We live in a culture that often makes it easy to hide, cover up, make excuses, and blame others for our dilemmas, and this can make being truthful with oneself a real challenge. But when we stop shifting blame to others and face the truth, we will then be on the road to healthy living.
Consider the following ideas, and commit to recognizing the messages we tell ourselves and the impact those messages have on our truthfulness with ourselves.
“I want it.” Shouldn’t that be reason enough? I know it’s not healthy, not good for me, not right. I know, in the long run, this will hurt me or someone else, but…I want it.
“I need it.” Don’t be daft. You’re not fooling anyone but yourself. We deceive ourselves into believing the thing we want is really the thing we need. It’s what we deserve. Or at least we don’t deserve the pain of not getting the thing we want.
“I didn’t do it. You didn’t see me do it. You can’t prove a thing.” We take what we want. We give in to temptation and then someone has the gall to remind us of the reality of our choice. We deny it’s a problem. We may even deny we even did it in the first place, but the effect is the same. We distance ourselves from those who care enough to warn us of the consequences of our actions.
“It’s not my fault.” As we begin to experience the effects of the downward spiral the self-deception continues. Deflection is the art of blame. “If they hadn’t, I wouldn’t have…” Now the deception turns outward as you decide the reasons for your choice are irrevocably attached to the choices of others. Even when it goes wrong it’s someone else’s fault.
“Who are you to tell me what to do!?” You’re tired of hearing from those closest to you. In spite of their best efforts, those who care about you most are silenced, not by your brilliance or righteousness, but because you’ve chosen to ignore the once trusted voices of friends.
“I’ve lost everything.” No, you didn’t. You gave it away. You squandered opportunity. You despised once cherished relationships and it will never be the same. Sure, you can rebuild something you’ll call a life, but it will be stained by the broken promise of the past, promises you disdained. In your quiet moments you’ll remember. You’ll mourn. You’ll feel robbed, yet you’ll have only yourself to blame.