Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Boy Who Cried 'Wolf' and the People Who Loved Him

A person whose role in my life has been significant for many years was recently exposed as having habitually lied to me. Under numerous circumstances, sometimes seemingly out of no deeper motivation than avoiding a second question.

If you know me, you know I am innately curious and ask lots of questions. I don't interrogate anybody for the sake of judgment; I seek to understand for my own edification. It's really all quite objective. It is extremely rare for me to “get personal.” Think of me as a slightly more mature four year old: “Why? Why? Why?” I imagine I can be annoying. That's why I try not to ask any more often than I feel compelled to know. The world is definitely not ready for my level of curiosity; this I learned the hard way. I am a giant knowledge sponge.

So this significant person established a decades-long relationship on a foundation of lies. I only recently came to understand this reality. Now I am dealing with the fallout. And in my objective, scientific-ish way of handling relationships, I weighed the impact of this break in trust. Naturally, I find it difficult to trust this individual, but it goes far deeper and further than that. I hear whispers of doubt when dealing with others, as well.

Doubt is a bastard. But like a sherpa on a trek up Kilimanjaro, a necessary bastard. We all need a little doubt to stay alive. If we blithely walked everywhere without questioning, we'd soon end up dead. But too much doubt undermines one's ability to lead a fulfilling life. Too much doubt causes one to question others' motivations when maybe it really doesn't matter. When what the others do really doesn't have a thing to do with US. When we hold up the yardstick of our existence and force-measure someone else against our standard. That's a negative result of doubt.

Another negative result of doubt is questioning ones self. What was wrong with me that I believed those lies for so long? Is there something functionally wrong with me that I cannot see through deception? Is this new person lying to me now? Will the next person I run into, say at the post office, lie to me too? Does everybody lie? Studies tend to suggest everybody does. What does that even mean?

These are the truly evil consequences of his lying. Not even the situations that were hidden and lied about, but the fallout, the loss of trust, the doubt, the residual lessening of ME and my spirit, my life, the revealing of my weakness, my reluctance to trust. 

In my spiritual Universal way of thinking (my personal spiritual path that remains unlabeled yet is fairly defined), the lesson here is that I must trust more fully, more deeply, more willingly. His lies exposed my doubt. They laid open a wound that had never fully healed, an ugly wound at that.

Two sides of the coin: Trust, and doubt.

So how does one deal with Trust and Doubt? I'd say with Grace and Judgment. More on that tomorrow. ~~GHC

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