The past two weeks I could officially be called a liar.
This is not my modus operandi. I don’t go through life lying. In fact, I was trying to remember the last time I lied. I came up two examples. The first that I recall was when I was 5 or 6 and my mother bought me these god awful ugly looking mittens (to my recollection anyways) and when she asked me at the door, “Do you have your mittens on?” I shoved my hands down my front pockets and said confidently, “Yup.”
“Show me,” she replied.
Such a little white lie, but she was so disappointed in me. I didn’t understand, it was just mittens, big deal! She sat me down and explained it was the lie that was disappointing, the mittens were irrelevant. Her eyes said it all and I can still remember the empty hollow in my stomach.
Again in high school. I busted myself on that one. Called to say I’d be late, past curfew, I was at a friends house, watching movies, be home later, the whole nine yards. Instead got rip roaring drunk, showed up on the doorstep of my own home at 2 in the morning and RANG THE DOORBELL!
Majorly busted. And this the time the empty hollow in my stomach was due from excessive vomiting.
But barring that…I don’t remember any other lies. Not to say I haven’t…I’m sure there’s more than one ‘white lie’ or something of the sort, but nothing pre-meditated or purposely fabricated.
Until two weeks ago when I began lying to my best friend. He had lied to me in the beginning of our relationship and that never sat well with me. How could he lie outright to me, how could he hide things from me, or simply avoid topics to avoid the truth? I didn’t understand, but we worked through it and moved forward, avoiding little landmines as we did.
Imagine my surprise when the tables were turned and I began lying to him. It was easier than one would think, especially when justifying it as easily as I did, that he didn’t want to hear the truth – which is true…he didn’t. But instead of ripping the band-aid off in one painful tug, I decided that things would heal better if I kept the band aid on and pretended there was nothing underneath. He had a track record of not handling the truth cold-turkey style very well.
So I took it and ran with it. Figuring that given a little time I’d sort it all out and no one would be hurt, and I wouldn’t have to rip the band aid off. Maybe it would just slide off on its own.
Two weeks later I didn’t even know why I was doing it or remember what lies I had told. I discovered that lying, or at least lying convincingly, is a highly developed skill…and novices, beware – it gets messy FAST!
The worst was the realization that once that lie (or lies) is out there, there’s not taking it back. You can’t unspill the curdled milk. You’re stuck with it and the black spot you created on your integrity.
I’ve now come to realize that sometimes you don’t even realize you are lying, probably because the lie is more to yourself that someone else, and those are buggers to discover. The obvious ones are just that, obvious. You are aware you are doing and make a conscious choice in one direction or the other. Digging deep so that you can look yourself in the eye, takes more than straightforward honesty, it takes courage. Mine apparently was on hiatus and I am pleased to say its back from its mini-break and ready to set a forward course again, along with my forearm compass pointing towards my true north.