Counseling taught me many things. However, one basic rule needed to be followed.
Rule #1 Stop lying, especially to yourself.
That’s it. Stop it. My teenagers brought me up short and started my truth campaign before counseling. They asked me why I lied all the time. I of course denied the allegation. I asked them when did I lie. There quick response, every time I said Fine when I was desperately hanging onto the shopping cart so I wouldn’t collapse before leaving the grocery store. Yes, my teenagers drove me to the grocery store because I would use so much energy to shop I wouldn’t be able to drive home. The simple plea to stop lying. Counseling drove home repeatedly that I needed to stop lying to face my past to be able to integrate my past into my past and start living in the present. My counselor emphasized over and over as long as I denied I was in a mess the longer I stayed in the mess. I couldn’t get out of something that I denied existing.
I worked at no longer lying and was shocked by all the ways I lied. I lied to protect my family from others knowing about my neglect and abuse as a child. I lied to hide my shame of how I was treated. I lied by denying anything was wrong. I lied by not telling the truth to my counselor. It was painful to peel away the facade of lies that protected me about the truth of my own past. The holiday complaint is everyone is so fake and insincere and accommodating … and … and …. and the list goes on. Sadly we only have ourselves to blame. In the quest for the perfect holiday we try to cover up what we believe is our ugliness. Truth hold ups the ugliness to the harsh lights. I am fascinated that as soon as I can find beauty in my trial it ceases to be a trial as longs as I am not lying to my self. Stop lying also allows me to say, “Hey, I’m not doing very well right now. I would love to participate in your ___________(what ever activity was suggested for that time). May we make a planned date together at another time?” Many times people graciously allow me to pace myself by skipping some planned activities. By sharing my truth, I lost some friends and found others. My sister shared on her blog a link to a blog about seasonal friends.
Since I started my truth campaign, holidays are still my largest hurdle but now I recognize the truth of my challenge.