“To know that you do not know is the best. To pretend to know when you do not know is a disease.” Lao Tse from the Tao Te Ching
The beginning of a new year is always a good time to look at our lives and evaluate if we are living our truth. Have you told any white lies lately? Exaggerated an event to make yourself look better? Embellished your resume or job application? Told a loved one what they wanted to hear rather than what you really felt?
Fear Keeps Us from Telling the Truth
What is it that keeps us from telling the truth? It is always one of two things: the fear of rejection or the fear of inadequacy. Fear is what separates us from ourselves. When we are not truthful to ourselves, we separate ourselves from the Oneness of Spirit that is our essence.
I learned during my first year of teaching high school that it was pointless not to admit when I didn’t know something. The students could spot a lie in a minute. When I began the second year of teaching, I explained to the students on the first day that if I didn’t know the answer to their questions, I would tell them and help them find the answer. They liked that and it set a tone of trust for the year.
I was in my twenties, and just after I married, I realized there was something I didn’t like about myself. I occasionally told little white lies. I had started doing this when I was growing up with parents who fought frequently. In order to avoid upsetting a parent, I would answer a question based on what I thought they wanted to hear rather than the truth. It made me uncomfortable, but it was better than being screamed at or having them scream at one another. Most of all I needed peace.
When I married, I wanted an open, honest relationship and knew there was no longer a reason to lie. My husband was easy-going and loved me. Not to tell the truth seemed like a violation of our commitment. I began to monitor myself and eventually let go of the insecurity that had led me to believe I needed to lie.
Lies Separate Us from Love
Where there is fear, there is separation—not just from another but from Spirit. Our inner and outer must match. If we pretend to be loving when we don’t feel it or do it just to impress people, we betray ourselves and them. Love cannot exist where there is fear. When we pretend, we do so because we feel we are not good enough. We think that if we do good deeds, we will earn spiritual points.
The Ego Feeds on Fear
Admitting our mistakes and weaknesses is not an easy thing to do. Our ego will rebel and insist its well-being is more important than our soul’s. Ego will give us all the reasons why we need to appear more competent, more beautiful, or more loving because ego feeds on our fears. When we are truthful and at peace, ego is diminished. When ego is diminished, we make wiser choices.
Speaking the Truth from the Heart
How we tell the truth to others is just as important as telling it. If we think it will be hard for another person to hear what we have to say, we need to center ourselves first and speak from the heart. It is more likely that another will be able to hear what we say if it is said with love. If we speak from love, then we speak with integrity and are one with the other person. In this place of Oneness, we will know if we really need to speak this truth. Many relationships have been damaged by the way in which we express our truth.
Lao Tse’s words are very wise. When we don’t know what to do and allow ourselves to know that we don’t know, we open ourselves to the possibility that Spirit will provide the answer. If we remember that we are one with this loving, creative energy, we can release our fears of inadequacy and rejection, knowing that all is well just as we are.
How do you maintain your truthfulness?
©2012 Georganne Spruce
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