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I Lie, I Lie, And I Lie. And... I Lie.*

I recently told a friend that I'd realized a fundamental difference between the two of us.

“You lie to yourself a lot less than I do. Either you honestly have not realized something about who you are and how you act OR you own up to it, admit it to yourself and others, and move along. I, on the other hand, will realize something about myself and then proceed to pretend it's not true, hiding it from others and denying it while simultaneously attempting to change it.”

Public self-reflection, a deep honesty and vulnerability are not easy for me. In the words of Marcus Mumford, “I am afraid of what I will discover inside.

In the past few weeks, I've heard myself telling more lies than usual (or maybe I'm just more aware that I'm lying?). Most have been these “little white lies” that seem harmless and innocent and really just serve to save face. Some have been indirect, lies that lead people to believe something other than the truth with some mild misdirection. And a few have been lies of omission, where saying nothing & withholding truth is a type of dishonesty.

But I think at the root of each one is a lie that I tell myself – either about myself, or about the person I'm lying to.

I care too deeply about the way others view me. I was recently asked which I would want to have a lot of: respect, fame, love, or power. The choice was easy for me. Respect. The hardest thing for me to hear is someone saying (or communicating in other ways), “I am disappointed in you.” So to save face, I lie.

I'm uncomfortable with this place of external and internal lies.

But I also know I can't just force my way through with a big ol' dose of straight-up vulnerability. I've tried.

There is a blog post that I have sat down to write at least six times in the last three months. And each time I sit down, I distract myself. My mind goes blank and my heart panics, and I can't write it, even though 85% of it already exists in my mind.

The same thing is happening with my second, promised post about Mumford & Sons. All the words are in my head (albeit in a very jumbled order), but the thought of writing them down and hitting publish feels something like I imagine it would feel if I were ever to go out dressed in "club-appropriate" apparel.


There are people in my life who are allowed to see me in a bikini or short-shorts (at the beach). But I'm not comfortable with the idea of parading down a street for anyone and everyone to see me like that.

Similarly, the insights I had into my own heart and the things I felt on Saturday night, the role of music in my life and a rant about “Christian art” and what it means to live pity-free and side-by-side with people of different beliefs - these are things I hold too close to my heart to blog about this week. Maybe ever.

A secular friend told me they hope I don't censor myself in the planned Mumford entry for their sake; I replied that I censor myself for the religious audience as often as I do for the non-religious readers. (Am I allowed to admit that there are things I just really don't care to publish on my blog? I think so. I'm just sorry it's coming after I promised I would.)

I would rather cop out honestly like this, then write a half-honest entry or just avoid writing it for six months, like the other post I mentioned.

(A friend tweeted awhile back, "In response to ______________, I vow to write clearly or not write at all." I feel like that is a principle I could use more of in my life.)

So if you want to hear my thoughts, you can ask me about it next time we hang out or talk on the phone. Or you can send me an email sharing some of your thoughts on similar topics.** And who knows, maybe I'll even include a bikini photo in my response.
I'm kidding about the photo.
Very, very kidding.
Like, there isn't a chance it would ever happen.

*this title is a quote from one of the most quotable TV shows of the decade: The IT Crowd. This particular line occurs at 0:45 of this clip:

** if you don't have the ability to contact me in any of these ways, I may not actually know you. But if you are keen to hear more, leave a comment and introduce yourself; maybe we'll start some sort of dialogue.


Keri H. said…
I am not disappointed in you. I am proud of you for being honest - both with yourself and with your readers.
Thanks for sharing your heart, which is always what I am really interested in hearing about anyway.

Katie V. said…
Now I'm really curious what you have to say about Mumford. But I don't think I need to email you because you already know my thoughts. Although we might be able to better communicate in person/by phone.
Beth said…
keri - thank you!

katie - i assumed, when writing this, that we would talk over coffee/dinner/drinks some evening soon. :)

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