To Lie or not to Lie


The most recent theme in my life revolves around the subject: Lies, whether it means lying to someone or being lied to. By lying, I also mean instances when we don’t completely express what we consider true.

I recently had a conversation with one of my sons about this and I remember telling him that choosing not to share or to keep something from someone in order to protect our space or privacy is different from a lie driven by FEAR of something.

We often get upset with children when they lie to us. Actually it’s not a great feeling when lied to, whether they are children or adults. But with children, I know we give them a hard time about it. We tell them we can’t trust them anymore because they lied to us and now, have to earn our trust back. We wonder what made them lie, wonder why they couldn’t be open and truthful.

It’s much easier said than done.

 I have always felt that hearing the hard truth was far easier than being lied to, even if it was going to be painful.

Now, after having experienced both sides of it, the lying and being lied to, I can see a different perspective towards it.

I feel that it is very important to observe ourselves and try and find out why we lie. ‘Fear’ would be the root cause of all lying. Fear of conflict, rejection, isolation,messy situations and of shame too. We feel that the truth won’t be accepted and to be accepted, we must lie.

While at the receiving end of a lie, it would be key to notice that we are experiencing this because we simply might not be willing to hear the truth. I am positive that most of us face situations where we do not want to ask certain questions because we are not ready to hear/accept the truth. There is a way that we might not be open to any other perspectives besides ours. We might not be open to change. And hence, we are presented with the lie which somehow keeps us ‘safe’ and maintains status quo.

The impact of deception is huge. It involves the breaking of trust. What usually follows is the game of  ‘blame,’ which is the most convenient and natural place to go to, because we get most gratification in putting the other in the wrong. Our ego can go on a wild ride with ‘blame’. We blame someone for not giving us the space to be open and transparent, and also get blamed for not being truthful. If there is a problem, someone must have created it, and hence, we must find someone to blame. We have a tendency to (almost hurriedly) classify something as right or wrong, or good or bad, before really digging a little deeper.

Truth? The phenomena of the ‘lie’ occurs because there is no space for truth in that relationship. No unconditional acceptance of each others’ perspectives and humanity, or any room for error. We don’t have compassion towards mistakes or consider vulnerability. We don’t leave room for imperfection- constantly expecting the best and nothing less from ourselves and from others. We don’t accept the negative parts to ourselves or the other, that we are human, that we err.  We don’t leave space for something new to evolve because of the fear of change. And so what we experience is a cover up of the truth.

If we only want to experience same-ness we might as well spend time with ourselves or find people who are similar to us. Isn’t it weird that many-a-time we are looking to change another’s perspective to match our own? And that we have no tolerance to diversity- to experience someone who does life differently from us?

If authenticity is what we are looking for, that’s a whole different ball game. Authenticity creates a space that’s real, open and transparent. It makes things messy, hard and complicated, but leaves room for things to flow without the need to control things for a certain outcome. It allows room for what wants to happen.

One good place to start would be to take personal responsibility for your part of that equation, to ask yourself what you did to contribute to the situation. To also help things go right rather than just focussing on what was wrong.

Fear is the biggest block that keeps us wrapped in layers. Fear of mess, uncertainty, conflict, change, being challenged, losing someone and much more. What we don’t realise is that in the pretext of keeping things together we are actually living a lie.

A powerful question to ask ourselves is, ” If I weren’t afraid of so-and-so, what would I do now? How different would I be?”

If all of this were a game, the rules are quite simple.

Rule no. 1-Treat others the same way you want them to treat you

Rule no. 2-Don’t do unto others what you don’t want others to do unto you.

Rule no. 3-The truth shall set you free.

Rule no. 4-Don’t get too hooked to the rules. Play from your heart!


With Love & Gratitude

Sheena Yusuf
December 8, 2015

2 thoughts on “To Lie or not to Lie

  1. Thank you Sheena! As always, I learn and reflect after reading your blogs.
    I especially was drawn to the paragraph about truth, and rule number four.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s