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Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Telling Yourself the Truth

Asking the question whether you tell yourself the truth, implies that you may be lying to yourself. If you lie to yourself, the important thing is to know in which areas of your life you do so. Only then, by becoming aware of, recognizing, acknowledging, and taking on responsibility for these “lies”, can you in fact do something about them. It is also necessary to understand why they even became part of your life. Some of them may have formed part of the tapestry of your life for decades, some may be recent, and some may serve a protective function. Nevertheless, wherever, however, and for whatever reason you lie to yourself, in those areas of your life where you do it, the lies take away your power and energy.

Here are some examples, and you may notice that they overlap:

  • My emotional life is good
    • but you do not face the fact that your emotions play havoc with your life because you:
§  have poor boundaries with your partner
§  are being manipulated by your mother
§  are being energetically vampirized by your “best” friend
§  allow your colleague at work to take advantage of you
§  do not really have a connection to your own emotions because you always keep a “safe” distance from your partner emotionally, even if you are married and have two children
  • I am in charge of myself – I have a good grip on myself
    • but you do not face the fact that you allow your inner well-being to sink when outer circumstances are less than perfect, for example when:
  • I am able to speak clearly and openly with the important people in my life
Understand that where we hold on to something rigidly, in this case a belief that all is well, when it is not, in other words, it is a lie we are telling ourselves – consciously or sub-consciously - we need energy to keep that lie in place. We need energy and power to keep believing something – we might call it the status quo – in order to avoid leaving our comfort zone about this particular element or issue in our life and to change something about it.

Here are two examples taken from real life (names have been changed):

  1. John is a lawyer who takes on a case for Rachel who is a friend. Rachel begins to question John about some of the things he has been telling her about the case, and despite John’s plausible answers, Rachel starts digging, and comes back to John with proof that what he said is mistaken. Not that John lied, but that somehow he made a mistake. At this point – at least theoretically – John has the choice to own up to his mistake, or to continue in a belief about himself that is not wrong, i.e. that he made no mistake. Perhaps he even finds some obscure law to back up this belief and show it to Rachel. Rachel in fact wishes to continue believing in John – as a friend and as a professional, and so takes it as the truth, but the same thing occurs again – she finds something that indicates that what John has told her is at best a mistake, and at worst, an outright lie to cover up the first mistake. This time John loses his temper and shouts at Rachel, telling her she knows nothing about the law and that she should stop questioning him, because he is an expert in the field and has been doing this type of work for decades. Perhaps at this point it is no longer possible – or cost-effective - for Rachel to change lawyers and thus she and John are married to each other for the duration of the case. But not only is the friendship one of the fatalities of John not telling himself the truth, but he is also a fatality of it because he now has an even heavier load of non-truths about himself to continue telling himself and to continue holding in place. As I said, this takes away one’s power and energy. 
  1. One day Sheila tells Margaret that she never has anything positive to say about Sheila, and that therefore Sheila is no longer comfortable with Margaret. Sheila is essentially telling Margaret that she is reconsidering the friendship. Sheila gives Margaret numerous examples of occasions when this happened just as she says. Margaret offers rebuttal after rebuttal, and essentially defends herself by going on the offensive. Sheila then disappears from Margaret’s life, and Margaret continues to defend herself. Who is telling the truth? In all probability, Margaret may need to examine what her inner stories about herself to herself are because again, in order to keep them in place, in order to continue believing in them, she has an ever-growing burden of non-truths about herself to hold in place. This takes away one’s power and energy. 
So what can you do? This is not an easy one. If you don’t see it – in other words, if you don’t see the places in your life where you lie to yourself -  then all you will see is that you are the victim of circumstance, or that others judge you, or don’t understand you, etc. It will make you sad or angry or depressed. Those emotions may be your clue that something needs to be examined. If you did not feel that way, if you felt ok with whatever is going on, it might be indicative that you are in fact, not lying to yourself. But if you go on and on about it to anyone who will listen, to explain how right you are and how much the other/s is/are wronging you, then the probability that you are not telling yourself the truth about yourself escalates. If you then are willing to examine this objectively, you might get somewhere, and in so doing, get your power and energy back. This – as so much else I have written about in these articles over the last six years, will lead to inner peace and freedom, but it requires much courage.


Also visit my book website: www.gabriellakortsch.com where you may download excerpts or read quotations from any of my books. My new book Emotional Unavailability & Neediness: Two Sides of the Same Coin is now out globally on Amazon in print & Kindle. You can also obtain it (or any of my other books) via Barnes & Noble.

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