What’s the difference between a “little white” lie and a “blatant” lie? They both mean that we’ve bent the truth.
How many times a day do you lie? I know this is a harsh question, but I asked it anyway. Do you lie to yourself about your relationship? your work? your opportunity? your health? When a co-worker or friend or family member asks, “How are you?” and of course the normal answer is: “I’m fine.” But you’re not really fine. Same: “How are things going?” “Fabulous, thankyou.” Ha!
Some people we ask, “How are you, ” may go into a long and drawn out litany of their cares and woes. Whoops, shouldn’t have asked them! But most of us are robotic in our response and we keep going. I know that each of you reading this is going through something personal right now. It could be your relationship, your health, your family, your job, your job hunting, your bank account balance…the list goes on. But we keep these pieces of information mostly to ourselves.
I’m amazed at the number of stories I read about a spouse’s death and the widow/er saying, “I had no idea s/he was … or had…. or didn’t have….” What keeps us from being vulnerable? What keeps our secrets, secret? What are we scared of? To think that these people lived together for years, too.
A dear friend just sent me an e-mail apologizing for bitching about her finances. She wanted me to know that she’s actually solvent and making a few adjustments in her life to help her bottom line. I applaud her for her honesty and for what she’s doing in her life. It’s a foggy market out there and she’s seeing through it, hoping for clearer skies. Aren’t we all? I’m glad that we can share our worries; friendships are a gift.
When I run into people I know, or just chatting on the phone with friends and fellow speakers, I’d love to be able to be truthful about my business – or lack there of – but I don’t want them to think: 1. I’m whining, 2. I’m pathetic, 3. I’m still in the same place I was six or twelve months ago, even though it’s true. My business is off by 60 percent. As a sole proprietor I’m destined to be at the mercy of other companies’ budgets, and right now, their budgets crossed out a few “non-essentials”: training, public relations, marketing, etc. Well, training’s my area. That line item for ’09 is gone, and I hoping that it’s back in play for 2010!
I remember hearing someone say that “fine” was an acronym for “feelings inside not expressed.” Wow. Are we a society of tight-lipped, keep-to-ourselves, scared and/or shallow people who won’t open up even to our intimate circle of influence? The drug and alcohol companies are thriving in the 21st century. We escape our woes and worries with a pill here and a drink there. Sad, but most likely true. We’d probably prefer to talk to and share with strangers than with our friends and family; keep it safe.
I went to see the movie, “Fame” this afternoon. Some of the scenes reeked emotional havoc on me, because actors need to really let “it all hang out,” during some of their classes. It’s a tough profession and a huge mirror into your soul. The students are asked about their past and what makes them the way they are. I started to ask myself the same questions: I don’t have the answers right now, sorry.
I get tired of the lies I may or may not tell about how I’m doing, and yet, I’m tired of lying to myself about what I’m worth; what my talent and gifts are worth. I guess, I just don’t know. Facing our fears, facing our truths is tough, but we will survive and we will understand that the “troubles” build character. (I really hate that, but I presume it’s true.”) I tell friends that for every, it-builds- character situation I find myself in, I would become rich if I could sell all that character on e-bay!
The next time someone of significance asks you how you’re doing and you’re really not doing well and need a friend, let him/her know. It’s a blessing and a gift to be needed. Humor, friends, exercise, dreams and asking for help are all part of living and what we need. Nurture your soul.