it’s pain-free” as being “introverted.”
But I’m on the right path.