Have you watched Emily in Paris?
Have you noticed that when she tells the truth to the crazy designer guy about how ‘Ringard’ or tacky she is, she gets rewarded with a contract, but when she lies to Camille about kissing her boyfriend, Emily’s world falls apart—and it gets worse with every lie she tells.
The people writing the show are commenting on the use of language and truth. Emily feels like she has to lie, for her job, for social niceties—she tells white lies constantly.
Yet her lies are constantly getting her in trouble, and when she speaks up, her life often improves.
The show is about Emily’s struggle not to hurt people’s feelings contrasted against the innate need to speak her truth.
I’ve heard it said (by Martha Beck!) that every time we tell a lie a tiny part of our brain splits off and our naughtiness creates tension which has a flow on effect in our bodies and lives.
I think lies are like the split ends in my hair.
Some people might not know this, but when you have long hairs, the ends split in half and you end up with two (or sixteen) hairs growing out of one follicle. Split ends are weak. They are brittle. Their lack of integrity makes them vulnerable. They make knots in my hair. Ew.
In the same way these lies, these split ends, make me weak, vulnerable, and brittle.
Everyone wants lush, voluminous, shiny hair. Everyone, deep down, wants to live in integrity.
But when I go into the supermarket, it’s not fair to dump my problems on the girl at the register and say I feel terrible when she asks how I am, even if that’s the truth.
What I can do is smile, tell the truth, then look for the silver lining.
It’s raining: “It’s cold and wet, but I love the smell of the rain” or “I’m uncomfortable in these wet clothes, but it’s good weather for ducks and wheat exports”.
I’m exhausted: “I didn’t sleep last night, but I’m so grateful to have enough money to pay for these groceries” or “I’m exhausted, but I know I’ll sleep like a baby at 8pm tonight”.
I’m miserable: “I literally want to die right now, but I know this is a transitory state, and tomorrow I’ll feel amazing when I go for my walk” or “My life is so terrible, but there are these amazing moments where I feel like every cell in my body is singing with wonder”.
Someone was a dick to me: “That person was really rude, and I know I’m still a human being who deserves love and affection” or “I can actually survive that person doing that and take action to avoid them rather than inflicting pain on them as retribution”.
Thanks for reading. Tell me some of your integrity hacks in the comments.
This is the link to the great Martha Beck podcast about having the courage to tell the truth.
This is the link to the great podcast from Plum Village about having the courage to manage impermanence.
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