Monday, July 21, 2008

Honesty is in our Eyes

I was reading an e-mail from someone who I considered a close friend, someone whom I shared a time in my life with, who I haven't really connected with since last fall. At least I didn't think we had, but I heard rumors of things being said by them that suggested otherwise. The things I heard were only told to me because I asked about them specifically, and they didn't really affect me-but they affected someone else who was close to me. And so I decided to be upset about them. And I have been upset; I have been holding on to a resentment about these words that I didn't hear, that weren't said to me, or anywhere near me, for almost three months now.

I was considering a response to the e-mail I just got, which I believed to be extremely deceitful and insincere. I cannot claim to always being an honest man. I have told my share of lies in my life, and I doubt that I am finished with dishonesty. But I have recently been shocked by the ability to just stare into another's eyes and pretend as if there is nothing to be truthful about. That there aren't things that need to be said, explained, accounted for. I have felt my heart literally break as I stared deep into eyes, waiting for something to be said...and all I got was intense fear. And again, I felt a pain when someone pretended not to notice me, then acted surprised when they saw me. Yet it was a fraudulent act, so clearly dishonest that its a wonder we even kept up the charade of friendliness. This time at least, there was talk...but it was a thin glaze over the words that had been said, and I couldn't help bristle with resentment for the lack of confession and apology I felt was deserved.

And so I was going to write all this to my one-time friend, and as I thought about it I was bowled over by the duplicity of the situation. For while one person was looking me in the eyes and leaving it all unsaid, I was doing the exact same thing to another. Of course, I felt my deception was right. I thought my lie was justified. I wanted to say something, really I did. But I just couldn't bring myself to admit the truth. Face-to-face, I shied away from the truth, and I missed a valuable chance to be a better person. I did exactly that which I was despising.

And while my friend clearly felt uncomfortable around me, and didn't attempt to stay near me, I covered my dishonesty so well that I continued to stay near another, even as I kept up my treachery.

So I cannot reprimand another, for over and over again I find, that I, somewhere-somehow, have been guilty of the same transgression, whether in a lesser or greater degree. And it all makes me wonder...where my eyes as filled with fear as yours were?


Michael said...

Maybe it is supposed to be difficult (being honest), so it will be visible and apparent when it does occur (the old "wouldn't know the day but for the night" dealy)

Boni said...

I felt your disappointment as I read this post. That's what it translates to in my view anyways. Being honest is both difficult and courageous, but how to do it with someone you have such high standards for? I don't know. I struggle with that daily now. How do I forgive when I am so let down? Is it really up to me?