I was reminded of this important concept while reading Fyodor Dostoyevsky's "The Brother's Karamazov." In the story during a meeting between the father of the Karamazov brothers and the Elder of the local monastery, the Elder tells the father that in order to find salvation one of the things the father needs to do is to stop lying. The father asks if the elder refers to a lie he just told about somebody else, to which the Elder responds,
"The main thing is that you stop telling lies to yourself. The one who lies to himself and believes his own lies comes to a point where he can distinguish no truth either within himself or around him, and thus enters into a state of disrespect towards himself and others. Respecting no one, he loves no one, and to amuse and divert himself in the absence of love he gives himself up to his passions and to vulgar delights and becomes a complete animal in his vices, and all of it from perpetual lying to other people and himself. The one who lies to himself is often quick to take offence."
This is a powerful reminder of the dangers of lying to yourself.
For so long I could not recognize the person standing before the mirror. I had to remove lie from lie from lie away from myself, like the tearing of a bandaid from a wound. It hurts, but when those lies are removed and you see yourself for who you really are it is like the adjoining of two old friends who have long last been together.
What are the lies you tell yourself?
Do you see yourself as who you truly are?