Do you feel liberated? Are you really truly liberated? Did you answer yes? You’re a liar.
Liberation (n): freedom from limits on thought or behaviour.
I was serious when I called you a liar. Because that’s what it is. Nobody is truly liberated. We were moulded from day 1 by our family’s concept of ‘normal’ which in turn is shaped by society. We are constantly moulded, even when we are well into our 50s. As we grow older, we move further away from liberation. Even in death we’re not fully liberated. After all, how your body leaves this earth is a point of discussion between your neighbourhood uncles and aunties. Anyhow, I don’t want to talk about not being liberated. In fact, I want to talk about how I’m liberating myself.
I was a disaster of a child when I was young. I was extremely temperamental, I was physically violent, and I used to lie. I used to lie out of fear of my Mum’s disapproval which would often be in the form of a slap across my cheek. In primary school I had good grades but not perfect. And as I grew older, it didn’t get any better. And that was why I used to lie to my Mum about not receiving test papers at all. As I went through high school, the need to lie spilled over to other situations such as hanging out with boys, boyfriends, drinking, etc. 80% of the time, my parents were at the receiving end of my lies.
But then I got tired of it. I got tired of the energy it took to design a lie, the guilt that I would feel afterwards, and the follow up lies to maintain that one lie. In my early twenties I learnt that lying wasn’t for me. It was after I got cheated on by my (ex)boyfriend that I saw lies for what it really was- Fear & Weakness. Fear can be the greatest deterrent or the greatest motivator. Either ways, fear is at the base of lying. And weakness builds on top fear and that’s when a lie is created. We love to categorize lies as ‘little white lies’ and ‘big lies’ solely for our personal justification. I’ve come to realize that lies have consequences – on ourselves and also others. That is the reason I made a concious effort to stop lying. Why should one person’s inability to be honest impact somebody else? That’s not fair at all and I never want to be that coward who’s too weak to face the truth.
It’s taken some time for me kill this habit but I have succeeded. And I swear to you, it is unbelievably liberating. Even little lies like “I was stuck in traffic which is why I was late” when really it was that I was too lazy to start getting ready on time. Of course I get scared; I’m human after all. But I consciously try to get past the fear and be honest. Sometimes it is a struggle. But that’s what makes me feel so free. Like I’ve broken free of one of the shackles that was restraining me. To know that my courage has won over fear is extremely liberating. I’ve also come to learn that people take honesty pretty well; neither yours nor their world shatters if you tell them the truth. Today it has become such that I equate honesty with respect. Somebody who lies to me deserves no respect in my mind. Even if their intent behind the lie is ‘good’ it’s just not acceptable. I’m an adult and mature enough to deal with a situation once I know enough facts. To be treated like a mature adult in this regard is all I ask for.
My goal is to be liberated of all allegorical shackles that have been restraining me. I feel the need to be liberated – of societal normalcy, of worldly expectations, of materialism, but most importantly, of my own mind’s limitations. And the first step towards liberation is to banish dishonesty.