It’s true. Last night I looked my amazing neighbour in the face and lied to her. I value honesty, so I was shocked as the words left my lips.
We happened to meet up on the street where her boys were playing as I was heading out. I had my son in tow and we were just leaving to quickly pick something up. My son quickly joined the group, so I asked if he could stay with her while I ran out. My neighbour said it was fine.
And that’s when it happened. I said, “I just have to run to Shoppers.” What? That’s not where I was going. I quickly corrected myself and sheepishly admitted, “I’m actually going to Starbuck’s to grab a coffee. I’m not sure why I said Shopper’s.”
Of course, my lie would have been found out when I came back with a coffee so I did need to clear the air. Otherwise, I’d have to lie again and explain where my coffee came from. But then again, would I really need to explain that? And why expend all that energy lying when I could just tell the truth? After all, my neighbour didn’t care where I was going, just how long I’d be gone so that she could get her boys to bed on time.
My lie woke me up. Why on earth did I feel compelled to lie about something so small? And I did it so instinctively I am embarrassed to say.
Was it because my family has been working to improve our financial situation which has meant cutting out or minimizing a lot of luxury items? Starbuck’s is a luxury item in our world right now, but I budget for it. Going out to grab a coffee in this instance wasn’t a working against that goal, so it wasn’t out of alignment.
Fear of judgment? Possibly. Maybe my neighbour would think I was indulgent in going out to grab myself a coffee at 6:00 pm with no other justification except that I wanted a pumpkin spice latte. But really who would judge someone for getting a coffee, even if it was a $5 coffee?
Oh, wait. It’s me. I’m the Judgy Judgerson. Grabbing a Starbuck’s felt indulgent and I felt like a kid caught with her hand in the cookie jar. But that’s silly feeling caught just buying a coffee, right? Right? Not really. It’s a symptom of a greater issue.
I struggle to feel like I’m enough. I struggle with simply wanting stuff. I feel I have to earn it or justify it in some way. Everything, right down to the clothes I wear. So my favourite, time-limited coffee also has to be justified. I am fighting the urge to justify things right now. I want to say, “It had been a long day.” Or maybe, “I didn’t sleep well and need some caffeine.” Or any of a number of justifications that pop into my brain. And they’re all lies, too. The simple truth is this: I wanted one. The horror! I said it.
When we feel like we’re enough, it is easier to receive what we want. When we don’t feel like we’re enough, we feel the need to hustle (thanks, Brené Brown for the word) to get what we want. We justify our needs and wants and work to get them. When we don’t feel like we’re enough we don’t allow our wants in without effort or justification.
I felt I had to justify my PSL (Pumpkin Spice Latte for those who don’t know the shorthand) so I lied instead. And I contradicted one of my highest values. I’m glad I did. Now I am more aware of my self-worth and how it’s showing up for me daily.
How many times in a day do we deny our self a simple pleasure because we don’t feel worthy, because we don’t feel we deserve it, because we don’t feel that we are enough? Or maybe we just avoid wanting anything altogether.
What’s wrong with wanting something because we want it? In a word: nothing.