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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

There but for the grace of God Go I - Again


When I am feeling that someone has “pushed my buttons”, I find a quiet space within my being to take time to figure out what is up with me that I need to examine these feelings that are emerging?
What is it that I need to learn?
It wasn’t always this way. I used to actually think that someone else had that kind of control over my feelings. That it was somehow her fault! I have learned that it doesn’t really matter what anyone else does or says, but how I handle it… how I behave… how I feel... that really matters.
The other day, once again, an acquaintance told me an outright lie. The first time I noticed that she had lied to me, I was absolutely shocked, and I pondered about it for far too long. And then it happened again… and again… and again…
What causes someone to lie?
Is every lie equal?
When I sit with my dad through surgery and he asks me if there is a lot of blood, which I know if I answer affirmatively is going to cause him even more stress, is calmly saying, “No.” an acceptable lie?
To cite the humorous words of Jerry Seinfeld, are there must-lie situations?
As a teacher working with young ones, if a child lied, I felt that it was important to call her or him on it so that a pattern would not be set. This can be done with absolute gentleness and support. In my experience, children lie to protect themselves or to protect someone else and the more that they “get away” with a lie, the more they seem to do it. And yet, if I knew a child would be treated harshly at home for an incident at school, I too have lied, by omission of details, to protect that little one.
But when it is an adult who is pulling me in for what appears to be no particular reason, what then?
As I write, I am only beginning to come to terms with this, knowing that it is not for me to judge the liar as I too have lied and may lie again, but to hold her with compassion in hopes that she realizes the burden that her lying is creating for her. In the interim it is also crucial for me and my well being to step away from this person.
…Ellyn