I’m a big cheerleader of truth.
My kids know I would prefer them to come-clean and fess-up than have to deal with the wrath of a punishment that follows a well-spun tall tale.
I don’t do well with lies. It’s a trigger from the days of long ago when I was lied-to often, but unlike most of our triggers from the past, it’s a trigger I’m not actively trying to overcome.
Because while there is a popular saying in which we hear, “The truth hurts,” I completely disagree.
Lies are what hurts. It’s the truth, actually, that sets us free.
In the long-run.
Sure, sometimes it’s hard to hear the truth. I suppose that kind of hurt is the kind of hurt people mean when they say the truth hurts.
But nothing binds-up a person more than inauthenticity. Lies and charades are stronger than the thickest of chains and cut much deeper.
There was once upon a time when I was held captive by what others thought of me. I wanted everyone to like me. Apparently, I was trying-out for the Lifetime Miss Congeniality Award.
But somewhere along the way, I discovered there was no such contest and no such prize because NO ONE goes through life without meeting someone who doesn’t like who they are.
If you were around here on Friday, then you know I wrote about some things I’ve learned in the past 40 years in on honor of my big 4-0… Allow me to share number 37 again:
There will be people committed to misunderstanding you. They won’t like you just because you’re fill-in-the-blank. Let them. Move on. Don’t try to win them over just because you want everyone to like you. Instead, enjoy the people who do like you. But…pray for the ones who don’t like you. #biggestchallengeever
Here’s the thing . . . You could actually win the real Miss Congeniality prize in a real contest and STILL . . . you would likely meet someone who is committed to misunderstanding you and is just fine and actually happy to misunderstand you.
And here’s the other thing: if you’ve ever been like me and tried to win the Miss Congeniality prize of life and make everyone like you and even forfeit your own peace at times for this to happen, then you understand what I’m about to say.
Living like this is exhausting.
Those masks are thick. It takes real-effort to be inauthentic. Too much effort, in fact.
And I don’t know about you, but exhaustion for me is painful. It hurts when I’m exhausted because I’m not-so-nice when I’m exhausted and I lash-out at the people who I love the most. In essence, my choices to grasp the inauthentic have a direct relationship to the happiness of my own family.
So following the old path of those logic questions we answered back-in-the-day during math class . . .
Lies are exhausting. Exhaustion is painful. Therefore, lies are painful.
On the other hand, the truth is real. Real is a relief, a gentle sigh, and someone who says, “I thought I was the only one.” Therefore, the truth is a relief, a gentle sigh, and someone who says “I thought I was the only one.”
In other words, it isn’t the truth that hurts.
It’s the lies of “I’m fine.” Or the misleading response of “I don’t need anything. I’m OK.” Or the “No, I’ve never felt that way,” when you know darn good and well you have.
The real, the authentic, isn’t always without trouble. But it’s the peace in who you are that comes with living in the real that takes away the sting.
And it doesn’t hurt – it heals.
Is anyone else with me on this? Have you had experience in wanting everyone to like you?