“Sometimes dishonesty is provoked/motivated by great love.” ~Oscarandre
I read this today in another blog. It keeps running through my mind; the sentence leaves its muddy footprints all over and I can’t wipe them clean. It is validating to me that another person wrote this. And so I sing, “For he’s the jolly good fellow!”
It’s an odd realization that I started out so opinionated, self righteous, full of my own ethical concepts, and so damned certain of it all. I think of most people my parents’ age and they don’t seem to struggle with the same ethical questions and challenging life choices as I. If I started out certain and I (might) end up certain again (although certain of entirely different things via personal experience and learned wisdom) later on, then is it just in the middle that everything goes haywire?
In the past few years, I have learned that honesty is not black and white. I prided myself for most of my life at being this incredibly honest person. And I was honest for the most part, but I still would tell those little white lies to save another’s feelings or occasionally maybe to prevent an argument or unwanted confrontation. When a few years ago I suddenly experienced an honesty BLOW OUT. I was accused of being a “liar”…cruelly and repeatedly accused. And although I still can see that particular situation from several angles and am not convinced that it does, in fact, make me a “liar”, it forced me to look at my own definition of honesty, as well as question my truth-telling integrity. If a lie is a lie is a lie, then I’m doing wrong when I tell my friend she doesn’t look fat and I’m every bit as wtong were I to lie about anything else. Where are the degrees in lying?
From there, I think it must be directly proportionate to the outcome and the intention from the lack of truth? Is it to save senselessly hurting another? To save my own ass? To cover a mistake? Are those where the possible degrees of lying come in to effect? Having told a BIG selfish lie (with distinct “protect anothers’ feeling undertones”), and being called a liar from that choice, my entire perception of lying altered.
Another question, if I tell one “big” lie am I a “liar”? Like the “once a cheater, always a cheater” theory? Is a person who cheats one time really a life-long cheater? I used to believe so. However, even prior to my “big lie”, I still felt there was a huge difference between telling a lie in certain (perhaps understandable?) circumstances and just tossing out lies all the time… or lying regularly for some type of personal gain. Huge difference! Unless of course, the lie was told to me and then it’s a little more difficult to find understanding and compassion for the reason behind the lie and somewhat impossible to view that lie objectively.
My big lie was “motivated by great love”. The greatest love I ever knew, actually. I can’t say honestly there was no self-service to this lie, but the predominant motivation was love. Sometimes a mistake is a mistake is a mistake and you’ve realized prior to even completing the mistake that you’ve erred. At that point the ball is rolling and you’re wrapped in the tangled web of it all, spinning you into a cocoon of deceit which you’d do anything to go back in time and have a mulligan.
If you’ve learned the lesson before you’ve even been caught in the deceit, it is really necessary to own it? I mean, necessary for anyone/anything but your own peace of mind? If at that point, you’re going to do more damage by coming clean, you already have regret consuming you, then is coming clean merely for the idea of giving another permission to punish you as they see fit? Does this balance the karma from the deceit? Does the other person affected by the lie have to have the opportunity to hurt and punish in order for the karmic scale to balance? Aren’t you creating additional negativity with the pain from the other person? ….resulting in more karma to be balanced? As I hold each in my hands and try to find that inner scale, I definitely feel the pain of another human being feels entirely heavier than the deception itself. Although in no way should this be allowed to become a habitual practice.
I will never be the person who is brutally honest. I’m just not going to be that. I do know now though that I will never again tell a “big” lie. However, my primary goal from this experience is to never again make a choice that leads to the necessity of a big lie.