I tell myself so many lies to live the way I do. You wouldn’t believe the sheer number. Or maybe you would. This is my confession.
A while back—I couldn’t even tell you when—I let the demons in, and they’ve been here ever since. Roaming through rooms, stashed in dark corners, smiling black teeth under the bright burning lamps of my sleepless nights. The demons of fear and pride, lust, perfectionism. With them, I let in the lies, so well disguised sometimes I can’t even tell you anymore if I believe what I say, or what I think. If I believe in the explanations that function as justifications for the life choices, wrongs and right turns, the cynicism or idealism I indulge on any given day.
My life commences in cycles. Insidious and ceaseless and surfaceless. Fear: I create the very circumstances of which I am afraid. In refusing to believe that I am important to those most important to me, I push them away, nurture my own un-importance. In convincing myself that I will never be good enough, I fall short. I let down those I love by falsely, selfishly, boastfully assuming that their love for me can not be enough to cover up my mistakes, to accept my apologies, to give me grace. So all the while I am empty, alone, drowning for connection, I am predictably, methodically, burning the outlets through which those connections are carried. Even as I cry to be known, I put myself away. I know more about others than they know about me, consistently. In padlocked moments when emotions and lies rage like liquid fire, the accusation “You don’t know me at all,” dies on my lips. It’s not their fault. It never has been. I am the only one to blame. Because these are my lies; this is my flame.
I don’t have trust issues. I have truth issues. The words in my mind, how do I explain? Some part of me knows when they’re wrong. When they’re too harsh, too exaggerated, too irrational, too unforgiving. I can recognize that these lines, these demons’ black smiles, are lies. But I let them win; I bolster them with more thoughts, more falsehoods, more words the Father has never spoken to me and words which I would never dare say to another person. Somewhere in my reasoning, I’ve sorted grace and mercy wrong. The extension of grace: I have an infinite amount to offer the people around me. Their sins, their mistakes, their imperfections I find forgivable, understandable, empathize-able. But my own. No. I’ve left no grace or mercy for myself, for my human condition. See, perfectionism is a bastard of a master. It drives the sources of these cycles, my own life choices. Watches pride gorge itself, shredding the security of relationships, devouring communication, vulnerability, self-awareness. After all, perfectionism itself is hungry. Its sophistry is blind to the blemish that is pride, as long as its gluttony serves as a means to “perfection.” How prideful I am to act as though God’s grace isn’t enough to cover my sin. To mope about, to accept lies that don’t even need a disguise anymore, as if God is not Truth. Who do I think I am, that His love is not enough?
So what do we do with these lies that we tell ourselves? These lies that, if left alone, eat us alive. And if indulged, rob us blind. These thoughts and dark lines that keep us up at night. Who do we tell them to? Our strongest fears, our deepest doubts, our worst behaviors? If I show you my imperfections, let you in, let you see my demons, and you walk away. Doesn’t that make the lies right all along?
I tell myself so many lies to live the way I do.