It is human nature to lie to yourself and almost everyone does it.
People lie for various reasons. Oblivious to what comes from telling the truth to yourself, some lie to protect themselves, or as a defense mechanism (rationalization).
Still others lie without even thinking. Most people lie to themselves because it’s easier to judge other people’s faults than their own.
So, people lying to themselves seems to be widespread and acceptable in our society. What comes from telling the truth to yourself then?
Starting from the premise that truthfulness means that your thoughts and reality are the same, would mean that lying is contrary to reality.
We all want to believe that our thoughts are accurate reflections of reality. But that isn’t always the case and oftentimes we’re at least somewhat aware that we’re not accurately observing reality.
Surprisingly enough, people fundamentally believe that they are truthful. Do you believe that you’re truthful?
You have several reactionary possibilities when contending with your own thoughts. You can either lie to yourself, rationalize, or tell the truth (the whole unvarnished truth) to yourself.
Here’s an easy example of lying to yourself. Imagine that your partner was intently listening to an attractive person at a dinner you went to as a couple. Now, tell yourself their behavior was absolutely fine with you.
Really? You were fine with it? Think about it… Chances are that you’re lying to yourself!
What comes from telling the truth to yourself?
You probably just admitted to yourself that your feelings are hurt when your partner pays more attention to another person rather than to you. That’s a legitimate feeling when in a relationship.
Another way you may be regularly lying to yourself is through rationalization. Rationalization is a defense mechanism in which controversial behaviors or feelings are justified and explained in a seemingly rational or logical manner to avoid the true explanation.
We rationalize our thoughts based on such things as personal biases, fear, or even upbringing. “What my son did is not half as bad as what yours did!” is a form of rationalization.
How many times have you told yourself that you’re going to the gym tomorrow? Do you really intend to? It’s fine if you don’t, all you’re doing is making little bargains or excuses with your own conscience, right?
If you truly want to know what comes from telling the truth to yourself, be ready to work at it!
Take stock of yourself.
Think about the way you react to situations.
Be ready to change! Change is the most important way to begin telling the truth to yourself.
Look at your naked mind as you would look at your naked body. Where did those lies come from? Why is it difficult for you to accept the truth about situations?
For example, if you’re in an abusive relationship, look at why you stayed so long. Was it because you were afraid of being alone, for financial reasons, or fear that your partner would find someone new?
Was your decision good for you (and your children)? You know the answer to that. One very important thing that comes from telling the truth to yourself is accepting responsibility.
As a mature adult, you can take responsibility for yourself and, if you have children, you are capable of being responsible for your children.
Are you sometimes allowed to take a step back from the truth and not want to be responsible? Of course!
As another example, people going through divorce often wonder how they can start over again. They will often say, “It’s too difficult, I just can’t do it!”
It‘s normal to want to go back to your previous life and forget what made you want to leave it. In your loneliness, you might even consider the possibility of getting back together with your partner.
What comes of telling the truth to yourself in this situation is that in assessing the situation honestly, you will realize that although it is difficult, moving forward is the only option.
Being honest requires deliberate effort on a daily basis and tolerating some potentially painful realizations.
However, it’s actually less painful than lying to yourself because when you lie you must hide from at least a small part of yourself. The part that knows you’re lying.
The most important thing that comes from telling the truth to yourself is incredibly rewarding.
Knowing that even in your deepest thoughts, you are truly the honest person you always wanted to be is the most important of all.
If you’d like personalized support as you learn what comes from telling the truth to yourself, reach out to me. I’m here to serve you.