Have you ever asked yourself the question: Why do I lie about certain things? It's a simple question, but it's enough to make most of us squirm: answering it completely truthfully, even to oneself, even in the privacy of one's own head, can be pretty challenging. However, it can also be a totally positive, completely life-altering experience - figuring out why we lie, and then stopping the lies, changes everything for the better. The funny thing is that once you express your truth and make it totally visible, all the pent-up secretive energy you've been holding inside dissipates. This frees you to be who you really are. And what a relief! This might be hard to believe until you have experienced it for yourself. "Hey, I'm the captain of the football team, and I'm gay" might not exactly roll off the tongue too easily, but if its true, why not? Really, why not?
What better opportunity to transform your experience of life than the onset of the new millennium? Unless you plan on hanging out on Earth for another 1000 years, now is your chance for an exceptional new beginning!
As Y2K approaches, we are increasingly aware of the dissent and violence in our world. We often wonder how we will survive on both a domestic and a global level. Although it might seem a long road, the path to peace among people begins with creating peace within ourselves. This applies whether we're talking about families or nations, romantic relationships or local communities. Total honesty is absolutely necessary for true inner peace. And when we are honest with ourselves, we become able to be honest with whomever we come into contact.
Imagine the effect on the world if everyone were making an effort to attain inner peace! It feels like magic when you see it working, because we have become so accustomed to the way our world functions - or, rather, malfunctions - on rampant dishonesty.
So, what motivates us to lie? Fear. The answer is that simple. Fear can wear many masks, but it is still fundamentally fear. But what are we afraid of? Are we afraid of how other people might react to our truth? We all have had times, however brief, when we've been afraid to be different, outcast, separated from the collective. For example, think about the time you decided to come out to your friends and family. Did you worry about how they would react to your truth about your sexuality? What influenced the way you told them? What finally compelled you to tell them, and how long did you wait?
How often have we based what we have said and done (or not said and done) on someone else's reaction, or what we imagined their reaction would be, just because we were trying to "keep the peace"? Our focus in those cases was on keeping the other person "happy." But what about our own inner happiness and inner peace, our own inner truth?!
Many of us have long been convinced that the way to happiness exists in making those around us happy. We've believed that sacrificing our personal integrity is a justifiable act. We have lost track of the fact that, ultimately, being misleading or dishonest with ourselves for others' sake has nothing to do with a genuine "keeping of the peace" or authentic "happiness." Peace and happiness founded on the shifty ground of deceit are not real and can't last. It's like building a skyscraper in mud. As Neale Donald Walsch writes in his spiritual (and not necessarily religious) book, Conversations with God, "Betrayal of the self in order not to betray someone else is betrayal nonetheless; it's the highest form of betrayal." If you lie to yourself about what is or isn't okay for you, you wind up lying to others by default; and, by the same token, if you lie to others, you can't help but be lying to yourself. And sooner or later the effects of dishonesty rise to the surface as bubbles of resentment, jealousy, ill will, and even violence, as we observe every day in our world.
The degree to which we allow other people to influence our beliefs, is the degree to which we are owned by other people. This sounds harsh, and it is. The key to breaking this destructive pattern is to discover the fear behind the fear. A unique combination of fears has been programmed into each of us since childhood. It's time to break away from all that programming. As long as we allow others to influence our lives, is as long as we are held captive from our own dreams!
Ask yourself: why do we allow others to rent space in our minds? Why are we so reluctant to express who we really are? Clearly, all too often we alter our thinking processes and decisions in order to satisfy other people. Usually, we are afraid of what others might think or say about us: "Oh no, they'll think I'm weak/vain/ugly/silly/ungrateful." We are especially anxious about being labeled selfish. Yet, ironically, it's precisely focusing on the self which allows us the insight to be who we really are! We are so terrified of feeling a negative emotion, even briefly, that we constantly sacrifice our innate desire to be truthful. Often we hear our conscience speak, even scream to us, and we just ignore it. Sometimes we've been ignoring the little queen on our shoulder for so long that we can barely hear her at all!
