Recently I looked down and saw that I (or auto-correct) had written the following typo:
“I am willing to lie to God.”
I sat there staring at the sentence for a while. I have no idea now what I was originally trying to say, but that sentence held my attention. What about that is true? (Or feels true – because something does.) What would it even mean to ”lie to God”?
Many years ago, my beloved friend, mentor and colleague, Jeremy Taylor, said to me, “Stupid people lie to others. Smart people lie to themselves with selective versions of the truth.”
That’s the nub of it. Lying to myself is lying to God – the Source Consciousness that runs through me, you, everyone and everything. That energy is a Presence I can feel always streaming through me – when I pay attention.
I’ve also heard it said that “the body does not lie,” and I find this to be true. Isn’t that why lie detectors work? And we all know how, when we start to do something that’s really wrong for us, our stomach and throat knot up.
But … what about when the body insistently wants something that really doesn’t serve us – as with an addictive behavior or substance? I think that’s not the body lying – but the body having been entrained by the mind (which does lie) to a certain response in the face of stress or anxiety.
When we fall into following that now automated cue rather than bringing ourselves back to awareness of the need we are trying to fill and choosing healthfully how to meet it, I think that is the moment when we are lying to God. That is the moment we are shutting off to our own Soul awareness of ourselves.
At some level we know that choosing short-term relief over long term well-being only makes things worse. Usually, in our minds we are giving ourselves some rationalization. That’s lying to ourselves. That’s lying to God.
I once asked my first therapist (in the therapy parade), “Is it ever okay to lie to someone? He paused, then replied that he believed that some rare circumstances warranted lying, but that “there is one person you should never lie to – yourself.”
I have noticed over my lifetime that while many things are hard to face and feel your way through, there is no bad situation that lying to yourself can’t make worse.
I also notice that whenever I shift to opening up to Presence / Oneness of Being / Divine Mind / Spirit / Higher Power / Source Consciousness / God – whatever you want to call it – something shifts.
As soon as I stop being stubborn and afraid, stuck in the ego driven story that “I alone can fix this” (words you may have heard before too), I can turn to the spiritual practices that will return me to Presence. The relief is immediate. I no longer feel judged, hopeless, helpless and alone.
Presence is always present.
I may lie to God, but God never lies to me.
With You on the Path,
Discussion Questions: How do you lie to God? Do you have practice that bring you back to Presence (when you are willing to use them)?