A friend asked me to lie for her the other night. As I love her dearly, I promptly agreed with little thought to what was involved. End of conversation. Then a weight settled in my chest. I can do this for her, can’t I? She is a friend and the lie of no consequence to me. For several days, I’ve managed to ignore the thoughts going through my mind. How do I lie? What will I say? Why ask me?
A few years ago, I would have been uncomfortable but I would have gone through with it because I agreed to do it. I would have reasoned that I had given my word after all. I would have believed that our friendship was more important than a lie to a stranger. Not anymore.
I spent many years as a pretender until one day I found myself so lost that I imagined myself as an empty green glass bottle of wine. It feels like a lifetime ago yet the image is hard to forget. When I peered through the glass, I saw dried up dark liquid and dregs. That was me. All that was left of me. I had to do something. I had to change. I had to find myself. I had given up so many of my dreams and values to fit into a life I was never intended to live that I didn’t know myself any more and I hadn’t done anything I enjoyed in months if not years. Once I established a few core things about myself, I resolved to be me. In other words, I stopped lying to myself and to others.
Tonight, I had to face the fact that what was nagging at me wasn’t what lie I would tell or how or to whom but that the weight in my chest was my body telling me that my integrity was at stake. So I’ve left my friend a message and, hopefully, when she gets it, she will understand. Personally, I feel much better.
Would you have reneged? What have you done to put your integrity in jeopardy? What signals does your body send you when you’re on the wrong path?