Monday, August 27, 2012

Message #22 - Give Yourself a Break! - Part 3

How often are you wrong?  How often do you admit you’re wrong?  How often do you apologize for being wrong?  If your answer to all three questions is the same, you’re more enlightened than I think you are.  It’s much more likely that if your answer to the first question is, say, 10 times a day, your answer to the second will be less than 5, and to the third, what, once?  Maybe?

Why is it so hard to say, “I was wrong?”  I don’t have a good explanation.  I have a theory, but my theory could be wrong (sorry about that – I couldn’t resist.)  When you think you’re right about something it’s like love at first sight.  You fall in love with what you think or what you do.  And anyone who challenges what you’ve thought or done better watch out.  You’ll put up a strong argument to prove you’ve been right.  Admitting you’re been wrong isn’t part of your defense strategy.

In fact, it’s more than a strategy.  You identify yourself with what it is you think you’re right about.  Your ego is now involved.  It’s like your very being is at stake.  You forget that the argument is not about something handed down by some supreme being.  It’s just about an opinion you have or an action you’ve taken.  You forget that you’re the boss.  You’re the one who said it.  So if you want you can unsay it.

You won’t die if you admit that you’ve been wrong about something.  All you’ll be doing is admitting you’ve been wrong about something.  So Give Yourself a Break!  You’ll be making it easier on you and those around you.

Which brings me to telling the truth about yourself.  You’re fine just the way you are.  You don’t have to pretend to be something you’re not.  You don’t have to lie about your age, your weight, your job, your education, anything.

I know that in this Internet age with the anonymity that is available you can create an online avatar that better fits your picture of how you think you’d like to be.  Don’t bother.  It’ll either come back to bite you in the ass and/or you’ll start down a fantasy road doesn’t serve you well.  If you want to make some improvements, that’s OK.  But start with who you really are.  Don’t lie to others or yourself. 

Lies are like explanations and complaints.  They don’t change anything.  Lying about yourself won’t change you.  You’re kidding yourself if you think you’ll fool people with your lies.  They won’t be fooled – or at least they won’t be fooled for long.  And then you’ll have to deal with the impact your lies have on your relationship with whoever you’ve lied to.

But I’m more interested in and concerned about you lying to yourself.  What’s the point?  Unless you’re living in a fantasy world of your own making, in which case you need a different kind of help than I can offer, is there an upside for you if you lie to yourself?  I don’t think so.  You know what the truth is.  Pretending otherwise will cost you.  You’ll pay a price in self-esteem.  You’ll worry about being caught lying.  Some joy will go out of your life.  You’ll feel burdened, less alive.  And in the end the truth will come out anyway.  It’s not worth it.

Give Yourself a Break!


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