Living with a liar.

When you think about your ideal relationship would it be with someone who lies?

Tells false hoods? Flaunts the truth? Speaks only in stories?

Someone who never gives straight answers to a question?

I would be surprised if that were your ideal. And yet how many of us have been or are in relationships like this?

I have been in more than one. Work colleagues. Friends. Intimate partners.

And for a long time I would point the finger of blame at them for their lying ways.

But then something struck me.

By blaming them, calling them all the names under the sun at times, I was negating that I had any part in the situation. I wasn’t taking any responsibility.

“I always look for the best in people, how was I meant to know? It wasn’t my fault.”

What struck me was that was a lie too.

Of course, I have no control over what people say or do, nor do I want to. So when they lie or do things falsely. That is not my fault. But when I look back, especially at intimate relationships, the ‘red flags’ were there. I had chosen (not consciously) to ignore them. I had a vested interest in not rocking the boat, complying/ignoring the lie and keeping the status quo.

Often, sadly, it takes for these lies to become unpalatable for us to challenge them. Say no. Walk away. Or face up to the situation. And in the long term that is when great changes can happen.

But until that point…we comply. Stick with the status quo. And therefore we are complicit in the story of lies.

Now that doesn’t mean that the blame shifts to us, and that we can chastise ourselves for this behaviour. That’s just not helpful and after all we are often not conscious of that choice. Not aware.

When I was fourteen, the family dog had ‘that operation’ and came home still sedated. I sat in the floor cuddling him, when he started to urinate….on me!

Being a fourteen year old drama queen I screamed. Mum came racing in, scooped the dog up, took him outside and cleaned him up.

After I too had cleaned up I asked “Why would he do that? He’s trained to go outside.” Mum simply replied “ He’s not conscious. You can’t chastise him for not being conscious.”

The same goes for us. Chastising ourselves for our non-conscious behaviours is not helpful. We need to become aware of what and where we are ignoring things. Lying to ourselves.

It was painful for me, at the time, to see how many red flags I had ignored. How many stories I had just taken the headline and not looked for the facts. But by taking responsibility and facing these uncomfortable truths I have changed, grown and trust my intuition much more.

Being single I thought I had escaped these liars. But the more I looked the more I could hear them.

“I’ll start tomorrow”

“People like me don’t deserve great things.”

“I’m a failure/stupid/idiot.”

Whilst I may be single I realised that I was living with a liar…the thinking mind!

Unless I am aware & listen, I end up believing and buying into all sorts of lies. More destructive than those previous relationships. It seems to need to point out all sorts of unfounded “flaws” I say unfounded, because it seems that when you look at them, explore them closely, you will see that they have no strong hold. No real foundations.

Let me give you a real world example.

Whilst doing some reflective writing aka journalling, I noticed sensations in my body. Breathing had tightened and was faster. The body was tense. I kept writing and tears began to flow. I wrote “ It’s like I am at the edge of a cliff, one more step and I am gone.”

I re-read my words. Cried more. Was about to give up when I heard another voice internally say “keep walking, the cliff is not real.”

Then came a barrage of “DANGER” thoughts, warnings that I would die if I walked toward the cliff. I looked around me. I was sat, warm and cosy in my house. I wasn’t on a cliff. So I listened to the second voice and walked myself ‘off’ the imaginary cliff…and the image changed….to a meadow.

There was no danger in the way it was describing. It was lying. It was very convincing. But none the less it was lying.

My breathing relaxed, so too did my body.

If it had been lying about this then what else was it lying about? What would happen if I walked toward those other thoughts to see if they were truth or lies.

And that is the practise. Listening. Challenging. Questioning for validity. For reality. Practising to not accept the first answer. And it’s not easy and often uncomfortable. But having honest conversations aren’t always easy. Seeing a falsehood for what it is may upset the status quo. Move us from certainty to uncertainty. But I am beginning to see just ‘Life’s true nature is uncertainty. The level to which you resist change is the level to which you will suffer’ Peter Crone

Go back to your ideal relationship. How would you like that to be? Full of lies or honesty?

The only ‘forever’ relationship that we have is with ourselves, and I want that to be honest. So I am learning that it is important to face the uncomfortable truths, rather than be living with a liar 24/7!