Porky pies, little white lies, fibs, call them what you will they are all distortions of the truth that we frequently use every day – to make us look better, to protect us in some way, to avoid being judged for our inadequacies, or to gain something for ourselves. Behind lies is egotism in one form or another and it all comes back to me, me, me – the ‘I’ at the center of the Universe.
Dishonesty, once embarked upon, has to be kept up and becomes more and more complex. As the saying goes “oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practise to deceive!” Sometimes we end up believing what started out as a straightforward lie. It is likely over time to lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness. If we are dishonest with ourselves and others it becomes very difficult to trust. If we cannot trust and we cannot confide we cannot have friendships and authentic love in our lives. A life without friendship and love is barren. The truth suffers, communication suffers and inevitably that means that we suffer and others suffer. It is not so much that the truth is hidden but that we are hiding from it.
Many people balk at the idea of emotional honesty for fear of its social consequences. They may say “but if I am honest with others, they will reject me and I will lose their love.” If others reject you because of your honesty, then you never had their love in the first place. What you risk losing by being honest is the ‘illusion’ of someone’s love.
Without truthfulness human communication breaks down and distrust and hostility take over. Truthfulness is, therefore essential to ourselves, to friendship as well as to the wider human society. Through truth and honesty we build lasting friendship, emotional warmth, and connection which is essential to our psychological well-being.
How To Stop Lying and Live More Authentically
- By being present in self-awareness and through observation you can come to see and understand the unconscious psychological defences you have been using to avoid unpleasant emotions and to protect yourself. Awareness alone brings a shift and some transformative behaviour. Start first with the lies you tell yourself that keep you living in denial.
- Take an honest self-appraisal to see when you lie, how much you are: (a) motivated by fear (b) by a desire to control people and eventsHow is this behaviour compromising the truth of who you are?
- (c) motivated by revenge (d) are you just trying to get your own way?
- The lie is set up to defend the idea of a fixed entity, a self-image or a concept or institution. Take time to examine the false-persona you have created for yourself and have bought into. If you don’t like who you are portraying yourself to be start to take small steps to change this. It takes a lot of energy to maintain this false-persona. It is as though we are always catching our tail.
- Make a commitment and set the intention to tell the truth at all times. Speaking the truth comes from a practise of truthfulness and deep honesty. It is based in compassion rooted in wisdom not just for the self but for others also. This honesty involves learning how to express openly to another person the fullness of your immediate inner experience.
- Make a conscious effort to resist the temptation to fall into old defensive patterns, and train yourself to act with new and different behaviour.
- Truthfulness and honesty begins with ourselves. If we are honest with ourselves and commit to speaking the truth at all times our energetic resonance will be clean and clear. When you speak your truth from a place of authenticity it is ‘as sharp as a knife’. Those who hear it might not like it at first because it shatters the paradigm of false-hood, but over time they will come to like it and respect you.
- If we have the intention for truth, honesty and transparency in ourselves then a world that reflects the same needs to be fostered. Have the courage to challenge others when they are being dishonest.
- The truth can taste strange at first, and it can be terrifying—but when you encounter it honestly and without psychological defences you will discover a courage that is deep-rooted and only grows over time.
- Often it is our low self-esteem and not knowing the essence of who we are that keeps us in unskilful exaggeration and lies. Take the time to cultivate the qualities of kindness, compassion, love, peace, courage, and generosity within you. When you live your life through these noble qualities you come from a fullness rather than a lack. You will be confident in who you are.
Truthful speech is essential to human life because it is a reflection of reality. To live out of harmony with reality is to cause suffering for oneself and others. In reality all human beings and indeed all life is interconnected and interdependent. Lying denies this because it is selfish by nature.
The energy of Truth is a powerful protection and it is an energy that sends waves of influence throughout the world.