A Moment of Truth

Lies come in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes they’re stories we make up to fill empty moments. Sometimes they’re tiny and insignificant, ways to avoid exposing elements of ourselves that are too vulnerable. Sometimes they are momentous; they change the way we perceive the world and ourselves in it. Sometimes they are devastating, life-altering. Cataclysmic.

Whatever the type of lie or its scope, we tell them mostly to ourselves. No one else has to be involved; no one else has to hear. We create diversions to make it through the day. Yes, I am going to have the grande salted caramel mocha latte, and it won’t be a skinny because I will get up extra early tomorrow to workout longer. Yeah. Right. If I get this pair of shoes I won’t get anything else for at least the next two paychecks; I’ll save instead. Uh-huh. Keep talking.

Some of these lies are innocuous. They aren’t going to do everlasting damage that will rear its deformed head at inopportune moments. But some of them go deeper. Some of them penetrate to the core of who we are, so much so that we allow ourselves to become the lies we tell. Again, these are the lies we tell ourselves, not the ones we tell other people.

These things we tell ourselves distort the truth of who we really are. We tell ourselves we aren’t smart enough, wealthy enough, attractive enough, talented enough. These contrivances become the truth because we allow ourselves to see nothing else. We are consumed with being enough. We start to focus on what we’re not, instead of what we are. Funny how the little lies grow.

What would happen if we allowed ourselves only to tell the stories and believe the stories in which we are the champions? In which we are the people we aspire to be? What would happen if the only truth we knew of ourselves, the only truth we ever told ourselves, is that we are always enough?

Tell It Like It Is

People love a good story. We always have. We like to hear them, and we like to tell them. But what is it about telling our version of the story that makes it so exhilarating? Why do we expend the effort to tell the same tales over and over again? And why do certain aspects of the telling change each time we do it?

The oral tradition of storytelling has existed for, well, longer than I care to estimate. Storytelling, much like writing, gives us a way to make sense of things, to create order where we may not otherwise perceive it. In telling (or retelling) a story, we are preserving our own voice. We are maintaining the integrity of our perception of life and the people in it.

But what does storytelling do to truth? Sure, people make amazing storytellers. If we see that we have a captive audience, we bind ourselves to continue the telling, embellishing what can be embellished and omitting that which doesn’t work in our favor.

They say there are two sides to every story, but none of us will tell it the same way twice. How many people have a voice in any one story? What if we all have a side, and what if they are all different?