Honestly

 

– Rebekah Burcham

I am a notorious liar. My parents used to give me hot sauce when I lied, but I merely grew craftier. If I wasn’t caught, I saved my mouth. It never exactly occurred to me to, you know, not lie in the first place.

My lies are usually white. “How are you?” (Like I really want to know. Let me tell you about my day). “I’m good!” (I’m so depressed I want to throw up). “I can’t, I have tea planned with my Grandmother. (Well, my mom does…).  Sometimes I lie even when I don’t have to, just to smooth over a conversation. “How was ice skating?” “Great! Cold.” (I broke my toe and didn’t go).

Pathological? Maybe. But come on, we all do it. We smile when we want to scream. We say, “You two are so cute together” when we know the relationship is self-destructing. We keep our mouths shut when we disagree. Or we commit another kind of falsehood: we see injustice, like abortion, and we tell ourselves it’s too big and we leave it alone.

How sick is that? I’ll get into long discussions about the grotesque horrors of child sex trafficking but what have I ever done to fight it? Nothing.

Telling a white lie is like buying a white couch. You’ll spend hours trying to keep it clean, but it’ll get dirtier and dirtier anyway.  Smoothing words turn into turning a blind eye to my own neighborhood’s worst cruelties.

Lies are just another kind of gloss. They make everything shiny and polished. But underneath there’s bleeding and it needs help.

We can try to live glossy lives, keep the ends tucked in and our noses clean, but we will never be truly beautiful. We will never make a difference. We will never change the world.

Honesty is finally admitting that you are human. Honesty is admitting that you are wrong and honesty is meeting the people around you where they are at. It’s amazing the energy we spend on keeping up our images and crafting our responses. When we are real and honest, we are free to make things happen. We can finally race after true beauty.

My challenge: For one day, be honest. When your best friend asks, “How are you?” Answer with the truth. When you ask back, “How are you?” Really listen with every twitch of your ears. If someone invites you to a party and you don’t want to go, don’t pull out your excuses, and definitely don’t go along with it with a little plastic smile – say, “I don’t want to!”

Lying has become common courtesy. Challenge that. Make people uncomfortable.

Be unglossed. Strip away that laminate that made you look plastic and okay. Find out what you are underneath. It’s like trading petticoats for jeans all over again – how light we are without our trappings!

What would change if you were honestly honest for 24 hours?

I dare you.

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15 Comments

  1. Em said,

    February 12, 2011 at 9:38 pm

    I just asked a certain person that yesterday. 🙂 “Do you ever wonder what would happen if we actually told the truth when someone asked if we’re ok?” were my words.

    REALLY inspiring. I’m not sure if I can do it, though. How can you tell someone you don’t know very well that you hate life or something? But, well, they asked…

    Oh, this one is very thought provoking. Good job, Bekah. 🙂

  2. Myth said,

    February 12, 2011 at 9:45 pm

    I agree with Em 🙂 And I have done that so many times too! I still remember once I was close to tears over something and my sis came and handed me the phone, saying someone had called for me, and I had to get on and pretend I hadn’t just been moments away from crying.

    So yes, as Em said, very thought-provoking. Thanks for posting this, Red!

    In Christ,
    Myth

  3. Robyn said,

    February 13, 2011 at 12:04 am

    Bekah, you are so right. And this is why, if someone says they’re good, I’ll ask “Just good?” If I ask how you’re doing…I really want to know. I love your insight into this. Thank you for being HONEST. 😉 ❤

  4. Audra Marie said,

    February 13, 2011 at 1:50 am

    Great post. I love your refreshing honestly, and fully expect a sincere answer when I next ask how are you. 🙂 We really do need to be more real with each other. It’s okay to exercise wisdom on how open to be with various people, but living authentic is what it’s all about.

  5. Hades said,

    May 24, 2011 at 11:38 pm

    Do you support making abortion illegal?

  6. Rebekah Burcham said,

    May 29, 2011 at 10:17 pm

    Yes, Hades, I do. I believe life occurs at the moment of conception, and murder is never negotiable. A woman has a right to her own body, but it’s not just her body being affected, is it?

  7. Hades said,

    June 1, 2011 at 8:22 pm

    I was just wondering. I’m not making a judgement about you. Abortion is a very contentious issue with many sides to it. I’m always interesting to hear people’s opinions on the subject.

  8. June 4, 2011 at 4:47 pm

    I agree! I love to find all faces of an argument. What is your opinion?

    • Hades said,

      July 5, 2011 at 2:40 pm

      I’m of the school of thought that the government shouldn’t restrict a person’s right to have an abortion. I don’t want to judge people who get abortions because I don’t know what their life circumstances are, and it is a difficult choice to make. However, I am in no way saying getting abortion is necessarily the right or necessary thing to do in most cases. I just think people have the right to make that choice for themselves.

  9. Ci-ci said,

    June 4, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    I am so going to do that!

  10. Sandy Crow said,

    August 22, 2011 at 9:39 pm

    I think abortion is wrong for so many reasons – but I do see what Hades means. However, we do not have any unalienable “rights” to murder our unborn children – but at the same time, our lovely government isn’t making laws against hate, adultery, fornication, etc. Would it be great if everything that was wrong was against the law? Yes. But the only solid definition of wrong is God’s word, and since our culture is trampling the truth, we’re getting a lot of mixed messages about what’s okay and what’s not. The government wants to make laws to prohibit things that are “wrong,” but frankly, they don’t know how.

  11. Hades said,

    August 31, 2011 at 4:51 pm

    What the hell is God’s word anyways?

  12. Sandy Crow said,

    August 31, 2011 at 5:53 pm

    More commonly known as the Bible. =)

  13. Hades said,

    August 31, 2011 at 5:58 pm

    The thing is that you only have the Bible’s word that it’s the word of God. :>

  14. Hades said,

    November 1, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    For a thought on abortion, check out this article: http://msmagazine.com/blog/blog/2011/11/01/why-im-glad-my-miscarriage-wasnt-in-mississippi/


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