After an intervention and many phone calls with Tonya, she wrote to say, “I realize now that my life has been crippled by a great many lies. Let me share some of them with you, along with the truths I have realized.” Below I will list the lies she sent me, with my modifications—“More truth”—of her “truths.”
Lies, Truths, and More Truths
Lie: I'm stupid.
Truth: I'm smart.
More truth: The opposite of a lie is not necessarily the truth. And we often shy away from truths that are uncomfortable. In truth, you ARE stupid. We all are. We all fall far short of perfection either in knowledge or performance, which qualifies as varying degrees of stupidity—or ignorance. This truth becomes tolerable when we recognize that we don’t have to be smart in order to be happy. We need only to be willing to learn, gradually increasing our ability to choose love and happiness over stupidity and misery.
Lie: I'm fat.
Truth: I'm fit.
More truth: Yes, actually, you are fit. But the truth is, you don’t believe it. You’re never fit ENOUGH. You believe the lie that if you are perfectly fit, you’ll be more lovable, which sets up a horrible cycle. No matter how fit you become, you’re still not happy, which confirms that you must not be fit enough. So you exercise maniacally to prove you’re worthwhile, which ultimately proves to be an impossible cycle. And what if you WERE fat? Nothing would change. You would still seek the elusive degree of fitness that would make you lovable, to no avail.
Lie: I'm unworthy.
Truth: I am fully worthwhile.
More truth: Yes, you are fully worthwhile, but again, you don’t yet believe it.
Lie: I'm not lovable.
Truth: I am lovable.
More truth: YES, you were born lovable, and that has never changed.
Lie: I need to be fixed.
Truth: I am perfect as I am
More truth: Yes and no. Another great example of where the opposite of a lie is not necessarily the truth. You're perfectly worthwhile—perfectly lovable—but certainly not perfect overall, or there would be nothing for you to learn, nor any room for growth, for the rest of your life. You are not perfectly loving, nor perfectly skilled in many areas. Regrettably, the phrase, “You’re perfect just as you are” is commonly used in sermons and lectures, but it’s confusing to people because they simultaneously like to hear it but know deep down that it’s not true.
Lie: I like being sad.
Truth: I like being happy.
More truth: Yes and no. Part of you likes being sad because you can then excuse yourself from being responsible or growing. Who would expect a sad person to get up, for example, and help others? But part of you DOES like being happy, though, even though it’s unfamiliar and even awkward.
Lie: I need to be sad to be inspired. (Tonya is a musician and poet, and has always believed that the pain in her life has been her greatest source of inspiration. This is understandable, since all her life her creativity has been accompanied by sadness, so she has believed that the latter causes the former.)
Truth: I need to be happy.
More truth: Yes, you do, but you need not sacrifice your creativity. Creativity is an innate quality in you, which means that you don’t need sadness to be creative. Sadness certainly modifies the expression of your creativity, but you don’t need that kind of creativity.
Lie: I can't sustain happiness.
Truth: I can sustain happiness.
More truth: Yes, you can if you're persistent in adhering to the laws that govern happiness.
Lie: I don't want to be happy.
Truth: I do want to be happy
More truth: Yes and no. See “I like being sad” above.
Lie: I just don't/can't/won't get it.
Truth: I do, can and will get it
More truth: You may not “get it” all yet, but you can and will if you’re committed.
Lie: I need to do this on my own.
Truth: I can't and don't want to do this on my own.
More truth: Indeed, you can't do this journey of love and joy on your own, but part of you wants to, because you've believed the lie that if somebody helps you achieve something, that makes you weak. And in the past, when people have “helped” you, they've controlled you, which you've hated.
Lie: I will never get better.
Truth: I can and will get better.
More truth: Yes, you can and will get better if you simply persist in following the Laws of Happiness.
Lie: I can fix people.
Truth: I can only fix myself.
More truth: You can’t fix people, but you can’t fix yourself either. What you can do is begin to trust others to love you and show you new choices. Then you can make your own choices and become stronger and happier.
Lie: I am a failure.
Truth: I am successful.
More truth: You may not be entirely successful yet, but as you keep moving forward, you'll gain the ultimate success of peace and happiness.
Lie: People don't like me.
Truth: I am well-liked/loved.
More truth: As you simply practice being yourself, some people will love you and like you. Others will not, but these people are telling you far more about themselves than about you.
Lie: I'm not doing anything worthwhile.
Truth: I am doing God's will.
More truth: The more loved and loving you become, the more you will be doing God’s will.
Lie: I am a spoiled brat.
Truth: I am not a spoiled brat.
More truth: When you are empty and afraid, you feel entitled to protect yourself and get what you need to feel better, even at the expense of others. On those occasions, you are a spoiled brat. As you feel more loved and loving, you won’t have any inclination to use or hurt others.
Lie: I'm lost.
Truth: I know right where I am.
More truth: When you trust wise people and feel loved, you do know where you are.
Lie: I'm a total screw up.
Truth: I am capable
More truth: You are capable of some things, less capable or incapable of others. Your capabilities, however, do not determine your lovability.
Lie: Love hurts.
Truth: Real love feels great.
More truth: Imitation Love inevitably leads to pain. Real Love feels great when you trust it, but for a time it can be a bit disorienting.
Lie: I'm a mess.
Truth: I'm getting it together.
More truth: The more trusting you are, and the more loved you feel, the more your life becomes whole.
Lie: I can't communicate /connect with people.
Truth: I communicate and connect well.
More truth: When you feel empty and afraid, you communicate/connect poorly. When you feel loved and loving, you communicate and connect well with many people.
Lie: I'll never quit my eating disorder.
Truth: I don't have an eating disorder.
More truth: When you're afraid, you react with destructive patterns that revolve around food. When you are loved, loving, and happy, you have no eating disorder.
The lies in your life make happiness impossible. The truth creates opportunities for you to find love, trust love, and to be loving.
Replace your anger & confusion with peace and happiness.
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