The Most Dangerous Lie….

When we lie to ourselves about what we want – when the heart longs for something and we turn our face away and do not acknowledge the visceral so-ness of this longing, we loose our internal guidance system. The inner GPS simply goes off-line. Self-doubt runs like a madman through the house over turning tables and chairs, knocking books off the shelves and trampling the altars of our dreams and deepest knowings. This mayhem spreads and it then becomes impossible to know what the body wants. To be fed? To move? To rest? The emotional landscape becomes flat and boring or jagged and difficult. The pleasure body becomes confused and nothing satisfies, nothing satiates…this pretending is deadly to the soul. The lights go out in the mansion of our desire. We thrash and turn in the dark, bumping into the hall tables and believing they are monsters.

Why do we do this to ourselves?

It’s often quite painful to acknowledge what we most long for, especially if we have no earthly idea how to begin to create it. It’s terrifying to want what we most want when we have evidence piled to the ceiling that we cannot have it. I’m not talking about the red Ferrari here, the dream vacation or the big new house. I am referring to what those represent. What will the things you want give you? These are the true jewels. Things more dear and basic, as simple and satisfying as having our basic human needs fulfilled. Safety, Freedom. Love. Joy. Community. A sense of belonging. Contribution. These are at the bottom of our hearts deeper yearnings. The things we turn our backs on and say, “Never! It will never happen.”

And so we may lie to ourselves and say, “I don’t want that.” Not because we don’t, but because it’s too painful to want, to simply long for without our mind knowing the how of it. So we cut off a hand or our heart. We shut down and turn away, from ourselves, from our heart’s longing. The problem with this is that our heart is the place most closely connected to the Divine, to our essential nature, our essential self, to our soul’s purpose and gifts. Saying no to part of this creates deep distrust, self-doubt and darkness. Facing the truth of the longing, telling the truth, admitting the tenderest, most vulnerable desire simply to ourselves, this opens the doors and turns on the lights. It allows us the grace to sweep the rooms and right the furniture, to make a home for ourselves, a place to sit and listen to our heart’s deeper calling.

Why do we pretend we don’t want what we want?

We’re afraid.
We’re waiting for permission.
We might believe it’s selfish or wrong somehow.
Sometimes it can be that we just don’t even want to want what we want because it’s simply too painful to not have it.

Lots of us don’t even know what we really want. We have been so culturally inducted to want what others tell us we want. We learn this early. We practice it often. We get good at it. And it hurts. We get sick; we make limiting choices and stay when we should go. We go when we should stay. As Mary Oliver says,” Listen – Are you breathing just a little, and calling it a life?”

Listening to and honoring this longing calls us deeper into ourselves…it uncovers the bodies and the stories and beliefs we walk on and call the Truth. Not realizing how false a god (those lies) we worship.

What are some of the lies I’ve been hearing?

“I just want what life brings me.”
“I don’t really want to be in a ________ relationship.”
“This is my life and it’s enough.”
“This job is good enough. It pays the bills.”
“ I can’t_____.”
And it is not the words I hear, it is the shrinking from life I sense when I or someone else tells such a falsehood.

I am not advocating turning your life upside down. There is no urgent need to quit the job, or kiss the closest available person. I am encouraging you to listen deeper. To ferret out the small voice of disquiet inside when you utter such a lie. Especially to yourself. I am beckoning you to feel the discomfort and squirming of your body. To feel the sadness and defeat drifting faintly on the air when you tell yourself or others these lies. To allow yourself the presence and curiosity in the moment to feel the contraction of spirit, body and soul. To be on the look out for them. To give them room and space and voice. They are the gateway back to a richer experience, a bigger life, to the fulfillment of those deeper needs and longings.

For me the discovery of the lie “I don’t want a romantic relationship with a man.” not only brought home in the most gut wrenching way that this lie made it impossible for me to trust myself about anything, and hence this post. It also sent me on a journey that gifted me with a much deeper love and appreciation for myself. And the truth that, while I would like to have a relationship with a man, what I want most is greater love and intimacy with myself. This is true with or without a man. Sitting with the longing, listening intently to all my heart had to say, brought me to this place.

It takes courage to tell the truth, especially to ourselves. To listen to our deepest stirrings, to dare to desire more or less. To rest. To allow silence. To welcome connection. To play, laugh, love, offer a hand.

Can we give those things to ourselves, even for 5 minutes at a time?

What are the lies you tell yourself?

What are you saying you don’t want, not because you don’t but because you don’t believe you can have it?

And if you had it, what would that give you?

How can you have that now?

I would love to know.

{ 10 comments }

Gaea Yudron October 14, 2010 at 6:12 pm

I don’t like it when the lights go out in the mansion of my desire, (great phrase)–unless there is a very good reason for it. Love this.

admin October 14, 2010 at 11:16 pm

Me neither, Gaea! Thanks !

Atmara October 14, 2010 at 9:18 pm

Thank you. I really needed to read this.

admin October 14, 2010 at 11:15 pm

You are so welcome, Atmara!

Deb Droz October 15, 2010 at 3:00 am

oh.my.god….i am so glad you started writing again, Melanie! These are exactly the questions that are so easy to avoid…because sometimes we don’t know the answer, but often because we do. thank you for your thoughtful words on this topic!

admin October 16, 2010 at 1:10 pm

Thanks, Deb! Yes,they are easy to avoid, because they are subtle and we don’t always have a very good tolerance for not knowing. We often want quick answers. I find that if I ask the questions and drop them into my being like a pebble into a deep well and then just allow the answers to arise in their own timing that works well. Patience with ourselves is really useful in discovering what’s really true for us.

Anna Kunnecke October 17, 2010 at 9:19 am

Straight to the heart, darling. Thank you.

Barrie October 26, 2010 at 12:37 am

Very insightful….glad that you are writing!!!! Can’t wait for your next
posting…..

Alan November 2, 2010 at 2:12 pm

Hi Mel
WOW oh so true, and to the point, like your heart speaking to mine. I’m good at dropping the pebbles into the pool and am working on being patient to see what bubbles up. I find it amazing the stories I tell my self so I don’t have to deal with the pain of not having what I want. Thanks for stating this so clearly.

Mary November 5, 2010 at 12:56 am

Hi Melanie
One of my biggest lies to say that I do not have time to do something like Email my beautiful sister to say Wow that was a great and helpful piece you wrote-Thank you!

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