Last week, I was reading a book in which a young girl struggles to reconcile the disharmony she sees between her parents and the ‘happy family show’ they put on in Church every Sunday. Naturally, she was terribly confused about love, religion, society and knowing what is the truth.
I remember one young woman who had so many problems on the home front. She would often come to me with her problems. Her family life was a mess with her mother leaving the family at regular intervals and friends having to convince her to come home. Imagine our shock when we saw an article in the newspaper written by this girl about her perfect family. To this day I wonder what made her write it. Self-deception? Wanting to project something to the world?
Long before we could blame Facebook for the fact that we often pretend to have perfect lives, putting on a good show for society has been a part of the world we live in. The only thing that Facebook does is provide us with an easy platform to showcase our (not so) perfect lives.
I begin to think of how hard it must be for people to show that all is well in their world. How much energy it must take to pretend. Surely, this has some negative impact on their health and well-being. I know, because I’ve been there – pretending that all was well in my world. In my defense I’ll say, that while I didn’t talk of problems, I didn’t go out of my way to show that mine was a perfect life either. Still, it took a lot of emotional energy.
Self-deceit shows itself in all addicts, making them pretend that they can control their habits. The first step to de-addiction is admitting that there is a problem.
Self-deceit manifests itself in dysfunctional relationships – between partners, between parents and children, between co-workers and friends. I think we all, to varying degrees, struggle with admitting to ourselves that people hurt us. Also, admitting that we’re in a dysfunctional relationship takes courage. Often we have to break off ties, break up a marriage, and move away from these people and the drama. This is not easy at all. It calls for action and change. And like the song goes, breaking up is hard to do……..
But if we want to start the process of healing, we must stop deceiving ourselves. Stop deluding ourselves that people will change. Stop telling ourselves that we’re all-loving and all-forgiving and that we can put up with disrespect and abuse in the name of love and friendship. Only then can the process of growth and healing begin.
“Just as surely as distress must follow self-deceit, healing must follow self-honesty.” – Vernon Howard
Mind Talk by Corinne Rodrigues
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