It’s hard to be honest sometimes.
I remember when I was a little girl, and someone found candy wrappers in a strange place. My dad called his four older children into the room (of which I am the oldest), and asked us who stole the candy. I had the chance to lie and save my own skin, because I knew my parents would believe me. I could avoid the spanking or grounding, get away scot-free. It would have been so easy. All I had to do was tell him “I didn’t do it.”
We’ve all had similar experiences. Maybe it was a chance for a “little white lie”, an untruth to protect someone else. Maybe it was a denial to protect yourself. Or maybe it was simply a variation of the truth. Regardless, telling lies is just a little too easy sometimes.
But why is that? Why is it so easy to tell a lie over the truth?
There are so many possible answers to that question. The truth hurts, right? Truth is vulnerable. Truth is direct. It doesn’t beat around the bush or approach softly.
But what if those aren’t the real answers at all?
What if the truth of the truth is that we are simply used to lying?
Exaggeration. Misused wording. Intentional dramatics. We’ve all done it. We love to make people laugh, and we want our anecdotes to be meaningful in the moment. Personally, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. I do it myself all the time.
But it is possible to let that habit get out of hand.
I’ve done it. I found myself hiding behind fake smiles, pretending I was okay when I wasn’t. I spoke lies about myself, using self-detriment as humor to make people laugh. And through the pain in my life, trying to prevent myself from getting my hopes up and getting hurt, I even began to lie to myself. Soon enough, I believed those lies.
How can we avoid that? How can we stop ourselves from going down that path?
Lying is so easy. It’s too easy. Sometimes it seems like there is no way around it. But in the pain of my life, I couldn’t help but wonder: is there another way? Is there something I can do to change my circumstances?
Then one day, I came across a quote in the book The Fault in Our Stars.
“I’m in love with you, and I’m not in the business of denying myself the simple pleasure of saving true things. I’m in love with you, and I know that love is just a shout into the void, and that oblivion is inevitable, and that we’re all doomed and that there will come a day when all our labor has been returned to dust, and I know the sun will swallow the only earth we’ll ever have, and I am in love with you.”Augustus Waters, from The Fault in Our Stars
The Truth of It
What if it’s that simple?
Like Augustus said, why should we deny ourselves the simple pleasure of saying true things? Do you love your mom? Say so! Do you like anchovies on your pizza? Don’t be afraid to own your quirk! Maybe the best thing we can do to avoid easy lies is to simply tell the truth.
We’ve all made the habit of easy lies, so let’s make another habit: simple truths. If our fear of vulnerability is holding us back, let’s face it in this simple way. Later, when it really matters, we’ll have the courage to tell the simple truth.
Why don’t we make a habit of being honest? Tell me in the comments about a time when telling the truth made someone laugh with you!