a seven hundred dollar lie

Liar liar, pants on fire!

True story: I lie. Like way more often than I’m willing to admit or even realize. And while normally my lies are pretty minor and along the lines of “no, that didn’t hurt my feelings at all” or “I really like water chestnuts,” last week I told a lie of a different kind. It was a lie with consequences, and not just hurting someone’s feelings temporarily.

This week, I told a lie that cost a stranger approximately $763.00. Granted, I made an honest mistake originally but instead of taking the time to actually fix it, I told a fat, pricey lie to save face.

Lying is a dangerous game to play. At its root, I believe most lies are born from the gap-tooth mouth of sheer fear. Lying isn’t just an action, it’s a straight up condition. A condition of the heart, so to speak. It’s an attack on our integrity (no duh), but more so it’s a questioning of our value. If you felt 100% secure, would you feel the need to fib? Or would you tell it like it is?

I’m a straight up liar. I lie for all kinds of reasons. I lie by making excuses, by tossing out insincere compliments, by biting back words I should’ve said, by embellishing stories that would be intensely boring without some help or by adopting stories that aren’t mine, or by deflecting blame to someone else. Or I just straight up lie, falsities pouring out of me like a cold, dirty faucet.

And when I lie, this is the process that normally happens internally:

Lie is said.

I think “Hm, I know that wasn’t true, but hopefully they won’t ask or notice.”

I keep talking, mind keeps dwelling on that lie. “Why did I say that? I should’ve just said what I meant.” Eventually, I walk away and generally I can just forget about it.

But then there are those lies that come back to bite you in the butt like a rapid English bulldog with a bad temperament. Those are the lies that make you go “Oh crud.” They happen when a) someone brings up later and you don’t remember saying, b) lies you have to respin and retell because they weren’t convincing enough originally (may need to be repeated numerous times), c) the lies someone confronts you about and you own up to them and apologize profusely (which sometimes includes lies of total insincerity but you’re just trying to make the situation go away as fast as possible).

Somewhat related: I love Jim Carrey. And one of the movies that comes to mind on this topic is Liar Liar. His teeny, adorable, blonde and innocent son makes a wish that his dad cannot tell a lie and then we have the privilege of viewing one of my favorite scenes Jim Carrey has ever done: the conquest of the red blue pen.

the pen is blue

That scheme demonstrates pretty much exactly my struggle every time a lie slips out of my mouth; because instead of a lie, I desperately desire to speak truth but fight tooth and nail with my fear of rejection, of failing to be worthy of love, of being forgotten – and I lose almost every time.

This $700-something situation came at a perfect time considering Valentine’s Day and the beginning of Lent are showcasing their appearance in the same week. Valentine’s Day, for me, is full of lies. Not the cutesy kind, but the ones that creep into the cracks of my soul, the “you’re not lovables” and the “you’re not pretty enoughs.” And Lent is a time that we fast things that matter, that give us value or help us to understand our priorities.

This Lent, I’m choosing to not lie. To make the active choice to confront my fears and kick them in their bony, ugly shins. So simple, but most likely impossible. But here goes nothing…

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One thought on “a seven hundred dollar lie

  1. Pingback: Rubberface (Jim Carrey’s First Movie) 1981 | THE SCARECROW

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