there is a magic in truth, and honesty, and openness
eclipsing the truth
Everything I write on this blog, at least everything I have written recently is the brutal truth. I don’t hold anything back, to the best of my ability I tell you exactly what is in my heart. The post I wrote yesterday, Why I’m Still Alive, is a case in point. I could have dressed that story up, made myself look a little better, perhaps garnered more sympathy from you. But, why would I do that? If I am going to write anything at all about myself it has to be true, and not just part of the truth, but the entire truth. There are some caveats; I am not an Ernest Hemingway nor a Philip Roth, and the format I’m writing in is a blog, and a blog post needs to be fairly short and pithy. But over and above all that, this is me, and everything I write is coloured and edited by that simple fact.
Also, but only to a certain extent, I choose what to write about. Some of my posts I just know I have to write, and they flow onto the screen without any conscious thought, those posts arise fully formed from my deepest subconscious mind. Ergo, they have to be true, because I’m not even certain that the subconscious knows how to lie.
Why write this painful stuff at all?
Because it’s therapeutic, because I like to know what you think about me and the things I have revealed to you, because if I didn’t write this stuff it would go around and around in my mind like a rat on a wheel. It’s cathartic to write the brutal truth. If I lied, or told less than the truth, then you would know, and most likely you would respect me less. However, how easy it is for people to believe the lie.
How easy it is to make people believe a lie, and how hard it is to undo that work again. ~ Mark Twain
Most liars can’t remember all the lies they’ve told, and if they’re lying by omission what they have said and what they haven’t said. It’s easy to for me to remember the truth, but if I ever lied I’d have to keep referring back to old posts.
A liar should have a good memory. And a liar’s worst enemy is someone else with a good memory. ~ Quintilian
Some say that everybody lies all the time. And that a little white lie never hurt anyone. All I know is that all lies are toxic and destructive, especially lies of omission. Trust me, I will always tell you the absolute truth.
thou shalt not bear false witness
A liar will never be believed, even when she speaks the truth.
Everybody lies. Lies are the oil that lubricates the grinding wheels of interpersonal relationships. Most people don’t always want to be told the unvarnished truth, especially by their partner ~ for example being told that you look terrible hurts, even if it is the truth. In a 10-minute conversation the average American will tell two or three lies ~ basically people lie a lot.
There are different kinds of lies, some are small and immaterial, and some are huge, outrageous, and evil. However a lie is still a lie, even if it’s justified as a well-intentioned white lie, or it’s a lie of omission where we just don’t say anything at all about something important.
Some lies are actually criminal fraud. For example;
- lies about your qualifications and work experience on your CV
- Plagiarism, piracy, and passing-off
- creating false paperwork to obtain a loan, drivers licence, passport, etc.
- using false information to complete official forms, for example health insurance
It seems that many people are happy to live with lies like this, telling themselves that it’s just a clever way to beat the system. Do or say whatever you like, but if you go down this road your life will be a fake. And, at some point you may get into serious trouble. As an example, a contract of insurance is a contract uberrimae fidei, (of utmost good faith), if you don’t tell the whole truth on an insurance document the whole thing is null and void. Your insurance company can refuse your claims, and reclaim any past claims you have made.
If you do lie and cheat, just be ready for the consequences because eventually you will be caught out. Your fantastic house of cards will just fall apart. The thing about lying is that you can never know with certainty the risk of being discovered or the severity of the consequences. Lie in a relationship and you’ll probably get dumped. Lie in a marriage and you will probably get divorced.
Some say that there’s a fool born every minute. And that women make the best liars. All I know is that some truths are best left unsaid.
lovers often lie to each other
and to their husbands and wives
There Is A Sunlit Garden Just Ahead.
For almost as long as I can remember, and I can remember a long, long way back, I have felt odd, weird, strange, different, unhappy. I used to suffer from extreme mood swings, I had a morbid fear of abandonment, every relationship I’d ever had was dysfunctional, I would isolate myself for long periods, and I could do strange and ‘dangerous’ things on just a whim. Not to mention that I took to relieving the anxiety and stress I suffered from by self-medicating with too much booze.
In short, I had just about every symptom there is of a quite serious mental illness called Borderline Personality Disorder. Of course, I didn’t know I had BPD, well mostly you don’t, why would you? How can you self-diagnose BPD, when you haven’t even heard of it? Anyway, I thought perhaps I was bipolar ~ I wasn’t.
My awareness came because I want to see a counsellor about my alcohol problem. Over several months Sue got to know me quite well. She didn’t say that I had Borderline Personality Disorder, she mentioned a book to me, a book called I Hate You, Don’t Leave Me, which just about summed up the way I used to feel about every woman I’d ever had a relationship with.
I was prompted to take on-line tests for Borderline Personality Disorder to see if there was a real likelihood that I was suffering from this horrible psychological illness. Each and every time I came out at the red end of the scale. I fully accepted and embraced these results. This was the beginning of my recovery. When I knew and fully accepted what was wrong with me I could start to heal myself ~ with the help of others.
