“Oh, it was only a little white lie.”, “It wasn’t a lie, I just didn’t tell you about it.”, “I didn’t lie to you, I was trying to protect your feelings. After all sometimes the truth hurts.”
There seems to be a never ending list of excuses attached to a string of painful lies. The thing is, that’s all they are – excuses, hollow, empty, hurt filled excuses. Sometimes I guess lies are told with a good intention in mind but most of the time, in my opinion ALL of the time lies are told in an effort to hide something, as an “easy” way out.
The reality is at times the truth does hurt, it either hurts the person being told the truth or it hurts the person telling the truth. People do stupid things, and end up with painful consequences. Kids make poor choices and have to face parents & the punishment they have to enforce. Sometimes the dress does look bad, the glasses aren’t your style or your choice was the wrong one.
We are imperfect people, living in an even more imperfect world we’re bound to make mistakes and screw up. It’s those mistakes and screw ups that make lies look & feel like a golden road of freedom.
What they know can’t hurt them (or me), right?
What they don’t know WILL hurt them, and over time it’ll hurt you too, I promise.
I can’t handle being lied to. Other than being manipulated (lying’s first cousin) lying to me is the fastest way to lose me, or at the very least to lose my respect. Being lied to leaves me hurt, feeling vulnerable and extremely angry.
I do my best to tell the truth. There have been many times, I feel sick to my stomach because I’ve had to say the “thing” that nobody else wanted to and tell someone I love that I think they’re making a mistake. I’ll take mud on the face, have other’s dislike me and apologize because I’d rather tell the truth than lie about it.
Oh, don’t get me wrong. I’ve definitely told my fair share of lies and I’ve also faced their share of consequences. I’m not perfect (see: imperfect human above), I’m as faulted as anyone else, but I’m trying.
When I talk with the girls about lying I tell them that lying tells the other person you don’t trust them. It tells them that you don’t believe they love you enough to forgive them or that you aren’t strong enough to handle the truth. It tells them that you don’t respect them and that hurts, deeply.
The truth-telling is something I extend to our girls too. When a picture didn’t turn out how they wanted, I’ll tell them so. I do it gently, and find the redeeming qualities (there is ALWAYS something redeeming to be found) but I tell the truth. If it was supposed to be a fairy and they don’t think it looks like one, I agree but tell them it does look like an angel.
We talk about those moments and I remind them that the reason I tell the hard truth is so they can trust me completely. They know that if I’m willing to tell the gentle truth now, I will tell the truth later. Ultimately they will know that when I say “I Love you” that I mean it, from the deepest part of my soul because I promised, I’d always tell them the truth.
Lies don’t have a color, nor can they be weighed on scale of small or large. A lie, is a lie, is a lie and the pain that comes with it runs just as deep. Relationships are damaged and hearts, especially the heart of the person telling the lie begin to harden.
The lie doesn’t help the liar either, we all know it. It starts with that feeling in your stomach, the whisper in your mind and the guilt that follows you around. Even if nobody knows about it you do and its weight just never goes away.
So, what do you do? You’ve told the lie and now what?
If it’s at all possible, go and tell the truth. Trust the person you love enough to forgive you. The truth is something we can face, something we can work through, something that can be fix. A lie is a fictitious thing that can’t be touched, it can’t be seen and you can’t fix what isn’t real.
I know it’s scary, whether you’re telling the hard truth from the start or you’re having to face the lie and telling the truth now, it isn’t easy. Sometimes, those moments are of the hardest we’ll ever face but when they’re over, when the person you thought would hate you offers you the olive branch of forgiveness, you’ll feel better. The truth doesn’t just come with consequences, it also offers the lightness of freedom.
You no longer have to be afraid of the truth being found out or look for the shadow of a past mistake. Instead you can look forward into the beauty of a clean slate, and make better choices as you move forward.
**We have recently felt the deep sting of being lied by someone(s) we love very much in our home. The result of that has left me feeling seriously hurt and in desperate need of a vent. Rather than spill the messy details of a private matter, I’ve decided to address the bigger issue – lies and the damage they cause.
How do YOU feel about lies? Have you felt the deep pain of being deceived by someone you love?