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Honest Examination

May 1, 2010

In the movie, The Invention of Lying, the act of lying has not yet come into existence and everyone says what they think.  The movie is funny because it has Ricky Gervais in it and also because it shows such candid conversations between people.  With no social or moral filter, it shows what women and men really think.

While watching the movie I thought about a life without lies, just brutal honesty.  I couldn’t decide if I would grow from the reality of everyone’s true thoughts or if I would just cry a lot.  But sitting there I realized that we all need some kind of this honesty in our lives.  We guard our selves, set up walls and smoke screens that taint even our own self-image.  We forget what it would be like to just be honest with ourselves, let alone others. So much so that even the mere thought of full force honesty makes for good box office entertainment (maybe semi-good).

Compounded on our lack of honesty is our lack of insight.  We all have blind spots, giant gaps in the road we totally miss.  This means the journey is not fully possible for just an individual.  While risky, allowing another into your life with a flashlight, shining it into the recesses of your guarded partialness can be well worth it.  The ever-changing landscape of life always asks questions of us and there is no better time to deal with them than in the here-and-now.

This isn’t so much of a sales pitch for therapy as it is an argument for examination, for living in a way in which you better understand your biases, weaknesses, and strengths. Socrates infamously said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.”   I believe honest examination won’t be a fruitless endeavor.  I’m not saying you will find truth inside yourself.  What I am saying is that you will find a lot of stuff quite the opposite and that it’s probably affecting your view on truth by somehow morphing your image of how love truly looks.

With every new morning there is a potential interplay between life and man, God and human.  It not only demands our attention, it gently asks us questions of what we carried over from yesterday into today.

I’m from Kansas City and live in Texas so you could say BBQ is a friend of mine.  One thing I have learned over the years of eating burnt ends and pulled pork is that its hard leaving a BBQ joint without smelling like BBQ for the rest of the day.  And in the same way it’s hard living through the pain of life without it sticking with us too.

By not taking the difficult road of examination you may never discover the good and bad ways you affect relationships.  Sifting through your baggage lets you see more, it gives you options and allows you to choose different paths.

I urge you all to take a look at yourself today.  Look as if lying hasn’t been invented yet.  What do you see?  What characteristics and behaviors serve as obstacles to your life being a better story?  Allow someone else in your life the privilege of knowing you better, to see through the smoke and mirrors and into your true self.

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