I received Goop's latest email (Gwyneth Paltrow's blog) featuring Dr. Habib Sadeghi reflecting on truth and I just had to share it:
Honesty is crucial to a healthy relationship with ourselves and others. It can help us resolve longstanding issues, find forgiveness, and deepen our relationships with the people who surround us.
Why do we lie? It's clear that without being honest with ourselves we'll never be honest with others. What are the obstacles to achieving this kind of clarity and how do we overcome them? And once we gain clarity, how do we communicate truthfully in a productive and positive manner?
"My wife and I were touring the Amazon jungle when our guide suddenly stopped. Carefully, he reached down and picked up a spider from a tree branch. He easily manipulated the hairy tarantula by its bulbous abdomen. We were amazed. It didn’t move. It was completely frozen, like a statue. Our guide said the spider wasn’t dead, just temporarily anesthetized. He pointed to a tiny, pearl-like object on the back of its abdomen and explained it was an egg, planted there by a parasitic wasp. The spider had been stung and temporarily immobilized so the wasp could transplant its egg. Soon, the spider would shake off the trauma and go about its life as usual; completely unaware of the danger it carried."
"Days later and without warning, the tarantula would stop cold in its tracks. Within seconds, a new wasp, that had eaten the spider from the inside out, would emerge from its abdomen and fly away, leaving behind the empty carcass of its host."
"Like the wasp larva, feelings buried alive never die, especially fear. Lying comes from fear. It’s born from our traumas, disappointments and betrayals and is always the result of something that’s happened to us. You may be late meeting someone and blame it on the traffic or cover up being fired to avoid embarrassment. The scenarios surrounding why we lie are endless. The fact is that our lies are born from our traumas, both big and small."
"Dishonesty begins with the self. It starts when we can’t reconcile a difficult experience. The first lie is the one we tell ourselves. It’s usually, 'It didn’t happen' or 'It didn’t happen like that'. We avoid these realizations because we’re terrified of how they will make us feel. We do it because we’d rather live with the long-term consequences of lying to ourselves and others than face the temporary pain of the truth. So, we repress the truth and our feelings about it with a lie to keep the pain at bay."
"That pain could be a friend’s disappointment or a spouse’s rage. The size of the lie doesn’t matter. We never lie to protect the feelings of others. That’s the part of the lie we tell ourselves to make it easier. We lie to protect ourselves from the pain and repercussions we’ll experience from their feelings or even our own self-judgment. Lying is always self-serving."
"When we are stung by life’s traumas, especially the big ones like losing a job, relationship, financial security or our health, we become frozen in place like the tarantula. We rarely give ourselves enough time to process the hard lessons (truth) of the situation. We may grieve briefly, but then we anesthetize ourselves and it’s on with life."
"Dissociating from what really happened is known as ‘splitting’ in psychoanalysis. We either react only with emotion and become irrational about the situation or, we escape to our heads and don’t process any of the feeling. Being honest with ourselves and others requires an ability to think and feel at the same time in order to fully integrate a difficult experience and neutralize any lasting negative energy."
"Short-circuiting that process creates a second lie, an ‘alternate’ reality or ‘My Side of the Story’. Sadly, we’re always the first victims of our lies because we have to believe them first before we can convince others to do so."
"Honesty is the capacity to tell yourself the emotional truth in any situation. When you can do this for yourself, you can do it with others. Unfortunately, we can’t give what we don’t have. Dishonesty is always the result of avoiding pain at some level. This leads to lying and its twin sisters: secrets and denial. Healing from lying to others requires that we stop lying to ourselves first. It means clearing up our unconscious anxieties and the survival mechanisms that we’ve put in place to protect us from their pain."
"As spiritual beings, we’re hard-wired for honesty. We have a natural instinct to search for answers and make sense of things. Have you ever seen a bad actor on screen? You didn’t need to be an actor yourself to recognize the lack of truthfulness in the performance. Why? It’s because we’re all viscerally connected to truth on a fundamental, physical and spiritual level. It’s part of who we are and like a virus, we instinctively reject dishonesty."
"To override this natural impulse by telling lies, we generate immense amounts of resistant and negative energy in our bodies. This internal stress puts us at war with ourselves, producing cellular damage. Lies create a mind/body that is not at-ease and end up manifesting as the symptoms of our diseases. Like the unsuspecting tarantula, the egg we’ve carried for so long eventually erupts in a catastrophic way, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Healing is a choice, so is lying. Our work isn’t to create healing. Healing happens when we find and remove the barriers we’ve created against it by facing the temporary pain we didn’t think we could survive."
"So how can we find freedom from the lies we tell others and most importantly, ourselves? How do we dissolve limiting beliefs, which is really what lies are? We can begin by facing the truth of our traumas and documenting them with all the raw honesty and emotion that we’ve avoided for years. Clearing out our emotional closet can be terrifying at first, but once we survive what we didn’t think was survivable, we’ll get a taste of our limitless power to heal and change."