What do you do when you find out someone you care deeply for has not been truthful with you? Ok, call it what it is, they lied to you. Do you get angry? Do you blame? Do you play victim? All valid reactions and all catabolic, destructive ways to deal with the feelings that we may have bottled up.

The Suzy of the past would have reacted in all of these ways. There would potentially be a nasty voicemail message or direct conversation. There would be blame and frustration. There would be the internal victim talk that would occur…”what is wrong with me that I am treated this way?” There would be a lot of tears and anger and I would isolate myself from everyone because I wouldn’t want to engage. I would also potentially walk away from the person without the discussion to understand their point of view about lying to me. Or I would say nothing and seethe underneath until I blew up or they felt a difference in how I treated them. I could call them a lot of names, be very nasty and say good-bye, no matter how much I care about them. Many times I would forgive, but not really, and I would not forget, so it could get thrown in their face at any time! Just ask my exes!

Over the past year I have learned so much about me and the opportunity to better choose my reactions, better choose my thoughts and make a conscious effort to react from a different place, a different level of energy. What if we consciously decided to come at the situation from a place of love and compassion? From a place of finding a way for all to win, walking away from the situation better, growing and understanding each other. The person who lied, they still need to own that and be accountable to not let it occur again. But the approach is one of understanding, of being open to learning why they felt the need to lie, of being open to forgive,

As I apply this new approach to a situation, I feel a tremendous difference in my body, my mind and my heart. I don’t have the sick feeling in my body that happens when I am angry and hurt. That could be a headache, inability to eat or eat mindlessly (I am good at both!), constant anger therefore lashing out at the person and maybe others!  It could also include shoulder aches and for me the inability to move forward from all of that anger usually ends up affecting my ankles or knees! Emotionally, the lie would consume every thought. I would also isolate myself, not wanting to see or talk to anyone because 1) I feel sorry for myself, Suzy the victim and 2) I don’t want to hear whatever anyone has to say; very often feeling judged.

To avoid all of these repercussions, I need to consciously think about my reaction.  I need to remove the  anger in a positive constructive way. This doesn’t mean don’t feel it, but feel it, and then release it so that you see a path forward. I have found two ways that I can release all of that anger and hurt constructively. One is to be in nature, walking by the beach, hiking in the woods, sitting outside. By being in nature and focusing on the moment I can dissipate the anger fairly quickly, and recognize that this is one event and not the entire picture of the person, the relationship or me. The other, which works better for me, is to work out and sweat it out. No better workout for me when I am angry or hurt than putting on boxing gloves and hitting some bags! For others it may be taking a long run or hitting the weights and lifting. Whatever you choose, the point is to release the anger so that you can see the possibilities in the situation.   Although there are moments of those negative feelings, I am able to change them quickly with a new thought and feeling therefore new action.

Being lied to is not something to take lightly. It rocks whatever trust there was and can alter a relationship for good. Learning to be open to understanding why the lie occurred and not letting it cloud all the good with someone could help in salvaging the relationship. Or, at the very least, parting from that relationship without all of the guilt and anger, allowing to end with some respect. I didn’t do that well with my marriages. I let them end with a lot of anger still bottled up inside of me. That wreaked havoc on me physically and emotionally for a long time.

I continue to learn how to navigate these waters, using consciousness and openness as my guides, using love and forgiveness as my anchor.

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