“Repetition does not transform a lie into the truth.”
— Franklin Roosevelt
When I was five years old I knocked over a lamp and broke it. No was around to see it, but I knew, when I was found out, that I’d be punished.
That I would lie was a foregone conclusion. No one could convince me that the punishment for telling the truth would be any lighter than one for lying and there was always the outside chance that I might just get away.
I began repeating to myself, over and over, “I didn’t do it. I didn’t do it. I didn’t do it.”
Truth be told, this was probably one of the more convincing lies I ever told, I’ve always been a terrible liar, even though I had much practice as a child. Despite my best effort, I was found out and punished.
This lie as a child was not that much different from the lies we tell ourselves everyday. As a child my mother was very unhappy and her punishments were generally heavy handed. I learned to lie in an attempt at self preservation. I thought if I could deny my culpability in a mistake I could avoid the consequences.
Many of us lie to ourselves for the same reason. We seek to absolve ourselves of responsibility for our situations.
I’m overweight because my family insists on bringing unhealthy food into the house and I am too weak to resist the temptation.
I’d like to exercise more, but my other responsibilities take up too much of my time and energy.
I hate my job, but I need it too badly to jeopardize it by looking for another.
My relationship is making me miserable, but no one else will have me. A bad relationship is better than none.
We allow these thoughts into our heads and then repeat them over and over until we believe they are true, but repeating a lie over and over will never make it truth.
Consider the things you repeatedly tell yourself, are they truth? Or just lies you repeat over and over trying to make them look like truth? Consequences are unavoidable, they follow like the clap of thunder that follows a lightening strike.
You can’t avoid them by lying, at best you muddy the water and complicate the issues. The truth, no matter how hard it may be is always easier in the long run.
To our perfect imperfection,
P.S. The Mental Meatheads workshop is now down to 12 spots. Don’t miss your chance!