I am a liar. I have lied to myself for the greater part of my adult life. But the reality is that sometimes you have to find the lie to learn the truth. The stories I have tied to me are insane. Nothing is ever what it seems: to me is one way; to the world another. And, then the truth of what is…is never what it seems. Napoleon said that “history is a set of lies agreed upon.” That’s how I’ve dealt with all the unknown and unaccepted truths. I’ve created a version of lies told and accepted by Ego. We all do this. I am not alone on this path. The lies we tell the world are nothing in comparison to the lies we tell ourselves…and believe.
Half-truths, omissions, and negativity have consistently been guiding me through my life. I believed I couldn’t paint any longer since I was a teenager. I stopped altogether when my mother didn’t let me go to Paris to study art after high school. I told myself that I wasn’t good enough to pick up a brush. I wasn’t worthy of splashing color on a canvas. This might be a small detail to someone but to me it has been a living lie. And, in that omission of creativity I have stopped a part of my spirit and passion. I am reminded:
“The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to such a pass that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others. And having no respect he ceases to love, and in order to occupy and distract himself without love he gives way to passions and coarse pleasures, and sinks to bestiality in his vices, all from continual lying to other men and to himself.” – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
We all find a place in between spaces where lies manipulate our identities. “You aren’t good enough! You aren’t pretty or handsome. You aren’t worthy enough because you lack intelligence. You suck at being a parent. You are this. You are that. You are….” There are millions of ways we listen to others and rarely speak of beauty to ourselves. From the time I was a child my sister and others in my family always said I had the ugliest feet. Until I was well into my twenties I didn’t wear sandals or open-toe shoes. I had grown to believe my feet were hideous. And this was a small lie. Now imagine the larger ones in respect to our intelligence, sexuality, personality, spirituality and such that we believe from others and then make it part of our reality.
We are always seeing ourselves through others’ eyes. Everyone’s opinion determines our identities and personalities. We change hair color to fit with society. We use wrinkle creams and diet excessively to fit the expectations others project. What would actually happen if we began to speak gentler and lovingly with ourselves? What would the voice of our spirit finally say in pride? It’s easier to believe the lies than the truth. What would happen if we told the truth of our desires, passion, intimacy and dreams? Our humanness is created to learn from pain and disappointment. Anytime we are forced to move forward it isn’t via comfort. It is by going out into the unknown and battling the lies. Truth is Spirit. Truth is divine order, compassion, forgiveness, and love. We believe the lies to be truer than any truth. It’s time to stop!
I woke this morning to a beautiful email from a friend reminding me of what’s important. She always expresses her concerns. In a few words each day we return love and small sentences sharing the day’s events. I have a tremendous support system in my life. I have to remind myself of truth: I am not alone in this. The lies I’ve told myself for so long about having to do it alone have taken a toll on me. I am not alone. My toes aren’t disastrous. My gray hair doesn’t make me look like an old lady. My weight doesn’t determine my energy. I am not the lies my Ego has chosen to tell me excessively. I am a beautiful-vibrant soul shining my own light. And together, you and I, can learn to be more loving, respectful, and gentler with ourselves while forgiving the self-sabotage of a lifetime. It really isn’t any of my business what anyone thinks of me, BUT it is all of my truth what I think of myself. Let’s stop the self-deceit…it isn’t worth it!
“No man was ever so much deceived by another as by himself.” ~ Fulke Greville
About the Author: Millie A. Mestril
After raising six children, working in the corporate world, and being part of a relationship for eighteen years, I found that happiness was not consistent in my world. I left the business world, ended a relationship that was deteriorating and headed to the mountains. My best friend and I bought a small motel in the middle of gorgeous country and began the greatest journey. What started as a visit to Asheville in May of 2010 became a permanent home for us. Now with only one teenager at home, I am able to be part of a wonderful world of meeting people from all walks of life. We’ve transformed an old gem of a place into a sweet and quaint oasis for others to find peace. To those looking into our lives it seems we saved Peaceful Quest Retreats, but the reality is that this place saved us. Every day brings joy, inspiration and a zest for life I never knew existed. The lessons have not always been easy but the ride has been scenic and delightful. I can’t imagine ever returning to a life that was not authentic to my spirit. ~ Millie A. Mestril