I like to think I have independent thoughts and beliefs. But then again, I like to think a lot of things that aren’t necessarily true. That’s one of the rather woeful things I’ve discovered about myself in this journey towards reunion with God. I’m a dreadfully good liar. So good at lying, in fact, I completely convince myself that something is black when in fact it really is white. In my search for God, I had adopted many beliefs I thought would make me into a better person; there were the usual ones regarding good versus evil that we are all brought up with, and then later on I absorbed many more variations on these old ones as I ventured into the New Age of spiritual ‘open’ and ‘pure’ thinking. As I began the journey of telling the truth, I realised that the lies were sourced in many of the beliefs that were supposed to make me ‘good’. I encountered shocking revelations, and my world was turned upside down, but the honesty brought me closer to my goal of re-joining God.
We’ve all heard of the concept of ‘masks’. By this, I mean the masks we wear to hide who we really are from others. These masks are not so difficult to identify once we get started. In my early life, I could never be honest about myself because I believed my traumatic childhood would somehow reflect badly on who I was as an adult. My spiritual growth largely remedied this and I evolved from a secretive and guarded person into a much more accessible, open human being. But this was just the beginning. I discovered that not only were there masks I wore for others, but also masks I wore to hide myself from myself. My deeper wisdom revealed that as human beings, so wounded are we inside, we cannot even stand to face the mess that is the source of our pain. And so we adopt beliefs and behaviours that cover up the turmoil. We bury it deep beneath the pretence, eventually believing the lie to be the truth. Black often looks very white indeed.
One of the most profound lies that I uncovered was the one that presented me as a truly good person who was concerned about my community. For the longest time, I served through teaching others to evolve beyond their self-destructive human issues, and by doing spiritual works that I thought would ‘save the world’. I felt good that I was doing God’s work; in fact you could even say I was smug. Later on, the turn of events that took place in my life led me to question this aspect of myself. I learned that I was not serving the community at all, but that I was in actual fact serving myself. I was trying to score points with God. I was wooing God, playing the ‘good’ girl, trying to be worthy in his eyes. I convinced myself that I was ‘chosen’ to do this work because I was a bit more special than others and that if I did it well, I would be favoured and nothing terrible would happen to me.
Deep introspection revealed a profound truth for me. At the source of the lie was the belief that we had to do things to earn God’s love. I thought we had to pray, do good works, transform ourselves into something good, or follow rules like the Ten Commandments. What I discovered was; God’s love does not need to be earned. It’s always there whether we are the most evil people on the earth or the most wonderful loving human beings. We all have the same access to God; we are all part of God. No-one is favoured, chosen or singled out. Another truth in my own personal story was that deep inside of me I felt so unworthy of love. My parents hadn’t loved me in the way I had needed to be loved and I’d spent my childhood serving them in order to get some recognition. Now I was doing the same thing with God. I found that I only had to look at my relationship with my parents to see the game I was playing with God.
This revelation healed something profound in me. I saw God in a new light. And I felt free. I didn’t have to do anything whatsoever to earn God’s love. It was already there. All I had to do was reclaim my divinity by removing the beliefs which separated me from it. And thinking I had to serve, or please, or manipulate in any way whatsoever, separated me. After this truth was revealed, I could drop all the activities that were not authentic and begin living a different life that reflected my re-emerging divinity.
I’ve uncovered many lies in the journey through myself. I truly believed that I had forgiven my parents for the damage they had done to our family. After all, forgiveness was what the saints had practised, so if I was to feel saintly, I should forgive them everything they’d done. I let my parents know this, and they were truly happy. Many people didn’t understand how I could forgive my parents, and their admiration only served to strengthen my saintly projection of myself. Certain circumstances in my life, and the introspection that followed soon revealed that I hadn’t forgiven anything at all. Nor was it my place to ‘forgive’. In digging through the mess within, I found that forgiveness is a ghostly idea that when one tries to apply it, disappears into the ethers. I learned that hurtful behaviours can only be forgiven by the owner of those behaviours, and that forgiving means letting go of those behaviours. I can’t forgive a thing, because it’s not my place. I can’t change who my parents are.
And how does this revelation bring me closer to God? By removing the belief that I can forgive makes the burden of pretentious untruths lighter. It makes me understand the world for what it is, i.e. people hurt us because they are themselves damaged; they wouldn’t be unkind otherwise. And in the long-term, the unkindness teaches us something about who we are. When I had the courage to have a really good look in the mirror, I could see that my parents’ attitudes and behaviours existed in me, and that without their unkindness I couldn’t have seen that. To remain a victim of their actions would have been to be forever anchored in my humanness by a whopping lie. I learned that my feelings of disgust towards my parents served as a kind of moral compass that steered me in a happier direction. I discovered that at the source of every feeling and emotion within us was a belief, an idea, and when we removed ideas that hurt us, we removed more barriers to our divinity. I could not forgive my parents, but I could appreciate the positive things in their nature and let the good and bad rest side by side.
Once I’d got the hang of uncovering my own untruths, I began noticing the lies that others tell. I started to see with a new vision how we as human beings are afraid of being real, scared of the truth of who we really are. And because we have learned to be afraid of our own inherent ‘evil’, we distance ourselves from it and take on layers of lies that make our predicament worse. Learning to unveil my lies proved to be the most holy thing I could do for myself. I now have expanded vision, more compassion for the suffering of humanity and an immense sense of freedom. I’ve a long way to go yet, but with the goal I have in mind, it’s worth the hard, relentless work.