Most of us attempt to be as honest as possible in our daily lives, yet there is a part of us that creates a need to withhold, distort, and manipulate information or even lie outright. While it may not be our intention to do so, the urge to hide the truth is so great that these patterns of deceit prevail.
We were taught at a young age to lie when we were taught to hide our feelings. One way we were taught to hide our feelings was through bribery, such as, “If you stop crying I will give you ____.” We may have also been taught to hide our feelings because it was safer to hold our feelings in than to reap the wrath of a parent; for example, “If you’re going to cry, I’ll give you something to cry about.” We may even have been nagged into hiding our feelings with a glance, glare or a sincere message such as, “Please stop crying.” Whatever way we were taught, the outcome is the same—lying about our true feelings.
As children, we may have benefited from lying about our feelings. The question now is, “How does this behavior help us today?” It helps by not allowing another person to really get to know us, or for us to truly know ourselves. It also allows us to remain in what is familiar; it does not require us to change. When we lie, we typically get some type of immediate reward, such as shifting the focus off ourselves. Many of us have learned to lie as a way to protect and defend ourselves. What we need to examine is how this behavior is helping or hindering us today.
Hiding our true feelings by lying keeps us stuck and trapped. Many of us feel and believe we are trapped and without options. When we commit to hiding our true feelings, we are unable to recognize all the options that we may actually have. In every situation there are at least three options, and usually there are more than three. When we hide our true feelings, we typically are able to see one or maybe two options. Without someone’s assistance, we very rarely are able to see three or more options. The lack of options helps create loneliness, and the trapped feelings leave us with no clear solutions.
While most of us desire to be open and honest with our feelings, we do not know how because we have been trained to do just the opposite. When we are ready to move forward, the opportunity is within us. When we just listen to what our bodies are trying to tell us, we can gain clarity on what we are truly feeling. When we connect with our true feelings, feel them, and express them in a straight healthy way, we get freedom. Our bodies also become more congruent with our words and actions. When we connect with the congruence, we develop integrity in this area of our life and no longer have a need to lie.