Article by Geetee
I used to fight for my lies. When I was a teenager, my parents confronted me with having stolen money from a friend. I denied everything and was ready to argue, fight and prove that I was right.
I knew I was lying but I still kept insisting. This is how invested I used to be in denying reality.
During my training as a student at the Humaniversity, I received feedback pointing me to the same thing, not being honest and authentic. I was told: “Look at what is really going on with you, you are not taking responsibility. You are behaving like a child.” I felt that there was truth in it, but I did not have the courage to open up, face the deeper layers of my emotions, and learn to say what was really going on with me.
After years of hearing the same feedback from many different people, I was really fed up with myself. I decided it was enough.During a workshop I was assisting, I decided to stand in front of the group and make a commitment to myself and everyone:
“As of this moment I am going to be totally honest and take full responsibility for myself!”
What happened next was amazing. My whole body started shaking and my mind was screaming: ‘No, don’t say it! If you say it, you must follow it up! If you expose the lying, you can’t hide and manipulate anymore.’ Despite my mind freaking out, I said it out loud anyway. I felt naked and exposed. But at the same time there was also relief and a sense of coming home. I did not have to keep up an image anymore.
Now I had to start relating with myself in a different way. It was like having to learn a new language. I wanted to be able to look into in the mirror and answer these questions honestly: ‘What do I see?’, ‘How does that make me feel?’ and ‘Do I feel comfortable?’
Manipulating my thoughts and myself to present a good image had felt more natural to me than being completely truthful.
The first challenge was to identify the lies and half-truths. Because when I start telling my first little lie, I must then tell another lie to cover up the first lie, and yet another to cover up the lie that covers up the lie, and I end up feeling squashed by the weight of keeping up the lies and trying to convince everyone, including myself, of being someone that I am not.At some point, I would lose track of my lies and would walk around in panic of being busted and exposed. I was afraid that the house of cards I built might be challenged and collapse.
And then everyone around me would see that underneath I felt vulnerable and bad about myself.
The way I changed my pattern was by starting to catch myself when saying or doing something that was not authentic. Sometimes I managed to do this shortly after it happened, and sometimes it took a day or a week for me to become aware of it.Once I realized it, I had to gather my courage, go back to the person or people involved, apologize and say: ‘Hey, what I said to you two hours ago was not correct. The truth is this…’
I often pretended to be OK when I actually felt vulnerable or desperate. I would come across as arrogant or dismissive towards people, while I actually liked them. I was too shy to express how I really felt. When I wanted someone’s attention, I would say things like: ‘You look funny today’.
I had to learn to forgive myself for these things and let go of needing to be perfect.
I practiced saying the truth: ’You are beautiful. I really like you’. Because this was how I felt inside and I knew I had to say it.
I used to believe that if I would be authentic, something bad would happen. People would reject me and I would end up by myself, all alone. I realised that it was simply not true. The response I got from others was generally positive. Sometimes people did not like what I said but they respected me for being honest. As a result, I started to respect myself more. That was a new experience for me. Having self-respect felt good!
I became more patient with myself. At times, I found it uncomfortable to meet myself in the mirror: ‘You are still lying’, my eyes said. I had to learn to stay open and accept myself in this situation. ‘I know. I keep practicing’, I answered.
A shift like this does not happen overnight. It took several years of practice to straighten myself out.Today it is very simple. I ask myself: ‘Do I feel good or do I not feel good inside?’ If I do not feel good, the next question is: ‘What is this about?’ Besides cleaning up my actions, I also found there is always a negative belief underneath not feeling good, like: ´You are not good enough, you are too much this or not enough that’ and so on. Usually, I learned these beliefs in my past and they are not reflecting who I am and how I feel about myself today.
Today, when I feel my heart, I know: I am lovable. I accept that I am a good person with a good heart and positive intentions. I am not perfect, it’s ok to make mistakes and I have the ability to learn from them.
I realized that in order to create change I need to start from a positive place and accept what is right now. Right now it is unpleasant and I feel uncomfortable and that is ok. Only then can I start looking at what it is that I need and how I can meet my needs.
I still practice this almost every day. In the morning while shaving, I look into the mirror. I notice myself becoming older and recognize little red blotches on my skin. However, when I look into my eyes, I see: ‘I’m ok. I’m clear with myself’. That is a fantastic feeling.
If this resonates with you, I can really recommend it. First, check out who you want to be. What are the qualities you would like to make yours? Then, start practicing them while being very patient with yourself.
Know that when you are honest and authentic and look into your eyes in the mirror, you will feel a positive resonance coming from your heart.
This text was recorded in In an Irish Coffee Hour during Bliss Beyond Fear 23/10/21 by Geetee