Did the chocolate cake on the table have a big piece missing, before grandma arrived? When you asked, “Who did that?” Your child said, “Not me”. Even though there were no tell tale crumbs, or sticky fingers or chocolate around the mouth, you knew your child was lying and so did they.
How did you know they were not telling the truth?
There will be some noticeable differences in body posture, voice tone, eye contact, some sensory differences when speaking a lie or telling the truth. Your child may have cringed a little, looked away, or held their body tightly.
Our bodies and our actions do not lie, even though the words we speak may be a lie.
It is not the blatant lies I want to talk about in this article. They are relatively easy to talk about with your children. It is the hidden ones.
If you want your children to tell the truth, the best thing you can do is uncover your hidden lies and pretenses, and live by your inner truth.
So, now you are thinking, I do not lie. Sure, you probably living your life in many ways that are true to you. It is also likely there are some ways you act now that an authority figure, perhaps a parent, teacher, or society told you is how you are supposed to be, even though deep down you do not believe those things. So, maybe you are living a lie.
What “home truths” were you told as a child?
- You were not good enough to be a vet, an architect, etc.
- You have to compete to get what you want
- Money is more important than love
- You have to give up your dreams for love
- Work is hard
- You have to be perfect
- You have to play small
We have all been told many different things. We have all interpreted them differently. My father drank too much alcohol when we were young. Most of the time, my Dad acted as his true self, a loving, kind man. At times, he was troubled, but I did not know why. He stopped drinking when I was an adolescent. I asked him, ‘Why did you stop drinking Dad?” He told me, “When your grandfather died I did not have to drink anymore. He expected me to have a drink with him at the pub after work when he was alive.” If you are still living out something that is not what you truly believe, your children can see you pretending and living a lie. You do not have to wait until a parent passes on to re-claim your truth.
An Exercise in Truth for you and your partner to do.
- Write or talk about all the messages you were told as a child.
- Talk about the ones you resisted. You said, “No, I do not believe x, I believe y,” You live your truth in that area of your life.
- Talk about the ones that are still dominating your life, you are pretending they are true, but they are not your inner truth?
- Notice the physical changes in your body when you talk about the events in your life when you went along with something that you did not believe. See how your voice changes, your body posture changes, your breathing changes? Do you feel restrained and tense inside?
- If you are doing this exercise with your partner, notice how their body changes when talking about something they did or still do that is not aligned with their inner truth. Can you see control or restriction in their body?
- In the areas that are not your truth, what is your truth? Notice any body change, when you speak your truth. Do you feel expansive, relaxed, free inside? Is this noticeable on the outside?
- What will you do differently to live your truth in that area?
- Feeling bold? If your children are old enough to understand, share with them a story of when you lived a lie to yourself and then changed to living your truth.
When you live your life from a place of deep inner truth this is what you will be teaching your children:
- Learning is lifelong
- It is ok to make mistakes
- Living your truth is more important than living a lie to yourself
- It takes courage and humility to live your truth
- There is great freedom in living your truth
- Each one of us has different truths and we can live together respecting each other‘s truth
- What it is to be authentic
Authenticity is the greatest teacher.
Whether you are authentic or not, your children are learning from your actions, your words and your feelings. If you are pretending to be someone who you are not, your children will be learning it is OK to cover up and to pretend to be someone who you are not. It is ok to give up who you are to please others. If they see you being authentic, or changing something to be authentic, they will be learning how to speak and live from an inner truth and be true to themselves. Is there something you are hiding from and what will you change today to live your inner truth and gain the freedom to achieve your dreams that you have ignored?