It was a cool autumn night, after a great day full of joy, laughter and great company. Life was good and I was feeling so strong, confident and happy.
I remember when I heard the words. It was as if they were said from far away and yet, he was right there, next to me, whispering them in my ear. Why did they sound so far? I know why. I didn’t want to hear what I was hearing.
Many times we find ourselves in situations where deep inside we know what’s going on, and yet we don’t want to hear it out loud, as if not saying it will keep it from being what it is: the truth. Why are we so afraid of the truth?
Let’s face it. Sometimes truth can be painful. Some truths will make you feel as if you got punched in your stomach, leaving you breathless on the floor. And when you get up, you feel a numbness in your body, yet at the same time, with each step you take, you can feel it aches to simply breathe. That’s why we choose not to deal with the truth.
We can be either honest or dishonest. Period. There is no way we can be a little honest, or maybe half honest, or who knows, more honest than dishonest. We either are or are not. Honesty implies the truth regardless of how painful it may be. Dishonesty implies all kinds of tricks: disguising the truth, ignoring it, hiding it, omitting it, postponing it. All these are nothing but ways to try to get away without having to face telling or hearing the truth. And don’t get me wrong. I totally understand why we choose to do this, instead of coping with the truth and moving on.
I’ve had my moments with the truth that hurts; the one you wish you could look to the other side and pretend it doesn’t exist. The truth that you feel is killing you and want to ignore, but you can’t. Then, I made another huge discovery: nothing hurts more than the lie! I have been dishonest and I have been lied to. I have found myself playing all those tricks to not tell or hear the truth, and I’ve had people I’ve loved do that to me as well.
I know many people prefer not to know the truth if it’s going to affect their lives, their structures, their little worlds. Some will look away, pretending not to see what’s right in front of their eyes in order not to suffer. Or so they think. Others will consider that not being upfront about a situation, an issue, a feeling or a mistake isn’t really lying. As long as the people involved don’t find out, it’s not a lie. Also, if half of the truth is said but the other part is omitted, or the context manipulated, that is considered a “white lie”.
It took me a long time to make my peace with the pain some truth may imply. I made my decision: I WANT NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH. I realized that I would rather deal with the pain I feel when coping with a truth I might not like rather than dealing with what a lie causes me inside: it fills me with doubts; it takes away my ability to trust people and it leaves me with a sense of loss that makes me skeptical, cynical and harsh. I don’t like feeling that way.
I rather feel vulnerable, hurt and sad, because after accepting how I feel I can put my pieces back together and move on, understanding we’re not perfect and that we all make mistakes.
Honesty doesn’t have different colors or variations. It either is or is not.
As for me, since long ago I’ve chosen to be honest in order to expect honesty in return. That’s the least I can possibly do after realizing how much dishonesty hurts and learning that honesty is a two way street.