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The Lies we Tell Ourselves [Make us Sick]

Last night we piled our dinner plates high with saag paneer and butter chicken, pairing this with a rousing murder mystery. “Knives Out”. Truth gleaned: Lying makes Marti puke (sorry).

Better put: Lying sickens our bodies.

There’s empirical support for this?! Research study findings: reducing the everyday lies we tell can significantly increase our health *and* interpersonal relationships, and the improvement in relationships significantly accounts for the improvement in health. (Anita E. Kelly/Univ of Notre Dame).

So true- of our thoughts and actions, not just words! As a life coach (and a faulty human) I see this play out in how we think about ourselves and act accordingly. It’s hard to tell others the truth when we have a hard enough time being honest with ourselves, particularly about who we are. With limited grasp of who God designed us to be, the rich tapestry of possibility tends to dumb down to our frayed limitations and underused strengths, though both are gifts that can clarify truth about ourselves and guide us to fruitful lives. We lie to ourselves and others merely by opting out of or overshooting the finely nuanced beautiful truth He longs for us to experience- each of us uniquely. We feel unwell as a result, be it emotionally, physically, mentally, spiritually or all of these. Lying to ourselves makes us sick.

Peace and deep joy seem to be the healthful fruit of telling ourselves the truth.

What do you think about this?

I recall a poem I wrote for college French class. A returning student, untethered, broken, and directionless, I somehow captured my own unspoken truth and spotlighted my self-deception – by writing in French. Somehow working in a foreign language- even at a novice level- opens up the brain and psyche in interesting ways!

“We danced with the ceiling against our heads….” I’d penned this line without thinking in an effusive flood of spirit somehow formed into shapes on paper by the pen in my hand. I was, at the time, mired in a desperate attempt to live as the person I’d always known I was designed to be, the person I am. But as a pendulum swings with no mercy, my newfound energy and passion to explore more than that, explore the “person I wanted to be”.

I felt pinned down by limitations, and set out to interrogate their sources. I do feel some sympathy for my younger self; the fight to overcome limitations wasn’t entirely a fight against my authentic nature. The firefight involved jetting needless limitations and expectations placed on me by others, and some I never should have espoused in the first place. It was making me sick. In fact, it had, by that point, become a cancer spreading to large pieces of my life, a necrosis of spirit, mind and body. It took six more years after writing that poem to get back to truth- about myself, about life, about God, others, and the world we live in.

But I’ll spare you that story. Suffice it to say I’m deeply grateful to have been given the chance to find the truth once again, to uncover it, step into it, walk it out. I feel better healthier in profound ways. And the healthier relationships I’ve grown are indeed a big part of that.

If only truth-telling could altogether eliminate puking. Even better.

Be sure to comment! I’m curious as to how you’ve seen this play out in your life. The healthfulness and relationship part, I mean. ‘Til next time- be well and stay well!

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