There was a time when i was extremely puritanical about truth and lies… could handle any bitter truth but could not handle the smallest of lies… i wonder what really was the preoccupation with “honesty”, and why the sense of betrayal when i came across “lies”. Also had time and again the closest people telling lies. Invariably the relationship would take the fall in the face of my encounter with the so-called lie and my sense of betrayal.
It took a lot of work… and many broken relationships before i began to see a pattern… and the pattern was within myself – my inflexibility, my intolerance to anything that did not fit in with my image of what was right, and my quick jump to judgements about the morality, character and the mettle of the person… my rejection of the “lie” invariably sitting judgement on the quality of the person, somewhere making me feel good about myself in the bargain.
Somewhere along the line, i began to observe myself – did i always tell the truth? did i bend it sometimes? embellish facts? or maybe take away some part of it, so i won’t “look” bad? did i sometimes suppress information so as to not get into trouble? or change it subtly so that the meaning changed? i found that i did it too. in fact quite often… did it make me unethical, immoral, dishonest, or a cheat? i didn’t find myself any of these… all i found was that i was afraid to “lose” the goodwill of the other person… afraid i would lose my “specialness” to another person… afraid to lose the other person… afraid of being put aside, thought less of, and a host of other things… i also realized that it is my inability to accept another’s point of view or another person’s “truth” that somehow precipitated the lie… that if i wanted undiluted truth, i must also have the guts to accept that another’s truth was not same as mine.
It was then i felt that maybe, just maybe, others too had similar fears? similar issues? and i really started watching – myself and others – and the more i observed, the more i understood. the more i understood, the less judgemental i became… and over time, i found lies to not be lies, but expressions of so many difficult feelings in another… “truth, more truth and nothing but the truth” becoming a very harsh, and sometimes cruel judgement and punishment – to another and myself.
I am comfortable with lies as well as truths now… more inclined to think that if another person feels the need to lie, it is his/her problem… and somewhere if it bothers me, then i see what is it in me that i need to deal with… and as i find myself relaxing my hold on the finality of truth… i find more and more people not lying… coming out with what they really feel… until lies and truths do not matter anymore…