HONESTY MONTH: DAY 18: “Above all, don’t lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point 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.”― Fyodor Dostoevsky
We can lie in dozens of ways, maybe lots more. The greatest lies are those we tell ourselves about who we are and what we are up to.
There is a wide range of lies we tell about ourselves. We pretend a great deal in our culture. We are reluctant to be authentic, especially with ourselves. We work very hard to be like others, especially if we believe they are superior to us in some way. We are taught to compete on so many levels; intellectually, physically, emotionally, in sports, in play, in school, in life itself, with money, with appearance, with possessions, with children, with careers, and then we wonder why we are so dissatisfied and unhappy. We are not taught to be authentic with what we are…just what and who we are. And most people I know are completely uncertain about who and what they are.
How can that be? Dishonesty…pretending…playing a game that we did not even know the rules to…and the outcome is that we are addicted to pretending and being dishonest.
Scared to tell the truth because Ego is the Master. We have buried our spirits so deeply that we do not even know how to access them any longer. We are lost, sad, depressed, self-centered, selfish, self-motivated, arrogant, empty, and alone.
Then we look around one day and wonder why we have no self-esteem. I remember in my early days of recovery that old-timers used to say that we need to perform “esteemable acts” to gain self-esteem and self-worth. Yay! So simple. And I had not been doing that.
Years of working in the mental health system, primarily in treatment, has given me a lot of exposure to the diagnostic system with newly recovering addicts. Every one of them suffers from low self-esteem. Well, duh! If you have been a selfish jerk, you probably feel like one. No shit! It is not a vitamin deficiency, cured by taking a pill or some other quick fix. It is about living with honesty, integrity, honor and respect for self AND OTHERS. Mostly others. Do service!!! It works every time…along with telling the truth about everything.