Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Why do we lie?

My thanks to Mark for his thoughts on this idea

We lie to proctect ourself.
We lie to justify our beliefs.
We lie to protect others.

 When we lack faith in ourselves, we lie to project who we want to be. We think that this proves to ourselves that we are a good person. The truth is that we then believe in a lie and that reinforces our lack of faith in ourselves.

So many hidden lies are inside us. We bend the truth or exaggerate a story to get our point of view across. Or we leave out information that reinforces a view that we disbelieve in. Sometimes we have a strong view on a subject but then manipulate our view to suit our own needs.

Say we see a documentary on how badly chickens are treated. Mass-produced, fed on hormones, cramped in cages, mistreated etc. etc... The documentary affects us and we are disgusted at how bad life is for the chicken. Next time we are at the shops we go to buy eggs and we remember the documentary so we look for the carton that displays, “free roaming chickens laid these eggs.” These eggs a bit more expensive,  but worth it to us because we believe we are doing the right thing. Then we go to the butcher and there is chicken in the window with nothing to say where it’s from or how it lived but curried chicken is the spouses favourite dish and it’s their birthday. We end up buying the chicken. We justify it by convincing ourselves that we have done our bit for the better lifestyle of the chicken because we bought the more expensive eggs in the carton that displays a picture of a happy smiling chicken.

That is one example of how we lie to ourselves. We have a perception of how we want the world to see us but when that very perception does not suit us, we invent a lie to make ourselves believe that we are a good person. The core fact is that we eat those very chickens.

 We lie because we are afraid of the consequence of our actions. If we do something wrong we do not want to admit it. There is the fear that people will think badly of us. Deep down we think this because we think badly of ourselves. We are guilty and ashamed that we are not the person we want to be. When we lie we are reinforcing this guilt and become even more ashamed of ourselves but a lot of the time we supress this guilt and rely on our ego to be our spokesperson. We see someone in the shop buying the cheap eggs and we shake our head at them in disgust to enhance the fact that we are a better person than they are, to invigorate our ego. When we run people down it has nothing to do with them it is about us. We are seeing our flaws in them and we don’t like what we see so to make ourselves feel good, better, wiser and so on... We knock them. We are lying to ourselves.

Lies do have their place. If a mad man with a gun asks you which direction did your brother just run off in, you are going to lie. That is not a damaging lie and you will not feel any guilt at all.

It is when you lie to yourself that damage occurs to you. The manifestation of guilt and deception turns to feelings of worthlessness and issues of low self-esteem.

It is hard to bust through your ego and get to your own truth. So often, what we believe to be the truth is hidden or buried beneath an array of beliefs. It is these very beliefs that you need to start to question to start peeling away the layers.

You do get to the core and you will know it when you get to it. Once you have, re question every answer that you have arrived at and come up with another answer that is closer to the truth, something that is closer what you really believe.

You cannot fix something if you do not know where it is broken or you cannot change something if you do not know what needs changing.

To believe in yourself and get through life with balanced confidence, self-esteem, and love you need to be truly honest with yourself to the core.

Realization comes from questioning Recognising your beliefs is, I believe, all that was needed to start undoing them. This is not easy because as we age we find that our belief system works for us most of the time. However is their not value and  true balance of life in knowing who we really are?

 An example of balance can be seen by looking at the problem of weight control On one end of the scale is obesity on the other end of the scale is anorexia. Both are tied to the emotional struggles of the mind. The centre of the scale, the perfect weight so to speak, is the balance where the mind is free of all issues that hide the belief in yourself.

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