Why did you lie?

Enlightenment-  Sharon Cummings

Truth is a deep kindness that teaches us to be content in our everyday life and share with the people the same happiness. ~ Khalil Gibran

Has somebody lied to you? Was it something you could forgive and forget? Or were you wanting to put the issue behind you, but left wondering ‘Why?’

Not all lies are the same. There is a huge difference between not being completely honest in order not to offend someone compared to a complete fabrication of the truth. Likewise there is a distinction between failing to keep a promise because something has genuinely prevented a person from following through and failing to keep a promise because that someone had no intention of keeping their word in the first place.

For me a bare-faced lie means that the person has no regard for your feelings, whereas a promise made to be broken means that person is deliberately setting out to manipulate your feelings. Both though are deceptions that can leave you feeling let down and lost.

Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth. ~ Buddha

It’s not just the extent of the deceit that will determine the depth of the pain. Being lied to by a stranger is manageable because there’s no emotional investment. On the other hand, being lied to by somebody you care for can be heart-breaking.

When someone I loved betrayed me I was left bewildered and emotionally battered. He had promised faithfully to get help for a problem that was destroying our relationship. For my part I had done everything he asked and given him many chances, but essentially the issue was his and only he could fix it.

You can’t change what you don’t acknowledge, so when he eventually promised to go to counselling I believed it was a sign that he wanted to be accountable for the past and be responsible for his future. Such was the intensity of his declarations that I had no reason not to trust him. He had looked me straight in the eyes and vowed he would do whatever was necessary to change.

After years of swinging from crisis to calm, I envisioned our relationship becoming stable and secure. The combination of relief and excitement kept me positive during the wait for an appointment. But when it arrived he looked me straight in the eyes and declared with the same intensity as before that he wasn’t going.

The truth was out. He had lied.

Looking back I think I knew he had never meant it. If I had been honest with myself I would have remembered how many times he had misled me in the past. Yet somehow when you want something so badly, you can convince yourself that this time will be different. It never is.

We think that forgiveness is weakness, but it’s absolutely not; it takes a very strong person to forgive. ~T. D. Jakes

As a woman of faith I know the importance of forgiveness, not simply because it ultimately sets me free, but because it is the right thing to do. But there is a difference between being compassionate and being spineless; between being forgiving and being used.

In my situation, he had clearly abused my loving nature and assumed that my faith would once again enable him to get away with his deception.  But he had lied for the last time and now it was my turn to makes some promises that I intended to keep.

I promised him that I would no longer accept his toxic behaviour and I promised to take responsibility for my part of the relationship only.

Then I promised myself that I would forgive because I know that forgiveness is infinitely more beneficial to me than the person I am forgiving. I promised to let go of the rage and despair because I know when the negative thoughts disappear, I allow the negative emotions to subside. I promised myself peace of mind.

For every good reason there is to lie, there is a better reason to tell the truth. ~Bo Bennett

Whilst I made the decision to make positive choices, there remained the question yet unanswered, ‘Why did he lie to me?’

I could forgive his apprehension at following through with counselling, but I couldn’t understand how he could deliberately deceive me. He knew the truth would come out in the end, yet he was willing to mess with my mind and break my heart.

I’ll never know the real reason he lied. Perhaps it was arrogance. Perhaps it was denial. Perhaps it was fear.

Abundant Life - Sharon CummingsIn the end I realised there was no point in asking ‘why?’ And if you have been similarly hurt, stop asking ‘why’ too, for it will keep you tied to the past at a time when you should be looking to the future. Having your question answered won’t change a thing and it certainly won’t change the person who deceived you.

It takes courage to be honest enough to face the truth about a relationship, but when I did it set me free. It set me free to let go of someone who was causing me pain, free to heal and free to become the person I was meant to be. 

What about you? Do you need to stop wondering ‘why’ and simply say ‘goodbye’?

©Carolyn Hughes The Hurt Healer. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced in any form without written permission.

 

Huge thanks to Sharon Cummings for allowing me to use her beautiful artwork – Enlightenment and Abundant Life – Copyright Sharon Cummings 2014. (May not be reproduced in any form without her permission.) Take a look at her other work here: http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/1-sharon-cummings.html

It’s never too late to dream.

beauty of their dreams‘You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.’ – C.S. Lewis

It’s good to dream. As your mind takes you to a place of endless possibilities and infinite destinies a dream can be anything you want it to be. It can be a pleasurable reverie that you enjoy in the moment and let fade.

But the thoughts which lead you to fulfill your aspirations and visualize your future should never be allowed slip away.

Because a life without dreams is a life without hope.

‘Hope is the dream of the waking man.’ – Aristotle

Childhood trauma stole many things from me; my sense of self-esteem, my ability to trust and my capability to expect anything good. For many years my hopes for the future were never an issue because I was too busy trying to numb out the past and the demands of each day were worrying enough.

If you too have been brought up to anticipate the worst, or if your life has been continuously tough, you will understand how hard it can be to be optimistic about your prospects or to follow your desires.

For many years I believed that dreaming was frivolous and pointless. In fact my mantra was, ‘why bother it’ll never happen’. I was convinced this was the best way to protect myself from further disappointment and rejection. Deep down I wanted to envisage success, happiness and love in my life, but I was overwhelmed by my belief that I didn’t deserve any of it.

‘Faith is like a bird that feels dawn breaking and sings while it is dark.’ – Rabindranth Tagore

One of the greatest revelations to me in my journey to recovery was discovering my self-worth. And if you don’t believe that you are worth it then it’s time to started to make that journey too.

For me it started with making the decision to embrace who I was on every level; physical, social, emotional and spiritual. It was a gradual enlightenment stemming from the love that I experienced when I chose to reclaim my faith.

Faith helped me to begin to love myself for who I was and for who I was not. Once I was able to love myself (and my imperfections), I could believe that in not only did my life have a purpose but that I had a right to pursue my passions. As my confidence increased so too did my ability to dream. For faith enabled me to believe in the unimaginable; to reach for the unattainable and to the dream the impossible.

‘Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning.’ – Gloria Steinem

It’s not enough simply to have aspirations though. What has begun in the imagination has to make the transition into reality. Dreaming isn’t a passive past-time. It’s the active pursuit of your vision and the determined mind-set to see it through.

As someone who battled with depression and alcoholism for 20 years, I often dreamt of being happy and sober. But imagining such a life was futile until I made the commitment to change.

Achieving my dreams took courage, faith and determination. It wasn’t easy and of course there have been many challenges along the way, but the wonderful thing about setting your goals is that you can determine what they are and how you reach them. How long it takes is not important, as long as you keep moving forward.

‘Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.’ – Hebrews 11:1 NIV

Know too that while some aspirations stay the same, your hopes can change too. Yesterday my dream was to reach a day when I could live without a drink. Today I strive for that same goal and it’s also what I wish for tomorrow. God willing that never change.

In sixteen years of recovery, many of my other dreams have transformed as I too have transformed.  My ‘why bother, it’ll never happen’ thinking has been replaced with the expectation for good things to transpire. My ‘barely getting by’ attitude has been renewed by anticipating abundance. My ‘I’m not good enough to deserve this’ philosophy has been superseded by the conviction that I am perfectly imperfect which is good enough and always was.

it's never too late to dreamNot every vision has to be a huge life-changing event. Little steps are just as significant. Big or small, it’s never too late to dream.

‘The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.’ – Eleanor Roosevelt