2. The Ugly Truth

Like a bird in a cage we are not free.

SOME BELIEVE THERE ARE good people on this planet. It is an easy lie to fall for, especially when some people, even most people, are able to demonstrate some goodness toward others.

The problem, of course, is that we, you and me, and generations of people before us, have determined in our own minds what is good and what one must do to be called a good person. 

Just because we believe something does not make it true. 

Not even if a majority of people believe the same thing. 

If you set the standard that determines if I am a good person, you also have the power to change the standard. The same would be true if I set the standard. Even more frightening would be if a religious group, or a government, or a family, held the power to determine if you or I are good people.

Are we only good if they say so? 

Are we only good if we fit in? 

Are we required to believe and behave the way others tell us is good? 

Or is it true that I am good if I believe I am good or if I can prove by my behavior that I am at least better than some? 

The lies that people will follow are seldom ones that are blatantly off base. But when the lies have a modicum of truth in them, they can lead a person straight to prison. Therefore, understanding and knowing the truth is a matter of life and death.

Does this sound dramatic to you? Do you want to tell me you aren’t in prison? I’m not talking necessarily about “the big house”, though it is possible. No, I’m talking about the prison inside the soul that keeps people from being fully self-expressed. 

 As a life coach I have often heard that I am a good person, but what is being said to me is actually more about what I may have done to help someone break free from the lies they believed. I helped them to feel better about themselves, so I get to be a good person. Thank you very much. 

However, I would like you to know who I really am. 

I want to tell you the truth about me. It will not be pretty, but in doing so I will be standing in that place outside the prison that held me captive for most of my life. I will be standing outside the safety of my beloved faulty beliefs and counterfeit strategies. I will be standing in a place of vulnerability. 

When I tell you the truth, I will be standing naked, without masks or costumes to hide me. 

And before I do, I’d like you to consider the possibility that you would like people in your life to know who you really are, too. Would you like to be able to be completely honest about who you really are? 

If not, think about why this is your reality? Is it possible that what keeps you from being honest with others and possibly yourself is the fear of condemnation and judgment? 

Are you afraid that if people know who you really are, they will no longer give you the love, respect, significance, and security you need? 

What will it profit you if you have everything you’ve worked your entire life to gain—power, prestige, people, and possessions—but you must cover yourself with masks and costumes to hide your true self?

And even if you have reached the pinnacle of your success, can you also make people love you? Can you make them respect you? Can you make them treat you with the significance you desire? 

Do you worry that if you were to lose some measure of your power, prestige, people, and possessions, that you would also lose what makes you feel secure? 

It is the lie we believe about being a good person or the same lie we project onto others about them being good that keeps us imprisoned. 

Why has it been said that confession is good for the soul? I believe that it is through confession of the truth that we are set free from the ugly truth that keeps us in bondage. 

At the risk of being condemned, judged, shamed, humiliated, and otherwise ostracized, I will now tell you who I really am. 

I am a liar, cheater, thief, and murderer.

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