It wasn’t a big lie, no. Just a little one. The kind that doesn’t hurt anybody. And besides, I’m a good person and everybody tells a little lie sometimes and I’m a good person. That’s for sure. Since I’m a good person, the little bitty lies I might tell every now and then aren’t such a big deal.
Then I lied again. But don’t worry, it was an innocent one, you know? It would have been more awkward to explain the truth, so I took the easy road. I’m a good person, remember? So obviously when I lie–those little itty bitty lies I only tell sometimes–I know it’s for a good reason. No use in getting someone rattled up over nothing, right?
And then I told another one. This wasn’t really a lie, though, no. This was just a selective recap of events–I didn’t actually verbalize anything that was false. That’s not really a lie. More like a half-truth. But again, I’m a good person, and I had a good reason for doing it. I was just being noble, really. I’m a good person, remember? I’ve done so many good things. I’m thoughtful and considerate, most of the time anyway. Except those few times when I tell little itty bitty, teeny weeny lies. And I always have a good reason for doing that, anyway.
I’ve become good at lying. It’s like I don’t even notice it anymore. I know I’m a good person, and when I tell a lie, just an itty bitty one, I know I have a good reason for it. It still didn’t feel good at first, but now it’s almost like I don’t even notice it anymore. It just makes things so much more convenient sometimes. No use in getting anybody riled up for no reason, right? I trust my judgment. I trust in my discretion to lie.
I trust…my lie.
But I’m a good person, remember?
And then she found out. About the itty bitty lie, and she was upset. And also about the itty bitty teeny weeny one. This time she cried, uncontrollably, and I had to watch each tear pierce my self-worth like a dagger through flesh, her pain ringing loudly in my own ears and drowning out the music of my soul.
I’m a liar. I don’t deserve trust. I don’t know if I’m a good person. What is a good person, anyway?
I love dogs. You probably love dogs, too (if not, I’m really sorry for you). Can you imagine a dog lying? What would that even look like? Maybe that’s why we love them so much–dogs never lie. If they’re going to take a shit on your carpet, they’re at least going to do it with dignity and stare you proudly in the face.
I’m like a dog in a lot of ways, playful and excitable and cuddly. I love chasing a ball. But, at some point over the years, I’ve become way too comfortable with lies. Little, itty bitty teeny weeny ones. None that would really hurt anybody, well at least except for those little ones that hurt somebody. I don’t want to lie anymore.
But it’s hard, because the accumulation of all those lies, those little, innocent, itty bitty teeny weeny lies, resulted in me lying to myself the most. My self-worth, my self-respect, my dignity, all a sham. Built on a false image of the good person I maybe once was, and maybe can be again. But first I have to overcome this hard problem, like a pandemic, to get back there.
That’s the thing with lies. They all start so small, itty bitty and teeny weeny and can be so convenient. It’s so much easier than explaining the whole situation. Because they’d never fully understand, they wouldn’t get it anyway, right? So I lie. And I lie some more. And I lie more. And I am no longer worthy of trust. And I can no longer trust myself. I’ve lied to myself the most.
This is how my world is changing. I’m coming to reckoning with the fact that I’m a liar. I’m not a good person who uses good judgment and good intentions to tell itty bitty, teeny weeny lies to smooth over a situation. I’m a liar, plain and simple.
For years I’ve justified my problem away, and now facing it is a lonely path. I’d like to think I’m not the only one on this journey; perhaps there’s someone else out there who finds ways to justify actions that go against his self-image, or at least the one he wants to portray. Perhaps most of us, or all of us even, do that from time to time. But I can only change myself, and I’m trying to will myself into being fully transparent, for better or worse, in all of my relationships.
Wish me luck. If I can succeed, maybe then I can call myself a good person.
And be telling the truth.