“It is always the false that makes you suffer, the false desires and fears, the false values and ideas, the false relationships between people. Abandon the false and you are free of pain; truth makes you happy, truth liberates.” ― Nisargadatta Maharaj
Sincerity in thought and action is a lofty goal. To be fully happy, an honest life filled with honest relationships remains the only course. Set aside all façade and pretense to find the truth of ourselves and our relationships. Staring at the naked truth however, is often painful and distressing; it is not attractive at first glance, nor does it make us comfortable at the onset. This is the extreme version of “happiness doesn’t always make you happy”. Truth can be damning, haunting, pain-streaked, fearful. Yet to lie to oneself or to allow others to lie, is to remove all opportunity for good choices and actions that can lead us to our best selves.
Hiding from truth requires a daily dose of rationalization, creating an artificial world to prop up the fiction we are protecting. The time spent maintaining the artifice steals time from the development of our inner lives. How does one create a happy healthy inner world when some corner of it is populated by the falsehoods we have come to rely on?
Examining false beliefs, false values, false relationships seems like a rocky road to travel for a little happiness. The pain of the falsehoods is the greatest roadblock in our path. Discarding the false in one’s life can be difficult; a process one might choose to avoid, but the inherent pain of our own dishonesty causes far more damage. Once the lie is tossed aside and the truth stands in its place, our choices are far clearer, our burden of protecting false beliefs lifts, and we are free to move about in a world we can trust.