Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire…

4 08 2010

I have long since struggled with and had an uneven relationship with the truth. I could tell you it’s because I was raised as a story teller, and in Hollywood the truth doesn’t sell. I could tell you they’re just white lies and everyone lies. I could tell you that truth has many faces. I could tell you that I’m not a liar, just a spin doctor…. but I know the truth.

So why lie? Why not just own up to the truth, and face the consequences? Why not be a man who is known as a man of his word? Why not tell the truth in every situation no matter what?

The truth is that I’m afraid of the truth, ashamed of it, and totally unfamilar with it. Whether it’s an off hand excuse about why I’m running late to a client’s house, or a story that I tell someone to get them to do something for me, whether it’s to keep someone from being mad at me, or to buy some time… the bottom line is that I lie… and more often than I should. But it’s about time to grow up and change that.

This past weekend, I came face to face with myself. I realized who I am, and better yet, who I wanted to be. This weekend, I realized my greatest promise lies in my greatest promise. That is to say I can only reach my full potential if I find a reason not to lie. And that reason is my relationship to the beautiful woman I am in love with, and to my family as a whole.

On Wednesday night, as I was about to head out of town, and after a very nice farewell meal with my woman, she asked me if I was telling the truth about not watching pornography any more. I looked her straight in the eyes, eyes that were soft and kind, and filled with love and tears, and I told her I was done with that stuff… but it was a lie and I knew it.

The next day, while I was in the middle of a business seminar she texted me to find out whether I was really being honest about the pornography or not. I was caught and I knew it. I was struck by the pain of falling into this same hole in my life again and again. Not the hole of pornography (although that has continued to be one of the biggest energy holes in my life), but rather the hole of lying again. In the split second before lying to her in the first place, I knew what the consequences of lying and being found out were, and yet I did it anyway. And now here I was face to face with those consequences,. It could mean the end of my relationship, and if that were to happen, I would deserve every piece of that sad fate.

I had two choices… stick to the lie at all costs, and continue to live as a man who was dishonest…. or own up to the lie and face the consequences. I chose the latter, and admitted that I had not told the truth the night before. What followed was several days of up and down roller coasters in the relationship, with me realizing my flaw and the weakness inside me that caused me to lie in the first place and starting to own it, and watching many other issues get brought to the surface along the way.

It’s not like I can just snap my fingers and all the dishonesties of the past could even possibly be erased. It’s a slow process of recognizing the damage I have done by hiding my truth and allowing the fear of how I show up to the outside world to dictate my actions. But, in spite of it all, my woman and I kept talking. And I am gracious and humbled by that opportunity, and with the level of being that she showed in the face of such a serious slight against her and all that we have built.

When I got home, and was face to face with her I shocked her. I told her I wanted to buy promise rings for the two of us. She thought I was crazy. She accused me of trying to buy her. She got in my face and told me that it was most definitely not the right time for us to buy or be wearing promise rings, in fact it was quite the opposite. After all that she had been through, how could she trust any promise that I would make, and what difference would a piece of metal on our fingers possibly make? But I stayed firm. You see, I had a deep context and purpose for wanting to buy the rings. You see, in life, we talk a lot about crossing paths… but when paths cross, the two parties then continue in opposite directions. What we should be doing instead is merging paths. Coming together and staying together. And that’s what I want to do. I want to cement these merged paths with something physical.

My flaw is this… when left alone to my own devices, the voices in my head call me worthless, useless, unloved and unwanted. They tell me nothing that I do matters to any other person in the world. Now when they tell me that, I will look down at the ring on my finger and know that they are wrong. I will know that they are lying. That ring connects me forever to another person, and is every bit as valuable to me as a wedding ring. It tells me I am worth something. I am useful to someone. I am loved. I am wanted. You hear that voices? I AM WANTED!!!! So go bug some other poor sap. I know that I MATTER. And every time I feel the weight of the ring on my finger, I remember my commitment…. my promise.

And I remind myself that I will find my greatest promise as a man within my greatest promise as a man. My promise to myself, to my woman, and to my family. My promise to be a man of my word. A man who can be trusted and counted on. My promise to plug that hole in my boat once and for all.