I lost an object that is absolutely dear to me the other day and my stomach dropped when I couldn’t find it in the usual places I would keep it. I traced my steps back to the places I had been to the previous day and made a mental list of where I could possibly find that object. I went back to the those places and actually found it! To tell you the truth, I was prepared to not find it and accept that it’s lost, but I couldn’t resign to that thought without trying my best to find it. I rejoiced and a couple of weeks after that, the object broke. It slipped out of my hand and I wasn’t ninja enough to catch it.
The object broke, but that didn’t erase what it stands for; those sentiments are intact and they grow everyday. In fact, those feelings existed before that object came into existence. It’s easy to keep track of objects; to find them when they are lost and to get a new one when it’s broken. I wouldn’t say the same thing about integrity, trust, a sense of self and relationships.
Years ago, I believed most of the above weren’t in my control, and I thought it wasn’t necessary to keep track of them as they would play out the way they were meant to. Honesty isn’t easy to maintain, but I had stopped putting an effort into it after the first few times being honest didn’t work in my favour. I lost integrity on the way and lying became a lifestyle and secret personality trait. If people stopped trusting me, it didn’t matter so long as some other people were buying my lies. The worst outcome of this process was the fact that I had worn away a lot of my sense of self without even realising it. I didn’t even know what that phrase meant, to be honest. My relationship with myself, my family and my friends were at an all-time low, and I was the only person aware of the diminishing quality.
When dishonesty became my go-to strategy, I felt like I was being weighed down with all the lies I had to keep track of. It was a tedious process, but I fooled myself into believing that was easier than taking responsibility and owning up to what I was dishing out. I measured everything I said and did and that’s what popped into my head when I read the daily prompt – gingerly – and no other word describes that state better. There were so many activities and events I could have applied my heart and mind to, but I chose to guard and build my leaning tower of lies instead.
It obviously had to come crashing down and it was the best thing that has ever happened to me. It took me more years to rebuild my integrity and reinstate trust in my relationships than it took for me to lose them. But it was worth that time and effort.
Finding my sense of self took the longest. I struggled to define myself and I lied to myself more than I lied to others. I had created so much space in my mind and heart for deception and it took some time to clean it out. It was a long process and that would be too much detail, so here’s what I learnt in that span of time:
- No one likes being lied to and they appreciate honesty even if you have to start by coming clean.
- Taking leaps of faith are important to overcome limitations.
- You need to make time for yourself and understand yourself before you expect someone else to.
- Most of the fears we have are like a grain of sand that we magnify ten times over in our minds. Objectivity is your best friend here!
- Talk about it; ‘it’ being anything at all. Silence is the worst solution to any problem.
- You always have a choice, in any situation.
All that I learned when I worked on myself, I then took forward to my relationships with people. Instead of keeping things to myself, lying, pretending and giving into pressure, I decided to talk about things that bothered me, offered my honest thoughts and opinions, presented myself the way I am and resisted influences that didn’t favour me.
I don’t tread with caution anymore and I don’t handle my words and thoughts gingerly. Out went deception and there was so much space left for creativity, love, confidence and growth. I can speak for myself and know that I am doing so in honesty.
What’s your story when it comes to discovering yourself?
Reader. Learner. Dreamer.
I am all about the little things in life!