How many people have I unintentionally hurt by lying to protect them? When I am sparing someone’s feelings, am I actually saying they cannot handle the truth? This month’s theme at church is honesty, and the implications of this in my own life are huge.
I am a huge feelings-saver, saying “I cant wait to see you!” when I really mean “please cancel, I am tired and cranky and my jeans are too tight tonight but I don’t have anything else clean unless I pretend I am coming straight from work.” I say “I admire how steadfast you are” when I really mean “why cant you just give an inch this one time?” Lies of this sort protect the immediate moment, but who really wins when I go out for an evening despite desperately needing sleep? The restaurant server making a $2 tip, otherwise no one.
I have always thought it was selfish to be honest, that it was better to suffer through a long afternoon with someone I don’t particularly care for then it would be to tell them I didn’t feel we were really connected. Hell, I can remember at least four romantic relationships that lasted months longer than they should have because I didn’t want to hurt my significant other’s feelings. I just added up the months from those relationships (I am sure there are more) and it adds up to 1.75 years. I spent 1.75 years of my life sparing people’s feelings, sleeping with the wrong person, pretending I was in it for the long haul. What a waste.
Today’s service crawled inside my skin, spread into my heart and took up residence in my psyche. This post feels half done, though. The resolution part, the piece where I do the work to become a more authentic person, is still percolating below the surface. So I guess this post is my first to be continued… Perhaps next week’s service will give some answers to the questions today’s service surfaced.