So many of us spend lifetimes of energy in fear that the skeletons in our closet will be "found out". Yet if we pull the impressive array of skeletons out of the closet, we become able to spend our energy proactively instead of reactively. We regain our ability to proactively choose the life we always meant to lead, and we recapture the faith we had as children that anything is possible.
To recover complete autonomy over our own lives, and reclaim the potential to reach our greatest dreams, we must strive to deliberately choose honesty at all times. This means we need to work to stop telling even those little white lies we tell each other sometimes to candy-coat how we really feel. Even those contribute to the false sense of peace we talked about earlier. There are gentle, caring ways to be truthful. It might just take a little more effort to identify them, but it's so worth it. "Hey Mrs. Peterson, your son gives one hell of a blowjob," might not be so caring and gentle... But there's nothing stopping you from "Dad, that Jamie girl I've been seeing isn't a girl when she gets naked"!
Harry Palmer, author of the inspirational book Resurfacing, writes about the importance of honesty in this way: "We are each born with a spark of divinity. When this spark glows brightly we experience our best and noblest aspects. We cooperate and are real for each other...On the other hand, when the spark disappears we feel separation, and the egoistic and rapacious aspects of our nature appear. Custom and pretense replace realness in our relationships. Conflicts, quarrels, fear, and mistrust become commonplace" What determines if our spark of divinity glows brightly"? Honesty. Honesty is the measure of our willingness for others to know our actions, our thoughts, our feelings, and our intentions."
Dishonesty is a denial of responsibility...the responsibility we each owe to our self, to our own feelings, and to our own truth. Your truth is the answer to the question of who you really are. It is that significant. And who you really are is who you deliberately decide to be! This needs to be done entirely independent of anyone else's approval or expectations. If you do not follow your truth, you rob yourself of the remarkable choice to be who you really are. However, when you do follow a path of deciding who you are, something divine within you begins to awaken and grow. You grant yourself freedom from all the secrets that have bound something inside of you that is, in actuality, boundless. All of the fixed attention you once had on preserving your hidden truths is freed and allowed to flow. This now-free attention is the key to your liberation - or we could say enlightenment!
Dishonesty originates in those energies (feelings, intentions, thoughts, and actions) that we are reluctant to exhibit openly. Our reluctance doesn't necessarily have to originate in our belief that these energies are bad; ironically, we often are hesitant to express feelings, intentions, thoughts, and actions which we believe to be good, such as love. When we are not able to consciously integrate and acknowledge these energies within our own consciousness, we project them onto other beings. This happens because energy cannot be destroyed and can only be transformed. The secretive energy is pent-up inside of us, tormenting us, until it finds an outlet. Then it escapes and gets projected onto others in our environment. As a result, we make ourselves smaller than we really are and we force the others in our lives to assume the identities that we are denying in ourselves. They become who we really are (but are denying) outwardly expressed. They become the tricksters, cowards, liars, lovesick fools, martyrs, etc. that we can't admit in ourselves. All the while these people are acting out our secrets, our own innermost thoughts.
Yet it is just as simple to make the opposite choice - to choose to express the grandest version of the greatest vision we ever had about ourselves, we achieve this by being deliberately honest, inside and out. But...if it's so simple, why don't we do it more often?
What is the belief behind the belief, behind the belief that we find limiting us all the time? The greatest barrier to our enlightenment is our underlying fear that if we display our truest selves we are somehow inadequate. Fear saps our courage to be real with others about how we truly feel. As Harry Palmer writes in Living Deliberately, "Fear is a BELIEF in our inadequacy to deal with something. And that belief precedes any evidence of failure we have collected!
