To truly understand the damage lying causes we have to look at the untold untruths we face as small children when we are developing and learning about life.
We tell our children lies right from the get go, in our mind, to protect them, make them happy, give them our own memories or to create them a life you never had but in reality any lie, for whatever reason, is dangerous and the wrong message.
Think about introducing your child to a character like Pepper Pig because it’s the in toy, everyone else loves him and his world of fun, the perfect friend to get to know and build a relationship with by making him real. Now think about giving your child a bacon sandwich to eat as you read them a story from the Pepper Pig collection and how this would make them feel, if they knew they were eating him. It would be impossible for a child to have empathy and love for something they played with, if they knew later they had to eat him for dinner. We don’t tell them lying in order to give them what we want for them and not what the truth they need to grow learn develop and progress.
This may not seem to be a big enough lie to do any damage long term because as we get older and find out Pepper Pig is the bacon sandwich, we have grown up a bit and something else has replaced the love we had for him and that is a love for the bacon sandwich more. We tell our children to never talk to, trust or accept gifts from strangers, yet once a year we bend the rules and sit them on the lap of a stranger, dressed as Father Christmas, a big lie in its self, and let them trust the nice stranger to get them what they want, if they are good.
We tell our children not to drink or smoke because it is bad for them, can kill them and is not acceptable behaviour until they are old enough yet whilst we are doing this, we are smoking and drinking ourselves, modelling bad behaviour, inevitably copied by the child who then lies about their behaviour repeating the cycle.
Understanding why we lie is the key to stopping the behaviour. These examples are the untold truths that have become the normal and part of the family tradition, passed down the generations, regardless of the fact they are not the truth and have no purpose when it comes to finding inner happiness later in life.
When you spend time with young children who are learning with no preconceived or tainted views about life, you are able to see real truth and spirit because it is optimistic with hope, just like a massive sponge soaking in everything around them as real. If we don’t teach young children skills and behaviours that are useful and truthful at the start of their lives, especially if our own childhood has left us with regret and misery, we will never give them the head start in life they need and deserve.
Teaching young children things you know for a fact are not the truth, for whatever motive, is lying not only to them but also to yourself, which proves we are capable of subconsciously conning ourselves in order to get what we want because in your conscience could you ever imagine holding them back from flourishing.
As we get older and our memories become the template for our children to learn from in order to develop personal success themselves, we have to make sure the memories are real and not seen through rose coloured eyes. Taking a true look at what we remember is not going to give us the whole truth, we have to be brave and remember the things we choose to forget because it’s easier that way, something we are all guilty of.
Telling the truth to ourselves is hard. We don’t always want to hear it because if we do, we have to do something about it, so we think it’s easier to just go along with it, just like everyone else but the truth is universal and something you can never really get away from, no matter how you spin it.
The hardest thing you have to face when you begin to really talk to yourself in truth, is the realization your whole life is a lie based on what you have been taught, copied or believed which in reality is why we end up miserable, depressed and stuck in a rut. The good news is, better to clear the slate now before it’s too late and a new start is always amazing, especially if happiness and personal success is the goal.
A life that is a lie, you are married, bored, having a secret affair with someone you say you love but cannot be with because you don’t want to be crucified financially by your wife or partner, who you also tell you love, is called having your cake and eating it and is never going to have a happy ending. Creating a second life in order to escape your real life, the life you created yourself, means you have made the wrong life choices and you are not brave enough to admit it to yourself, so you lie to yourself instead until it becomes your reality.
The reality being, you made the bed, you have to lay in it or you jump out of bed, tell yourself and those involved the truth, be fair, sorry and take all the blame, then really get to know yourself and what you desire alone before you ever commit yourself to sharing your life with someone else.
Writing a daily journal and listing every lie you tell each day, including the little white lies, is a really good way to monitor your behaviour and questioning why you told the lies in the first place, helps you understand yourself more which is very cathartic and cleansing. Monitoring how a lie can only produce more lies until everything you do becomes a lie, allows you to see it is complete madness and will never take you to the happiness you desire or deserve.
Photo by: Amel Majanovic Unsplash