Thursday, February 20
Say what you like: say I’m ill,
Say I broke my leg on the stairs,
Say we’ve had a fire
—T. S. Eliot
Think of the trouble of excuses and lies. They force us to make ourselves sick, live with a whole broken leg, start some sort of slow burn. When we tell someone we’re not at home, we have to hide in that place. When we invent a long line of lies, we have to memorize each one. It’s easiest just to come clean, use plain and simple words, and speak true. When accusers spear us with their stares, we can disarm them by looking them right in the eye.
Not only do lies deceive others, they keep us hidden from ourselves, and make our real reasons for the choices we’ve made seem unworthy, if we feel we can’t express them. Better that we be truthful, even if a little pain results. Truth keeps communication lines open. Then, when someone really wants to know what’s on our minds, we can simply open our hearts.
Is anything too terrible to tell to a friend?
From Today’s Gift: Daily Meditations for Families ©1985, 1991