This inadequacy belief has been passed down for thousands of years. The root thought resides in the myth that the basic nature of humans is inherently evil. So, we resist any feelings inside of us that even vaguely resemble what we conceive of as evil" envy, grief, anger, fear, etc....despite the fact that they are natural emotions which we use as tools to craft our experience of life. Our belief in this myth, buried in our collective consciousness, has unfortunately led to abundant guilt for most of us. Society, too afraid to accept the truth of who we really are, condones and even encourages the lying that these feelings of guilt engender. We see it everywhere - in our court systems, governments, love relationships, work environments, etc. This is the vicious cycle we create and live in when the root thought is not serving our greater good.
How do we break the cycle? By changing the root thought creating this condition of lying, i.e., the root thought about our inadequacy, so that it does serve our greater good. The most rapid way to change a root thought is to reverse the thought, word, and deed process. Did your mama tell you to think before you act? Well, forget it!
The way to change a root thought is act before you think. "Do the deed that you want to have the new thought about, then say the words you want to have your new thought about. Do this often enough you will train the mind to think a new way," writes Neale Donald Walsch.
Yes, this is a form of mental manipulation. And just how did you think our minds came up with their current thoughts? The world has been manipulating our minds to think as we do for millennia. As Walsch puts it, "Wouldn't it be better for you to manipulate your mind, than for the world to? Would you not be better off to think the thoughts you want to think than those of others? Are you not better armed with creative thoughts than with reactive thoughts? Your mind is filled with reactive thought, thought that springs from the experience of others. Very few of your thoughts spring from self-produced data, much less self-produced preferences.
What the world needs is a paradigm shift from thinking to feeling.
This is the answer to how we can stop all the lying. The goal is to get out of our minds and get back to our senses. Thoughts are merely utterances, mental constructions, made-up creations in our minds. Feelings, on the other hand, are the real thing, the way our souls speak. And the soul speaks the truth; it does not and cannot lie.
The key is to ignore your previous experiences and stay in the present moment: "when you come to each moment cleanly, without a previous thought about it, you can create who you are, rather than reenact who you once were" When you create an experience based on your now truth rather than react to an experience based on a past truth, you produce a new you, writes Walsch.
Acting solely out of what is true for us accelerates our enlightenment. Sometimes we might leave some people feeling a little uncomfortable as they sift through their thoughts about us, but it's far less damaging to ruffle someone's feathers than to leave your soul feeling uncomfortable. How well we send out messages is more important than how they are received. We are not accountable for how well someone else accepts our truth, but we can take responsibility for how well we communicate it - as Walsch says, "not "how clearly, but how lovingly, how compassionately, how sensitively, how courageously and how completely. This leaves no room for half truths, the brutal truth or even the plain truth. It does mean the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth"
Stay in the present moment all the time. Be here now. You do not need any approval from any outside source. Know that you are the source of your happiness. Loving yourself for the feelings you have, and honoring your truth no matter where it might bring you, heightens your awareness in a very positive way. Releasing your feelings is a way to place them in front of you to see if they serve you or not. When we hold truths in, we make ourselves unable to examine or relinquish them. Often after expressing negative, ugly, violent and angry things, we realize that they do not hold such power over us as we had imagined. Conversely, when we express positive, beautiful, loving things we usually find ourselves experiencing a greater sense of peace and oneness with the world. Did you ever hear someone say, "I'm so glad to get that off my chest"? Well, that is exactly what you are doing when you let go of old outworn beliefs that no longer serve you, and rediscover the beliefs which do serve you.
"The fastest way to stop hiding out is to tell the truth to everyone all the time. Start telling the truth now and never stop. Begin by telling the truth to yourself about yourself. Then tell the truth to yourself about another. Then tell the truth about yourself to another. Then tell the truth about another to that other. And finally tell the truth to everyone about everything," Walsch explains. Prove to yourself that the act of speaking the truth speaks louder than your mere thoughts. The time is now!
"Honesty is a path that leads to happiness. Becoming honest is an act of self-renewal... The result of living honestly is feeling and sharing - compassion and empathy!" writes Palmer. If we wish for the world to change, we have to change the world within us. This takes a conscious effort on our parts, but the rewards are endless!
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