Welcome back everyone. Last time we talked about beginning a practice of Radical Truth and Transparency inspired by Ray Dalio’s first Rule for Success. The past week I wrote in my journal the times I found myself speaking, writing, behaving and thinking anything other than my truth. This has created an awakening for me; 90% of the lies I tell are to myself and only 10% are to others, if that much. (This might be because my particular autoimmune condition affects my speaking, limiting me to mostly three word conversations and lots of nodding. But I doubt it.) The practice of self-delusion has been rampant in our world since before Mohamed, Christ, and Buddha. It’s a wonder I didn’t notice this before.
Then again, it’s not just that our culture encourages self- delusion, or that God never did program our noses to grow. Maybe it is our choice to be ignorant of the lies we tell ourselves. As for me, I learned I’ve mistaken these beliefs for genuine facts of life:
1. It’s him, not me
2. I can’t speak clearly (This is a belief based on my situation, but it’s not the truth.)
3. I choke when I recline (This isn’t the truth either. Just my belief that allows no other possibility when I go to the dentist.)
4. I love my neighbors
5. I like having people visit us (Not. Unless they’re my kids, and maybe a friend.)
6. I need to be understood.
7. I don’t have enough time. (familiar?)
I just reread these and felt extreme stress. This self-deception stuff is no good; stress = inflammation and we all know what that does to our bodies. There were more lies:
8. People will let me down
9. I can handle it ( I say, “No thank you, I’m good.” when someone offers to help.)
10. I can only rely on myself
These last three are of a theme I am almost certain helped me develop autoimmunty. It’s the lone ranger syndrome rooted in self lies (unconscious beliefs) that keep me isolated from others, and makes me think I need to push myself to get everything done in the day. More stress.
Oh, there was a lie I told my husband. One evening he offered to help me by making his own dinner. Rather than hit him on the head where he stood in the kitchen each time he asked how to do something or where something went – in other words, instead of making war-I stopped and showed him. Liar.
My lies are killing me!
I used to think these “white lies,” ones that seem of no consequence didn’t have much consequence. Except they create resistance in my body. Very subtle tension that builds over the day until I feel exhausted at the end of the day. Has anyone else noticed this? Resistance is just another word for stress. When we read what the press is saying about our new president or just about anything, we feel anxious. Do we drop the anxiety when we put down the ipad or turn off the TV? I might think I leave this all behind, but when I do a quick “triple warmer ” clearing I learned from Donna Eden (find it on Youtube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2HwQjINWP4A), only then can I feel the tension leaving my body and mind. The false belief is “I’m tough, I’m strong, I can handle it.” Liar. I finally understand that tension from the news or from watching a movie about depressed people who are hurting themselves and others, who continue to sink lower into their self-lies, even if they look beautiful doing it, is as toxic as if I just breathed in bus exhaust for an hour, or soaked in a tub of bleach water. (Did you know we do that if we don’t filter the chlorine from our bath water?) Why would I choose to do that to myself?
My self lies are hidden is why. And if I am unaware of the lie, then it’s not really a choice, is it? It’s automatic. Done without thought.
From my experience this past week, it’s easy not to take care of myself when I’m lying. or avoiding seeking ways to become more conscious of those lies. Observing myself, keeping notes is a way to be more awake to my lies, be more thoughtful of my behavior, and keep my promise to live in Radical Truth and Transparency. I ask, “How do I feel? What’s happened that I feel this way? What am I thinking ?” and stop for a moment. Breathing in and then letting it out I can notice if I’m stepping out of my usual thinking that’s run by my identity, my ego, or if I’m observing my self. If I can notice what I am thinking without defending or shaming myself, I’m free to write it down, like I did the lies I told. I’m aware that lying is not who I am, but what I’m doing now, and only now. I can do things differently if I choose. Observing my thinking makes me more conscious and gives me the strength to go forward as I choose, not stuck in my previous beliefs. Questions like the above help me become aware of the lies, and live in Radical Truth and Transparency, as I promised myself.
The fun thing I did after noticing my lies, was to look up Mr. Dalio’s 10 Rules for Success. Practicing Radical Truth and Transparency is the first. All ten of his rules reveal a life lived responsibly; responsible for himself and his awareness of self and the truth of how things work. If you’re curious, go to this interview https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m5eMaJUeT4M to hear his ideas. His fifth rule is my first rule; practice meditation. I’d like to talk about that next entry. Til then, let me know what you found out this past two weeks.
Post Script: Oh, Because I quickly noticed the lie I’d told my husband, Frank, we talked after dinner. I tried being transparent without blaming. “It doesn’t help me for you to fix your own dinner. Not like that. I feel more anxious.” I thought he’d defend himself and I’d have to explain myself, but no, there was none of that. He his idea was to save me stress. We agreed to make dinners separately, first me, then him next time. Easy.