Over a year ago, our friends the Grojean’s started talking to us about this “life changing” thing they had all started doing called Landmark Education. My knee jerk reaction was immediate cynicism with a heaping tablespoon of skepticism and just a pinch of smugness. I will admit though that I was slightly taken aback at just how convinced (at the time I may have said brainwashed) they seemed to be. These were what I considered to be highly intelligent people and yet here they were trying to convince me that I of all people could benefit from a life coaching seminar. So maybe it was more like a cup of smugness than a pinch but regardless, I listened and kept blowing them off saying, “oh I know exactly what that’s all about, my Dad does that crap for a living. I grew up with that language! Nothing there for me that I don’t already know, I assure you.” Well as of Tuesday night, Vanessa and I are now Landmark Grads. Let me just give you a taste of what was there for me.
The Big Kahuna thing I got, the Mamajama thing, the real Crème de la crème (do you get how important this is?) the thing that will undoubtedly have the largest and most lasting impact on my life is the realization that for the past 20 years of my life, I have been a compulsive liar! Half of you are now going WHAT THE HELL!? And the other half of you are going, well that explains a TON! So now that it’s out in the open, let me explain to you all just what that means for me:
- Having made that about as public as I possibly could, I have now started living a life that is NOT founded on or surrounded by lies. Do you have any idea how liberating that is for a compulsive liar?
- I am now no longer restrained by my fears of being judged by everyone around me which is why I began lying in the first place! Do you have any idea how liberating THAT is!?
- I am now, for the first time in my adult life, experiencing what it’s like to have every single possibility that I can imagine available to me and most importantly, I can now take actions that will turn those possibilities into reality. In the past my lies protected me from my fear of failure, disappointment or judgment but in that "protection" it kept me from taking an active role in my life and the infinite possibilities available to me. I have unshackled myself from those irrational fears, and that my friends is true freedom.
Ok now pause, go back up to the part that says “The Big Kahuna” and read that section again real quick. I just want to make sure you are all getting this. I have lied to nearly every single person in my life for the past 20 years! I’m not saying it to be like “har har fooled you all, you suckers” I’m saying it because I want all of you to understand that if you are reading this now, chances are I told you a lie and for most of you, it was probably a big one. For example, I still haven’t graduated from college. Why would I lie about that, you might ask? Because in my mind twisted in illogical and irrational fear, you, my friends and family would think lesser of me. I lied to protect myself from being lowered in your esteem, but my lies didn't fix anything, rather they imprisoned me and helped to justify my inaction. I know it isn't logical.
Now here’s the thing. I imagine that somewhere, at sometime, someone has said the words I love you and didn’t mean them. That’s not the kind of liar I was so let me make this part perfectly clear. If I ever told you I love you, I meant it, and whatever lie I may have told you, it was because I love you that I said it. That’s a little unclear I think so let me try saying that in a different way. I am not by nature a proud person. I cry in the movie theatre, I tell childish jokes and laugh at them afterwards, in short, I rarely give two farts about what anyone I DON’T KNOW AND LOVE thinks about me. If you mean something to me though, if you have impacted my life even in the slightest way, I cannot help but want you to like/approve of/care about/love me as well.
I learned when I was five years old that it’s far easier to change how people think about you with WORDS than it is with ACTIONS. And so, I started telling lies, mostly about myself to make me look better but also to avoid responsibilities. As I grew older my skill set grew and I honed my deceptive ways into a fine art. I could go on all night about this but what I really want you all to know is that I thought all that “web weaving” would ever do is keep me protected from the judgment of others. Now I know that what it truly did was keep me from having any real relationships with everyone in my life. I want you all to know how sorry I am. I am truly so, so, SO sorry. Every single one of you has a very real place in my heart, and I was too blinded by my fear of losing your respect and acceptance that I couldn’t be who I really am with you. I have only been able to have real MOMENTS with all of you and that is NOT how I want to live my life. I am committed to starting new with all of you who are willing to let me. I take full responsibility for my actions and I willingly accept the consequences because they are worth far more to me than an empty life.
If any of you haven’t quite caught on to the full ramifications of this, let me just tell you how excited I am to be able to say that for the very first time, Vanessa and I are having a real relationship together. i.e. I have come COMPLETELY clean with her! I have admitted to my wife that I have lied to her about so many things for years and SHE’S STILL WITH ME!!! That should tell you something! She is truly an amazing and extraordinary person to be able to see me for who I am being and not for what I have done. I can’t express just how honored I feel to be married to her and I don’t care how many of you just threw up a little from reading it. Oh yea, and I told my parents as well and for the first time in over 10 years I am actually looking forward to talking with them! AMAZING!
Kinda makes me wonder how things would have gone had I just kept saying “nothing there for ME.” But anyways, these past few days have been a real rollercoaster. By the way, I’m not trying to imply that Landmark Education is that magic pill that makes all of your troubles in life go away. I assure you that it’s not and that if your still looking for that magic pill, let me know when you find it please. Living life is still a challenge and that ain’t changing but there’s a big difference between living your life thinking; “ya it’s a challenge and it SUCKS!” and thinking; “it sure is a challenge and I FREAKIN LOVE that!”
SO! If any of you are willing to let me start fresh with you, please, PLEASE let me know, and by the way, I know that you guys are all wondering what the lies were and let me say that I am more than happy to come clean but for one thing, it would take 5 more pages for me to confess all of them and none of you would read it all and for another thing, it ain’t easy for a compulsive liar to separate the facts from the fiction so let’s just do it on a one to one basis. If you want to know more, give me a call. I’m actually answering my phone now! AMAZING RIGHT!?
I Love you all so much and can’t wait to start having real relationships with all of you!
Just in case any future employers may be looking at this and thinking, “good lord, I don’t want to hire a compulsive liar to work for me!” please just ask yourself this one question; How would it feel to know that you had an employee that was not only honest with you about everything they did and didn’t do, but held THEMSELVES accountable for all of their actions? That’s what I’m doing right now, and by the way, it’s infectious.
"Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." John 8:32