Feedback is a wonderful thing. One of my favorite things about sharing thoughts (via blogs, etc.) is listening to what others have to say when they read my stuff. The previous post ('what it means to be impeccable with your word') inspired someone to drop a note and pose a question of her own. A very good question....(thank you, Sorrow!)
She said: "I am not sure why, but this made me think of people who wield there words well, but their actions tell a whole different story...
They are kind with their words, but their actions speak of a deep indifference. Know any of these?"
And it got me to thinkin'....yep. I know some of those.
Folks who say one thing and do another are the best example of NOT being impeccable with their word. They are the great posers...using their words to mask their truths. Using their words to manipulate others so they might avoid who they really are. Likely there are more folks who use their word in this fashion than in authenticity. And it's never any fun to encounter such people.
But here's the thing: more often than not it is fear that causes people to use their word in such ways. I choose to believe that people are inherently good...but their fears smother that good and lead them to their masquerade. It isn't because they're evil...it's because they're scared.
Long ago I married such a person. He was smart, funny, sweet, attentive and the biggest mythomaniac I've ever met. Was it because he was just full of shit? Or was it because he was terrified of who he was...of his own deficiencies and/or flaws? Did he use his lies to hurt me intentionally or because he was afraid of what I'd do if I knew his truths?
After the divorce and ensuing hassles (that almost always accompany divorce), I was able to look with more objective eyes. I was able to see the bigger picture and let go the judgments. I was able to forgive him...because I saw precisely what and why he did what he did.
To this day I feel badly for the man. Such a fine soul...but so lost in his fear. He just didn't have the courage to face himself...and so he played the role he thought he should play. It wasn't just me he lied to. It was everyone. Everyone who knew him, loved him, worked with him. Everyone. Worst of all, to himSELF. So to take it personally was, perhaps, my way of ending what I knew would never work. You cannot maintain a marriage without trust. (Well, that's my opinion anyway.) So, if he was too fearful to be honest, his only choice would have been to create the myths that formed his world. That I happened to be part of that world just made me one more player in his fantasy. The choice was as much mine (to stay)as his (to lie).
Nowadays, when I meet with people who hide behind their false words, I can usually see it instantly. No. I FEEL it instantly. I can feel their inauthenticity. I can feel their fear. I can feel the discomfort they try so hard to disguise. Perhaps because I've finally shed my own masks and come into "my own". I'm comfortable in my skin and see no need to be anyone else. I have let go the fear of rejection and made peace with my Self. So there is no need to use my words to fool anyone. Especially myself.
I'm not saying that we should subject ourselves to living with such people. Or that just because we understand why they do what they do is in any way justifying their actions. I'm saying that they do what they do because they're not yet ready to face themselves in truth. It's a hard road to walk...and more painful to the liar than anyone else. We just don't see that when we're in the middle of it. We feel the pain of their lies and take it as a personal affront. Whether it's because we're too close to them or we're not yet ready to see our own truths, we are unable to separate what they do and how we react. No fun at all.
I believe we each come into our truths when we finally trust that we're safe. We have no need to protect ourselves when we're being authentic. We don't need armor or weapons. We need only to trust our intuition and let the good that is ever present show itself. THAT is our protection. THAT is what keeps us "safe". People who aren't yet ready for such choices suffer far more than those who embrace their truths, good or otherwise. In the end, the only thing that really matters is whether or not WE are being who we are...it's got nothing to do with anyone else.
Choosing to stay in relationships that are less than authentic can be very tricky business. Fear of losing 'love' or friendship can leave us paralyzed. But what kind of love is that? Living in fear is NOT love. There is a feeling of freedom when love is authentic. It is a knowing...deep in our core, that reminds us that our truths are the fibers that weave our life's tapestries. Anyone who isn't 'there' yet is merely walking the path they need to walk in order to get to that place of truth. If we can leave out the judgments and let them walk their path without taking it personally, we will find that we are no longer victims of their lies. It is our choice to stay or go. It is our choice to suffer or not. It is our choice to honor ourselves!
It may not be the easiest thing to do, but the only way to living one's life authentically is to be impeccable with one's word. If there are those around us who do not, that is their cross to bear. Why make it ours?
There is an old adage:
The truth will set you free.
Addendum to that adage....
BUT NOT BEFORE IT PISSES YOU OFF (first).
That's my story and I'm stickin' to it.