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.
In 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