What is a lie?

I have been learning so much, literally every day, about myself and the way in which I interact with those in the world around me. My work with the Handel Group has been life changing and transformative.

One of the biggest transformations has been in the area of my level of honesty, to myself and to those around me. As I have often stated here, I would pride myself on how honest and truthful I was with those in my life. As I have gotten honest with myself, I am admitting to how much I have told lies to myself, and to others, in my life.

Lies. What is a lie actually? At first, when I started to consider this, I thought that even when I have not admitted the truth, that wasn’t lying. I thought when I did not tell the truth to someone in my life, in the interest of preserving their feelings, that surely wasn’t a lie. And, if I didn’t tell someone that something they said or did bothered me, when it really did, that isn’t a lie, right?

WRONG.

I have used every means possible to not be truthful with many people in my life, in many areas of my life. I always had what I thought was a good excuse, a justification of why telling the truth was not the best route. However, on a very basic level, these were all untruths. All lies.

I have come to redefine for myself that it really doesn’t matter what the reasons are, or the degree to which I have withheld the truth. Withholding the truth, in any degree, and for any reason, is a LIE.

I know that this way of thinking, to this degree, is difficult for others to hear. It already has been in my life. I have stated this very thing several times, and it bothers those around me. It makes people, many people in my life at least, uncomfortable and edgy. The most common argument that I have heard to this way of thinking is, why bring up something that you lied about in the past? Why stir it back up, and bring hurt or upset to others? As long as we commit to no lying anymore, isn’t that okay? Along similar lines, why tell the truth if keeping the truth from someone saves their feelings?

I viewed lying in this very same way. I have compassion for those people that do not see it in the way that I do. However, I can no longer live my life in a way that allows lying to continue, or to be part of any relationship. For me to lie about anything, is to deny who I truly am to those that know me, or those that I have yet to meet. In addition, it adds such disrespect to my relationships, by not respecting that person enough to be truthful.

What is a lie to me? Any denial of the truth. It is that simple.

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4 thoughts on “What is a lie?

  1. For me there is truth and there is brutal honesty. And sometimes it is better to eschew the brutal part. It’s the balance of taking into account my mother’s oft spoken, “don’t say anything if you can’t say something nice,” telling a truth that might hurt and finding a way to be real and kind at the same time. I know you know the difference and I applaud you for this road you are on to find the way to truthful communications!

  2. Hello Tiny: I take the brutal away by using grace; telling my truth to someone, even if it has to do with that person, without hitting them over the head with it. Knowing my audience when I tell my truth. Being sensitive to where someone is at. It makes all of the difference; learning grace, for me, is key.

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