We are always lying to each other. We lie about our intentions, our flaws, etc. Lies help us in maintaining our ‘image’ in society. One may think that we don’t lie to the people who are very close to us but if we are aware, we will notice that we lie to ourselves! Lying to others is conscious but lying to yourself is not always conscious. It is a result of deep-rooted negative patterns that act as defense mechanisms. Here are some of the lies:
1. “I am selfless!”
Why do you ‘do’ something? Because of DESIRE, right? What is desire? Something that makes you feel good; something that gives you happiness or peace or satisfaction. It doesn’t matter what your desires are. They could range from physical stimulation to noble deeds. But they make YOU feel good. But your mind is cunning. It tells you that the other person is selfish while you are Mother Teresa. If YOU are really noble, then you wouldn’t be in this competition, you will just do your work! Don’t get me wrong, human beings should care about society but doing it in a self-righteous, competitive, judgmental way with so many grudges makes the whole thing look ugly. Let’s stop pretending that some desires are selfless. Desire arises in YOU and YOU are going to reap the benefits. Maybe, you didn’t set out to reap those benefits, but still, that is no excuse for this inner beauty pageant.
There are few people who have transcended selfishness. But they have transcended selflessness as well. Most of us are not like them but we think that we are like these people, just to boost our egos.
2. “The world is against me!”
There are times when this statement is justified. It is insensitive to expect a rape victim to not feel this way. It is completely normal to feel this way when things are very painful. However,some people live by this statement. What’s worse is that these people even justify their not-so-nice deeds by saying that they are innocent and they were mean because the world is always against them. It is very hypocritical because innocent people don’t know that they are innocent. These people have programmed their brains to look at only those things that prove that their outlook is correct. Yes, the world is a scary place. But the world also has people who fight for the rights of complete strangers. The world has people who have achieved impossible things. But no, it’s not like that with you. When it comes to you, the world and the universe has different set of rules. Are you fucking special? Do you think that the world revolves around you? The only thing that people do is make plans to upset you? If you are mean to other people because there is no other option (Oh yeah, the world is mean!) then why can’t you apply the same thing to the other person who is mean to you or others? Why don’t you consider the possibility that you are also ‘the world’ to others? Why don’t you consider the possibility that maybe this outlook is a self-fulfilling prophecy? But it serves a purpose,doesn’t it? All the torture is not a waste, you can always boost your ego with people’s sympathy. You don’t have to take responsibility of anything or risk anything.
3. “His/her/my achievements are JUST because of luck” or ” His/her/my achievements are JUST because of hard work.”
I don’t have a certain answer to the question of free-will. If we don’t have free-will then we all are just actors.Then our achievements are not really ours, right? But even if there is no free will, there is no reason why we should dismiss others’ achievements. It is easy to say that others’ achievements are ‘just because of luck’ because that would mean that their achievements are nothing and your failures won’t hurt you much. But at the same time, worshiping the other person for his/her achievements is also immature. One can admire the other person’s achievements but why worship him/her? Why would you build a temple of a cricketer? Why make him/her your God? It could be because the focus will be on your God and not on you. You don’t have to do anything interesting in your life and you have accepted that there’s nothing worthy about you. So, you obsess about your country’s heritage or a cricketer’s batting records and defend it violently.
You can say this to yourself too. Despite putting in a lot of effort, you will say that in your case it was JUST luck. That great idea that you had? You just got lucky. Or you can say that you did it all by yourself, no one contributed to your success, it was only because of you, you and you. Both the extremes are related to ego: you don’t feel worthy enough. Some people say that their achievements are a result of luck to show that they are humble and in turn boost their egos. Being humble and ‘showing’ that you are humble are two different things.