Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Self Deception....the Worst Lies of All

The quote about masks/truth I used on the last self portrait
spawned this portrait, with an actual mask.
My face is in pencil, with a digitally created mask, eye color, and
flower-hair, all attached to a painted background.


We swallow greedily any lie that flatters us,
but we sip only little by little
at a truth we find bitter.

~Denis Diderot

Let's talk about TRUTH, or rather lies.....specifically--- the lies we tell ourselves.....
been on my mind lately.
A lot.

It's been difficult, painful even, to think about; I can only imagine how difficult it will be to write about....to confront the lies, admit them, take responsibility for them.
Frightening as it is, it must be done. I'm convinced that I won't get better, my life won't get better until I own up to this foolishness.

Man has always sacrificed truth to his vanity,
comfort and advantage.
He lives... by make-believe.

~W. Somerset Maugham


I'm guessing that this will be a process, perhaps lengthy...a peeling of layers...
dropping all that is false, all that is not me

Truth, like gold, is to be obtained not by its growth,
but by washing away from it all that is not gold.

~Leo Tolstoy


Funny thing, the way this started...Suddenly I could see so clearly how others' self-deception kept them from achieving their goals and desires---stopping their addictions, losing weight, regaining health.
How could they not see it? How was it not clear to them if it was so clear to me??


REALLY---
*how could those fancy new shoes make them firmer if they didn't get up off their a** and out of that recliner in front of the tv??
*How could they possibly lose any weight if they continued to get up in the middle of the night and consume whole cartons of ice cream....not only was that poor nutrition, but it was feeding their addictions, filling that empty hole....

Hmmmm.....really.....Indeed.

If you cannot find the truth right where you are,
where else do you expect to find it?

~Dogen

And then one day it hit me smack in the face....
Who was I to jump up on my soapbox??
Who was I to point fingers???
How true that old adage....when you point a finger, remember there are three pointing right back at you.

The greatest enemy of any one of our truths
may be
the rest of our truths.

~William James


This day I am committing to ponder those things that I lie to myself about (and the truth is, if I'm lying to myself, then I'm lying to you too).
I know what some of them are off the top of my head; I'm just guessing that there are more lurking under the surface of those lies....even more layers to peel away.


We do not err because truth is difficult to see.
It is visible at a glance.
We err because this is more comfortable.
~Alexander Solzhenitsyn

*I know already that I lie to myself about my diet (big secret! extreme sarcasm)---
I do try to eat healthy foods, but I am not ever-vigilant.
In and of itself, that's not really an earth-shattering confession; how many of us are totally committed to a healthy diet? Truthfully, I mean.
The underlying problem is that I am a diabetic.
And I have severe food allergies.
And I have lupus, and fibromyalgia.
A healthy diet is crucial to my getting well and staying well. Period.

*Exercise---ouch!
SO many lies!
I'm in too much pain (really? REALLY?).
I don't have time (REALLY REALLY?? And what am I doing? Just sitting here, vegetating.....Truthfully, I got nothing BUT time!)
I live out in the boonies; my driveway is too rough...I might injure myself; I have no car today; I can't afford a class/group; I really am afraid I'll injure myself, again.
Ok, some of those are truths, but I feel certain that they could be worked around if I wanted to do so.

*I claim that I don't use my illnesses as an excuse.
The real truth is that I do sometimes. I don't want to; I don't mean to. But sometimes I do. Like when I'm afraid. Or when I have unresolved issues.

*Spirituality.
Oh Dear!
The very place where lies are the most inappropriate.
Lying to God???
I can't lie to God; God knows my heart!
How can I be an example to my family, or anyone else, if I'm lying to myself??


The truth will set you free,
but first it will make you miserable.

~attributed to James A. Garfield


Now that I've exposed myself to the world, confessed my sins, as it were, announced my deception, even though I'm guessing I'm not confessing anything that wasn't already known publicly, I'm feeling a need to retreat into myself again, take the time to mull these lies over in a lot more depth than anyone else would want me to share.

I know that I am not alone in this self-deception.
Will you share with me as you look into your own soul and start peeling back those layers?

1 comment:

Christine Claire Reed said...

Jennifer! This is really good stuff. You should be proud of yourself!

Noticing and admitting the lies is the first, GIANT step. Next, of course, is the WHY.

Why do we do it? What do the lies do for us? They do something or we wouldn't tell them...

I look forward to the unfolding journey.