Rampant, subtle dishonesty ruled my life for many years.
My business was booming although it stressed me out, my social media feed showed the smiles instead of the meltdowns, my marriage appeared pure despite the fact that it wasn’t and my conversations delivered what I thought people wanted to hear instead of what was true. With the best intentions I ever-so-gently positioned my life to seem better than it was. It was a vicious cycle that robbed me of authenticity and the ability to live freely.
And by refusing to be honest about it all, I continued to live in a prison of my own construction. But something changed. Someone loved me enough to call me out and it finally broke the chains and set me free.
As I continue to meet with and walk with people through life, this is something that plagues so many of us.
We drive cars that overextend our budget, we refinance our homes until we crush our equity and we leverage plastic to buy things that get consumed or broken. In order to keep up with the demand, we kill ourselves trying to out-earn our bad decisions. As a result, most of us work in jobs that we don’t love to earn money that’s already spent.
The stress crescendos to the point where we hurt the ones we love, get buried in habits we hate and exhaust our willpower trying to dig ourselves out of the hole we’ve created. We don’t say the things we mean because we don’t mean the things we say, we congratulate people when we’re really not happy for them and we exchange surfacey, shallow words for actions that would speak louder.
But no more. For those who are ready to live beyond their circumstances, you have the ability to change. And just as someone was willing to be honest with me. I want to be honest with you.
You can be free.
The Uncomfortable Truth
Gut-level honesty with ourselves and with others is something that most people hide from. We avoid awkward and uncomfortable truth because it’s easier that way. As a result, we live beneath the facade of fallacy.
But the more you hide from the truth, the more you begin to forget who you truly are. The lies and the shame create a sort-of mask that becomes comfortable to live behind. At first, it’s exhilarating and fun. But the pressure builds as you feel like you have to live up to a reputation that you’ve created. Like an actor in a movie, you begin to internalize the character you’re portraying. Then, the movie ends and you’re left wondering who’s who.
The culprit behind this way of life is fear.
At some point in time, we became so afraid that people would reject our truth that it was easier to hide from it. And we bury it so deep beneath the surface that we forget what it looks like.
Buried truth, much like buried talent, becomes useless. And the deeper we bury the truth, the more it becomes subjective. In time, we’re a crippled version of what we were created to be.
That’s what fear does. It cripples us. But it’s time to break free. And the first step is a willingness to embrace the discomfort of truth more than the safety of fear.
The Freedom of Truth
Once we press into the discomfort of truth, the facade begins to crack. And even through the smallest fracture, a sliver of light can be seen. That light is the light of love.
The desire to be loved is one of the deepest longings of the human heart. But if we don’t love ourselves enough to be honest with ourselves, then how could we possibly be free to love others?
Truth is powerful because it’s the only thing that brings absolute freedom. And absolute freedom is the only thing that allows you to experience love. Your willingness to be honest will set off a sort-of chain reaction of love in your heart. It’s like a fire that consumes you and begins to burn up those around you. Truth is infectious in this way. But be careful, the same is true of fear. Whether we realize it or not, we are contagious. We infect others with our truth and freedom and love or we infect them with our fear and anger and hate.
The first step toward true love is honesty. But from experience I have to tell you that it hurts. Much like the pain a mother experiences when birthing new life, we have to endure the pain of birthing something new as well. Of course an infant could stay in the womb, but in doing so, it would die.
Freedom and life only exist on the other side of pain.
Truth is Waiting
Our culture has grown increasingly terrified of the truth. But those who are truly free stand out. They are different. They’re the ones with no agenda and nothing to prove—they only have the capacity for love. And they are the ones who have been willing to suffer through uncomfortable truth.
I wish there were a different answer, but I’d be lying if I said there was.
So today, love yourself enough to be honest. The infection of fear or the infection of love is taking over your heart. The question is, which one will it be?
It’s ok to not be ok. You have to be honest enough to admit that. And I have to be honest enough to tell you that you don’t have to stay there.