What’s the biggest lie you’ve told?
This post is in response to an exercise in Nancy Aronie’s book, Writing from the Heart, that asks you to write about a lie you’ve told.
One of the common lies we all tell is: ‘It wasn’t me.’ I’m sure, like me, you can come up with an example or two for that one.
My mother always claimed she could tell when I was lying when I was a boy. Something about me not being able to keep a ‘straight face’. Maybe she was lying. I know I got away with a few.
Recently, in my studies, I’ve become aware that one of the biggest lies we tell is made up of three little harmless words strung together: ‘I don’t know.’
I’m not talking about those words as an answer to a factual question like: ‘What is the capital of Uzbekistan?’
I’m talking about those words as the answer to a question that starts with words like: ‘How do you feel about…..?’ or ‘What do you think of…?’
What ‘I don’t know’ stands for is: ‘I don’t want to say.’
The truth is, we always know how we feel or what we think. If we are uncertain, we only have to allow ourselves a moment to tune in to ourselves to find out. Sometimes we say ‘I don’t know’ when we don’t want to voice an inconvenient truth. Other times we want to avoid or deny responsibility or we don’t want to upset our significant other.
When we use those words we are not being honest in our relationships or with ourselves.
Interestingly, the chapter in the book with this exercise is called: ‘To thine own self, write the bloody truth.’
The next time you’re tempted to say ‘I don’t know’ out of habit, catch yourself and take a moment to tune in. You might be surprised at the answer that comes into your awareness. I know I have been.
Another string of words we use unthinkingly that comes into the category of big lies is: ‘I love you.’
Not because we are not being honest but because we don’t know what those words mean.
I know that when I started using those words seriously, I thought I knew what I was saying but in reality I had no idea what they meant. Not even the guys who write the dictionaries know what the verb to love means – strong feelings of affection or sexual attraction. Really? Strong feelings of sexual attraction is also described as lust.
Loving is about giving of yourself freely with no stings attached. Love is about allowing life to unfold without becoming attached to particular outcomes. It’s not about ‘having and holding until death us do part.’ That’s called possessing, and maybe that’s why marriage is a contract or an agreement.
Loving is about being honest in relationships and not telling lies like: ‘I don’t know.’
Loving is being able to embrace and to let go.
Do you recognise these lies or am I the only one admitting to them?
Thanks for dropping by, Peter.