You tell yourself that you’re happy. Really you are.

You tell yourself that you’re dieting because you’re trying to get healthy (not because you’re hoping to lose weight, which you think will finally make you worthy of love).

You tell yourself that stepping on the scale several times a day is actually a healthy thing to do. You tell yourself that other healthy things include regularly fasting and exercising every day of the week.

You tell yourself that your friend didn’t hurt your feelings. She was simply sharing her opinion.

You tell yourself that you didn’t want that promotion in the first place.

You tell yourself that you don’t mind your loved one staying with you for a month or two or three.

You tell yourself that you’re completely over him.

You tell yourself that you’re staying busy because you like to stay busy and you’re doing good, important deeds that need to get done anyway (not because you’re trying to avoid feeling your heartache).

You tell yourself that after losing 15 lbs. you’ll finally be happy. Satisfied. At peace.

You tell yourself that it doesn’t bother you that she wants to see other people. You’re cool with it.

You tell yourself that you’re going to have a glass of wine, just one glass. Which turns into five glasses. But it’s the weekend, so it’s OK, and all your friends drink this much—often even more. You tell yourself that you like to have fun, that you’re a social drinker, that drinking a few glasses is like eating a few pieces of dessert. You tell yourself that you’re not drinking to escape the pain, to cope, to manage your emotions, to blunt the boredom and bad dreams.

But is this true? Is it really true?

We lie to ourselves all the time. In small ways. In big ways. In ways that keep us stuck and sad.

We tell ourselves that we’re fine when we clearly aren’t. Because we fear, deep down, that if we let ourselves cry, we might drown.

We tell ourselves that our intentions are different than they really are (I’m just eating this way to be “balanced” and to get all my nutrients, not because I feel guilty for eating a doughnut or bowl of ice cream or bowl of pasta, not because I feel a deep distrust for my own desires and cravings).

We let others cross our boundaries and make believe that it’s not a big deal. We just internalize the rage, and treat ourselves like crap, because we should be gracious and tolerant and loving no matter what. No matter what.

We drink when we really have no business drinking.

We lie to ourselves for all sorts of reasons. We lie to ourselves to avoid feeling pain. To avoid confrontation and conflict. We lie to ourselves because we’re afraid.

But once we’re honest, really honest, we can actually go about fixing the problem, whether the fix is taking action or practicing acceptance. Either way, we grow. We feel better. We genuinely feel better.

Are you lying to yourself? What would happen if you admitted the truth?

Photo by Allef Vinicius on Unsplash.