Human beings lie all the time. We lie for reasons deep and shallow, lie to protect ourselves and others, lie to keep something hidden or to keep up the facade, lie to get what we want, lie just because we can. We lie to strangers, acquaintances, family, friends, children, and perhaps most of all, ourselves. Most of the time we don't believe the lies we spew (which makes it all the harder to tell them) but sometimes we do. Or at least, we believe them overtime.
Today, I went to this art festival for teenagers where I performed a piece of poetry. The theme (and perhaps quite a foolish one considering the targeted audience) was "What's really on your mind?" And boy did we find out what's really on some people's minds! Obviously, given said theme, the stuff was mostly terribly depressing and angsty but there was also an incredible amount of honesty and vulnerability in all of that. That, I realized, is rare. And so it got me thinking.
There are so many lies that we tell to others but, more than that, there are so many lies that we tell ourselves. Worst yet, there are so many lies that we and others believe. And, sometimes, that makes our lie somewhat real. Cemented. Some lies are easily peeled off but some need to be ripped off like a Band-Aid. In this way, Self-deception is the worst kind of all.
Oh how numerous are those lies! We are happy, our family is happy, they love me, everything will work out, everything is good. And how far is that from the truth. Those lies sound so sweet that we believe and those lies have a hard time being reversed. Denial is so easy and so sweet, even if it can prove to be exhausting over time. The lovely thing about an artist (any sort of lie), at least, is that they usually don't lie. They tell the gory, ugly truth and force it on you like a leech.
Yet sometimes, those lies are ugly lies too. Lies like, I am not good enough. I am [insert insult here]. Lies like, I deserve this. Lies like, It is my fault. Lies like, Things will not get better. Lies that we stuff deep inside of us and carry like a boulder in our backpacks, lies that tend to surface eventually but usually within the worst of ways. All sorts of lies that wear us down inside and erode us until our jagged fighting edges are beat down into submission and we are whittled down into people we do not recognize.
Oh there are so many lies in our fucked-up society! It is easier to lie, after all. And yet, over time, that kind of lying proves to be deeply destructive to us, working society deep into retrograde. But why are there so many lies when there could be truth?
Yes, the truth may be scary because it is so unknown. Uncovering may be like gorging your very flesh with a knife because it's under so many layers of skin. But it's worth it. In the long run, it is less painful.
But what do we do when there are so many different layers of truth, so many possibilities? Why, I suppose we find our own. That's what I'm doing now. I'm trying to find my truth and I'm also trying to find my truth. Hard to do when I have to work through years of lies that I have told myself, memories that I have pushed deep inside of myself. I'm still doing it, though. because it's worth it.
Let us end the lies we tell ourselves. Let's face it once and for all. It may be hard but it is needed, definitely needed.