Sitting with one of my dearest friends yesterday, we discovered we were both failing to live out of our authenticity. And as a result, we were restless, irritable, and discontented. We had both slipped into self-hatred, self-pity, and self-centered fear and couldn’t figure out why. Then, we told the TRUTH. We told on ourselves. We admitted to God and to each other what was really going on. There was no one to blame, we were creating the situations causing our grief. Both of us realized, when pursing a spiritual way of life, our tolerance for dishonesty will greatly diminish. The discord between the truth and a lie will send a surge of anxiety right into the middle of my belly. A cold strange feeling rest on my shoulders, a fracture between me and my Higher Power. In the middle of dishonesty, I can not anchor. My friend echoed these feelings.
While it would be easy to speak about the dishonesty I have encountered in others, to blame and point the finger at the ‘makers’ of my discomfort, that in and of itself would not be truthful. As I have heard so wisely spoken, “anytime I am disturbed, there is something wrong with me”. The honesty I crave, above all, is, honesty with myself. The real truth, the one that sets me free, has nothing to do with another person. This truth is about me, being true to myself.
Most of us along the way have run up against a lie, a lover that cheated, a friend who gossiped, a business partner who misappropriated funds. Whatever it is, those fractures in our relations with others aren’t nearly as painful as the fractures we create in ourselves. My friend Steve once told me, “when you awareness is out in front of you willingness you are in the most uncomfortable place spiritually”, you are not living in honesty with yourself. When I know that what I’m doing isn’t right for me, but I do it anyway, and then blame the other person for my pain, when I live that way, nothing good can come to me. I have put up road blocks to healing.
The way I lie to myself most often is ‘rationalization’. I will work my way in and out of a story, within my own spirit, trying so hard to make my heart believe the unacceptable is acceptable. Sometimes I sit in it for a while, just to see if I can arrest the truth out of what isn’t true at all. I try so hard to live in the fullness of a lie for fear that I may have to sit in the emptiness of the truth. However it isn’t empty, its spacious. In the truth I can breathe. I can rest. There is peace. Yes, I must surrender my addiction to excitement, chaos, and drama, which are really only diversions from facing the parts of me I don’t want to face. When I hear myself saying, “….if he would just do this…. then…..” or “if my job would just…. then I would….” I know I’m slipping into dishonesty. I’m going outside of myself to find serenity and truth. There is no truth for me, no freedom, no healing, no hope, in someone else doing something different from what they are doing. The truth for me, the honesty I crave, is within myself, therein lies the person I must be most truthful with. As Shakespeare said, “to thine own self be true”.
This morning in meditation and prayer, I confessed to my own heart what was really going on with me. Funny how, almost instantly, the behavior of other people ceased to matter.
sending you love wherever you are in the world