I remember the first “conscious” lie I told–by conscious, I mean telling a lie that I fully understood was a lie, and simultaneously knowing that it was wrong to do so.
I was upstairs in my home at around the age of four or maybe five years old. My brother was having some kind of “play date” with a kid from his bowling league, and I had been given the task of entertaining his teammate’s younger brother in our home.
There was a spare bedroom where my mom kept a lot of boxes upstairs. (Sorry, mom, I’m giving away your secrets). Anyways, on the hardwood floor of the bedroom, there was a tiny hole/crack. When you peered through the hole, you could see down into the utility room, where my mom kept the washer and other random stuff.
For some weird reason, I spent hours peering through that damn crack in the floor. I felt a sense of power, spying on my family as they would do laundry. I have no freaking idea why I did this, but I remember making up stories in my head about what really was going on in the magical utility room while I was peering through this crack in the floor.
Now that we have established I’m a stalker, the story of the lie begins here.
I showed my new friend the secret crack I had found in the floor. He also expressed sheer fascination with the hole and wanted to stay right there, peering through it, waiting for someone to walk in the utility room.
After watching him peer through it for what seemed like an eternity, I was getting bored. Here he was, hogging my hole in the ground, and I was just standing there twiddling my thumbs. I wanted to go play outside or something. It wasn’t like the hole was big enough for us to both look through. This was no fun, waiting around while he dominated my secret stalker game.
Desperate to do something more interesting, I told him, “You know that utility room is haunted and a ghost will come after you if you keep looking though that hole in the floor!”
While he was fascinated with my ghost story, he was mostly worried. He agreed to go downstairs and do a different activity.
I immediately felt the thrill of telling a lie that “worked,” while also feeling deep worry at being found out. My moment of inner conflict was cut short, though, by my new, young friend loudly declaring to my mom, “She told me about the ghost!”
I impulsively interrupted him by saying, “No, no, no, that’s not what I said!”
We battled it out, as I was determined to stick to my new lie in order to cover the previous lie I had told. The adults stood by, observing with confused looks on their faces.
I don’t really remember what happened after that, except for that I felt embarrassed. My family was very religious, and telling the truth had been instilled as the “right thing” in my brain.
Now over the years, of course, I have told lies. Sometimes I have told lies for somewhat valid reasons, such as to protect my safety or just to be polite. Other times, I have told lies for selfish reasons, such as being ashamed of a mistake I made, and not wanting to own up to it.
However, I have always believed that sincerity, trust, and integrity are the foundations of any healthy relationship–even if it means you may hurt someone’s feelings at times. The older I get, the more I value these traits in others. Even if it means I may get my feelings hurt from time to time by someone being brutally honest. Here are some examples of brutal honesty:
“I feel _________ when you _________.”
“When ________________ happened, I felt ____________.”
It’s hard to make those “I feel” statements, but sometimes necessary.
About two years ago, I met a man on Match.com, and we started chatting. He was good looking, charming, seemed attentive, a good listener, etc.
“We just have so much in common! Like, OH MY GOSH!” I gushed with my friends.
We went on a date, everything was great. Chemistry was “off the charts” in my book.
As we were planning our second date, though, I began to look more thoroughly through his FB profile. He had sent me a FB friend request, and I wanted to know more about him. (Told you I was a stalker! 😉😁) Anyways, I discovered that another person had linked his profile to her page, and her page stated they were “in a relationship.”
I asked him about this, and the next thing you know, he had blocked me on social media.
I was so upset at the time. I called one of my male friends and told him what had happened.
“How could he have claimed we had this amazing connection, and he told me that I was everything he was looking for, and–”
“People lie,” my wise friend said.
And it’s so true that people lie–oh, the irony of the truth deeply imbedded in that statement. Almost all of my friends who have spent time dating have a story like this–a story of someone who wasn’t whom he or she professed to be, and when the pressure of maintaining the lie got to be too much–he or she vanished.
And let me tell you, there is beauty in that.
There is so much beauty in someone walking out of your life, that I can promise you to the moon and back that you will always look back on that experience with a grateful heart. Because seriously–being in a friendship or relationship with a liar is an awful thing, and the fact that you dodged it is a beautiful thing.
I’m not super religious, but I love me some T.D. Jakes, because that man tells it like it is!
When people walk away from you, let them walk. They are never tied to your destiny.
It’s about two minutes of incredibly real talk.
People lie. Let them walk.