By Peter Russo
The lie. There are so many. Who could keep up? The lie is an integral part of our lives. We are told lies from the very beginning of our lives. From most parents re-telling age old lies like Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, etc. to lies of omission (family secrets). This is just the beginning of all the lies that will be told to us.
As I have uncovered more and more lies that have been told to me, as I have aged, I can’t help but find myself building mistrust towards most people and organizations. It is socially acceptable to lie in matters that will hurt an others’ feelings. As a matter of fact, being brutally honest will get you few friends. I know this from personal experience. Most of my life, I feel, I have been chasing “truth”. When in fact I have been running from liars. Liars that pretend to be someone or something they are not. Liars that easily lie to others and themselves. Those that lie to themselves are the ones I have the most disdain and the most empathy for. I know that sounds counter intuitive. I am lying to myself as I write this. Making me the type of liar I have the most disdain for. Which, in turn, allows me to empathize with self-liars. What’s the lie I am telling myself right now? It’s the lie that I have to tell myself to write this. “I have something to say and people need to hear it.”
In my life I have told many lies to myself and others. Most of them insignificant. I have never lied about matters of the heart. Most of my lies to others were to avoid hurting their feelings. Some were definitely told from a place of shame and fear of judgement from the person being lied to.
I would like to think that I have surrounded myself with people who I can be brutally honest with and who can be brutally honest with me, with no fear of judgement from either. That has been difficult to attain. It is a feeling of relief though. Lying can be exhausting. Being honest with yourself at all times is a difficult endeavor, when we live in a world where lies are as common as colds.
I was told, as we all probably were told, “tell the truth”. This is inaccurate. Truth is based on perception. We all have slightly different “truths”. It is not LIE versus TRUTH, but rather LIE versus FACT or LIE versus HONEST. Holding on to a truth, that is not based in fact, is lying to yourself. Some call that faith. I have faith. Not in a higher power, but in myself. I have faith that I can live up to the words typed below. Or am I lying?
TO BE CONTINUED...