Practice Telling the Truth

Don’t you hate phoniness? I hate it in myself and I hate it in others…and yet when I forget myself I do it, and I see it. Aaaaahhhh…why?

Laura Fine, LMFT, Founder of Lionheart Institute

Laura Fine, LMFT

Not long ago while on an out of town visit, I told my friend…
I have a dinner appointment and have to leave in ten minutes. I didn’t have a dinner appointment, I just couldn’t tolerate any more of his complaints.

Why did I resort to this behavior? I know better! I teach this stuff! How many white lies do you tell? My habit is to rationalize these white lies and tell myself it’s to protect hurting his feelings. In actuality, the reverse is true. When I stop and take time to reflect on my behavior I realize I did it to protect my own feelings. I tell white lies to protect myself from feeling very specific feelings I can scarcely tolerate. For example one of the most common white lie is. “I’m not feeling well, “I need to cancel our date Friday night.” We tell ourselves this lie is to avoid hurting that person’s feelings. The truth is this lie is told to avoid my feeling my friend’s anger and disappointment.

Tolerating his reaction while staying in connection with him is one of the greatest emotional challenges for most people. Text messaging, voice messaging, facebook’ing, phone calls, don’t require face to face eye contact and have been an unfortunate reinforcement for avoidance of intimacy.

Much of our modern communication is superficial and we’re left to disguise our authentic feelings, even from ourselves. How? Emotional over-eating, addiction, computer games, movies…all serve as coping mechanisms to mask our feelings. If we mask feelings they transmute into anxiety. And what is all this anxiety? A distorted expression of deep primary authentic emotions such as sadness, powerlessness, loneliness, and feelings our culture silently judges as weak. These primary feelings are our most vulnerable feelings, that when shared help us feel intimately connected to others.

The most successful, most powerful and pleasurable people I enjoy being around are those who are fearlessly authentic. Somehow, I feel safe in their company, emotionally safe, free and often emotionally uncomfortable. Yet I prefer that discomfort because it’s honest! (I’m a former New Yorker, what can I say!)

I want to be of greatest possible service to others. It requires me to show up with as much authenticity as I can muster. It requires me to self-reflect when I get scared and tell a ‘white lie’ until I recognize what it is I’m afraid to feel by withholding the truth. Once I learn to tolerate the feelings, it’s easy – remarkable.

By the way, I went back to my friend later and apologized. I told him I was feeling unable to be a compassionate non-judgmental listener. I was nervous telling him but so glad I did! His response was to acknowledge his complaining negative behavior. We both sighed and as a result, I felt brave and good about myself and my strength for honesty.

We’re not naturally wired for fear. We learn it in our early childhood. The good news is there’s a way out of that fear.

If you’d like to learn more about how to tolerate and regulate your emotions, please be my guest at The Essential Keys to Energy Healing 2 hour workshop. It’s free if you register in advance and $49 if spaces available at our Studio City, California location. It’s this coming Saturday March 7, so click here to register NOW.
Warm regards,
Laura L. Fine, Director: Lionheart Institute of Transpersonal Energy Healing