I’ve been thinking a lot about lying lately, the tiny patterns of lying that go on in our daily lives all the time. Most of us have become so used to lying - to get a sick day, to not attend a friend or colleague’s event, or to not pay quite as much on your taxes this year (or get a bigger refund), that we think nothing of it.
When I go to Facebook, for example, I’m astounded by all the lying I see, and I may spend five or six minutes max on Facebook each day. I don’t have time to use it as an excuse to socialize (without ever really having to do it), and definitely don’t have time to sit around watching peopie lie to my face. How do I know this? I know the people doing the lying. How do I know they’re lying? They’ve told me something completely different on the phone, or confided something sad or dark in passing.
So why has the image of success become more interesting or important than actual success? How have we gotten here, where we’d rather lie than strive for a goal or achievement? While I can’t do much about what other people do, or decide to say or leave out, I can reframe like a mofo.
So I decided to work with lying today, or hiding the truth, or leaving things out so the truth was somehow obscured. As I sat in meditation, I called forth all the lies that were just around me in that moment. I saw a friend who was trying to paint a picture of online success while struggling with addiction, a woman carrying a fake Louis Vuitton bag at the post office (What is it with those bags? Literally no one thinks they’re real, people), and a basketball player trying to convince a ref that he hadn’t committed a foul when the replay showed it, obvious and real.
I let the feelings of the lies wash over me, and take form in my mind’s eye. Surprisingly, they felt much like fear — all closed down and blackly smoking. My chest closed when I felt them. I wanted them gone as soon as possible. I applied the “antidote” as soon as I could: a wide open sense of possibility, blue skies, natural scenes, purpose and a reopened chest to ease breathing. Whew. That’s a lot better. Successfully neutralized.
But when I came out of the meditation, I realized that I didn’t necessarily need to reframe the lying all around me. I needed to dare the truth to come forward in my own life. And when the next moment arose, and I had to tell someone an uncomfortable truth, I did it gently and mindfully, without drama or undue hurt.
One dare successfully down. A billion more to go.