Just a white lie, no one needs to know, bending the truth, what they don’t know won’t hurt them. The excuses and rationalizations go on and on. Truth or Dare may be an entertaining parlor game, but Truth or Lie is a serious business. “What is the motivation of lie over truth?” Is it empowering or overpowering? Nourishing and loving or manipulative and destructive?
Case in point. My three children were incredulous when they discovered Santa was Mom and Dad. Not certain who first discovered this truth, but they quickly shared it among themselves and were angry. They confronted me as the harden criminal. Why would you lie about this? I’ll never do this to my children! I tried to explain it is a tradition actually based on a European legend, Saint Nicholas. (Is this a lie?) Nothing I said appeased them. The loss of the cherished belief of a rewarding and generous Santa Claus was a shock and someone had to pay. While I explained they had certainly benefitted over the years with lots of gifts and toys, in this moment the betrayal and the loss of their belief, aka lie, overshadowed any joy of past Christmas morning loot. An underlying distrust was established. What else is a lie and who can be trusted?
In our personal lives, communities, our nation, and the world, we are often confronted with lies. Sometimes I believe if given a choice we would chose a lie over the truth. Do we want to believe a world wide pandemic is threatening our livelihoods, health, and safety? Not really. However, denial is to stay unconscious and is the most dangerous of places. Reality is not a scripted television show. Reality means the state of how things really exist, not a fantasy or idealistic notion of them.
Our egos relish the status quo. We find comfort in our current level of consciousness and beliefs. However, there is a driving force within us that seeks more understanding, enlightenment, a truth on which we can depend. So try as we might to resist change, we are programed to continue to seek truth and understanding even when the consequence is no more Santa.
Our political leaders have lied. They do so to maintain power, sometimes to avoid panic, and occasionally because they themselves don’t know the truth. Our democracy and our individual souls desire truth. We are problem solvers, helpers, builders, innovators. While we may not enjoy the bad news, we have the ability to turn the proverbial lemon into lemonade if we can accept the truth of being handed a lemon.
We are becoming aware of many of the lies dividing our country. Like my children discovering the truth of Santa, not everyone becomes knowledgeable at the same moment. For many who have been cognizant of certain mistruths concerning our election, the pandemic, conspiracy theories, please remember lies have occurred on both sides of the political aisle and the family table. All in leadership must be held accountable. We must have compassion for ourselves, friends, and neighbors who are being confronted with the shattering of their beliefs. When individuals choose to believe a lie, there is a reason.
I am not saying accept violent acts or continued propagation of mistruth, far from it. Always maintain your personal boundaries. Just be aware of the process of denial, anger, and bargaining taking place when one’s fundamental beliefs are shattered. None of us like being made the fool. Acceptance of truth takes time.
I encourage you to read the fairy tale, The Emperor’s New Clothes. It asks the question, who is willing to speak the truth? In the tale, the naked Emperor and his ministers parade in the street never admitting there are no clothes. The lie allows them to keep their power and position although they are keenly aware of the farce. A young boy in the crowd is the first to speak the truth. “The emperor is naked,” he says. The crowd tries to silence him; but his dad says listen, he speaks the truth. The truth is always present. We need the courage and wisdom to accept the truth as it empowers us. Sacred text says, The truth will set you free.
To heal ourselves and our country, we must become aware of lies and seek truth. Voltaire stated, “Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.” Beware. Read and watch news from various sources. Your former English teachers required at least three various sources before arriving at a conclusion. We need to continue that advice. More importantly, we must take individual responsibility for the part we have played. As the church confessional says, “Forgive us for what we have done and left undone.” Complacency is not a solution.
Yes, we hold accountable those who would harm and seek power by propagating a lie. They must be stopped. We also must find forgiveness for the kid in all of us who wants to continue to believe in Santa, face the truth, and seek consciousness and common ground. Most importantly, we look within ourselves and find a way to move forward into a new consciousness where no brother or sister is less than or left behind. As a nation our strength is in our democratic process. As individuals our strength is in our ability to sort through the verbiage and find our truth. You will recognize it. Truth always contains love and compassion.
Peace be with you. Loyally, Sue