My problem probably started at birth, (many psychological problems seem to start at birth). I was small, premature, separated from my mother, and placed in an incubator for many days, (so I’m told). I never, ever bonded with mt mother. I did bond with my maternal grandmother, and never understood or got over her death when I was about four-and-three-quarters years old.
A major part of my recovery was recognising these early trauma. Eventually, I wrote a letter to myself, aged four-and-three-quarters, and that was a very traumatic and very healing process.
Being very honest and open with my counsellor, my doctor, and a trusted friend helped me enormously. My doctor even arranged for me to see a psychiatrist, a specialist in BPD. After three long and gruelling assessments this guy said that I had been suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder, but that I had mostly cured myself. Well, thanks very much for that vote of confidence. (A little English irony there.)
How did I manage this remarkable recovery?
- I fully accepted that I had a problem, and that it was most likely Borderline Personality Disorder.
- I fully accepted that booze wasn’t helping, and I stopped drinking, got sober, and became completely abstinent from alcohol.
- I fully embraced honesty in all my dealings, being determined to always tell the whole truth to myself and to others, (when I needed to tell others anything at all that is, which isn’t all the time).
- I did not take any mood altering drugs, neither prescription drugs nor street drugs. Obviously my doctors offered me everything, starting with Prozac.
- I got physically fit. (Mens sano in corpore sano. ~ Juvenal)
- I continued with formal counselling, from professional therapists, and with informal counselling from a trusted and knowledgeable friend.
- I embraced self-help techniques from getting lots of fresh air, to meditation, to reading appropriate inspirational books. (I did not use inspirational videos, or group therapy, and I never will.)
- I became completely willing to recover from the debilitating, life ruining, destructive symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder.
- I looked at my past in an honest, open, and dispassionate way. I learned from my past, but I did not go back there, and I didn’t let it hurt me again.
- I learned to to completely accept, understand, care for, cherish, and love other people ~ no matter what.
And things got better. My life got much better, my relationships with others improved. I was sleeping well. I felt fit, strong, and healthy in body, mind, and spirit. And I felt empty inside. I felt imprisoned in the dark and forbidding fortress of my own mind. All was not well, and even though a psychiatrist and professional counsellors were telling me that I had made a remarkable recovery, changing my whole life and attitudes around, I felt unfulfilled and empty inside.
It seems that what I needed was an awakening of spirit, an epiphany, an understanding of life’s ultimate questions as they applied to me. Then, and strangely, out of nowhere, I had a spiritual awakening. Suddenly I was filled with genuine self-belief and a vision of the future for me.
I will not tell you how it happened, or exactly what happened, or why I am now a completely different and much better man than I could ever have hoped to become. You need to find your own spiritual awakening, and I strongly believe that each man and woman’s connection with ultimate reality will be different, personal, powerful, special, and moving.
I can tell you that I now understand The Divine Mother, my place in the Cosmos, and how to completely love and accept other people.
Alcoholics Anonymous, and other proponents of 12 step recovery programmes probably have it right. The first step to recovery is fully accepting that you have a problem
Step 1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol ~ that our lives had become unmanageable. ~ Alcoholics Anonymous
I substituted ‘feelings’ for the word ‘alcohol’ because that was the problem making my life a complete Hell, and I had the first step on the long road to recovery.
I admitted I was powerless over my feelings ~ that my life had become unmanageable.
There is a road to recovery, and it begins with admitting we are ill.
these opinions are mine and mine alone
The truth is rarely pure and never simple. Oscar Wilde, The Importance of being Earnest
Should one always tell the truth? Do you always tell the truth to your partner? The whole truth, without hesitation, deviation or prevarication? Or, like most of the people on this planet are you sometimes guilty of little white lies, lies of omission, and outright bare-faced lies?
It isn’t the truth unless it’s the whole truth, and a secret is the next thing to an outright lie.
Some say that it’s easier to tell the truth to a complete stranger than it is to your partner. And, that what they don’t know can’t hurt them. All I know is that all lies are discovered eventually, and every discovered lie takes away trust. Doing things in the dark doesn’t hide them forever.
I’m not upset that you lied to me, I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche
Telling the truth isn’t easy. Telling the entire, and completely honest truth needs trust and commitment.
Never tell the truth to people who are not worthy of it. ~ Mark Twain
Telling the ‘Honest to God’ truth is akin to opening a Pandora’s box. One never knows what we are going to discover once the box is open. There may be things in your past that you would rather not admit to. There may be things in your past you think your partner would never understand. Whatever is in your past will come to light eventually, so why not be truthful? Yeah right, never in a million years.
My girl wants to know about me. She has asked to know my secrets and innermost thoughts. She wants to know what drives me, makes me tick, makes me who I am…
I can’t tell her any of that without telling her the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. This requires a huge leap of faith on both our parts. But, because this is something she really needs and wants from me I have to take that leap of faith without asking anything in return. Her trust and happiness will be reward enough.
Or, the things I may tell her could drive us apart. Yet I will tell her the truth, without hesitation, deviation or prevarication. They say confession is good for the soul. She will have my complete honesty. So, help me God.