We tend to place great value on the truth, on honesty, on not being a fake and not tolerating fakers. Yet, without realizing, we go to great lengths to deny the truth, about ourselves and the people in our lives.
The old adage “fake it ’til you make it” is the mantra for self-improvement. But can you really put on a personality, a talent, or an identity that doesn’t genuinely originate from within yourself and find real happiness? Like dressing up in costume for Halloween, we can play at being someone or something else, but it’s just pretense–a costume. Sooner or later the costume wears thin and falls off. The only thing that endures is the you underneath.
How about the way we “fake” the truth about people we like and care about, but who are actually not very nice or good people to know? That “friend” who’s beautiful or wealthy or “cool,” but who, if you’re really honest about it, is selfish, insensitive, maybe even cruel in how they treat others, and how they treat you. Consider the son or daughter who’s using drugs, having underage sex, bullying others at school, lying to you, even breaking the law, but you insist is still “a good kid.” The abusive spouse you make excuses for, the lover who’s never quite ready to commit, the parent who never has an encouraging thing to say in the name of “tough love.” We don’t face the truth about such people, because we fear it will take us down a path that shatters our illusions and forces us to face the truth.
When you feel a sense of being disconnected from yourself, from your life, or your relationship with someone important to you, it is time to embark on that road to truth Buddha was talking about. To not take the road to truth is to live a false life. If you are brave enough to make the trip, you risk discovering that things may not actually be what you want them to be, not what you’ve been telling yourself they are. It is at those moments of discovery you may freeze, unable to continue to the end of that road to truth, preferring instead to turn back and remain camped out in the false security of your chosen delusions.
No matter how much we try to hide from the truth, it is always there waiting for us. The question is whether or not you’re traveling the road that will take you to the truth, which will set you free of your delusions, or you’re just going around in circles trapped in a false reality.