Since we’re clarifying things about ourselves, it’s time for another one. A big one.
We love the truth. Not our perception of it, but the actual Truth. We hold each other and ourselves to a pretty big standard of truth over here, and we have found that the easiest way to do that is to simply not tell lies. So we don’t. Even when it hurts.
But the hard part is not to sign off on other people’s lies. Jen’s cousin, Lesley, calls this co-signing. Like co-signing on a loan:
If you cosign on that loan, you’re not going to get much out of it, no matter what. Your friend or family member is going to get the benefit of the loan. If they choose to stop paying the loan because the business doesn’t work out, that loan is around your neck. If they can’t repay that loan because of an unforeseen accident or something else, that loan is around your neck (www.thesimpledollar.com).
If you substitute lie for loan in that definition you’ll see where we’re coming from. Just as everyone tells people not to co-sign for someone on a loan, we believe that we shouldn’t co-sign for someone else’s lies. You might think, “It’s not my lie. If someone I love wants to live a lie, that’s on them.” But we all pay a price when we participate in lies, either actively or with our silence.
And there are all sorts of lies, folks. There are the big ones like hiding addictions. But then there are the more subtle ones like staying in a toxic relationship and ignoring the consequences.
One of the reasons this is such a big deal to us is that we have both done this work. We have both stepped out of the Nightclub Lighting and taken a good look at ourselves in the harsh light of day. It hasn’t been pretty, and it hasn’t been easy. But here we are, on the other side. And we want to surround ourselves with people who have done the same.
We also want to surround ourselves with people who aren’t going to put up with our crap. If I’m co-signing on your lies, what are you co-signing for me? Are you going to tell me that I have spinach in my teeth, or are you going to let me go back to the office with a big green leaf right in front? Are you going to let me go home with that stranger at the bar, or are you going to stop me and demand that I respect myself better?
In the end, we have made the decision that we just don’t have time for secrets and lies in our lives. Lies, others’ or ours, take a lot of effort and energy to maintain. And you see, we’ve got these great husbands, wonderful kids, and amazing friends that we want to pour all of our love, time, and energy into.
And lies do damage to the liar. We want to be whole daughters of God, not perfect, but living our best lives. Every day.
But be prepared. If you decide to stand for the truth, at some point you have to say the truth. And we have learned that some folks aren’t prepared or willing to hear it. We have both lost a few friendships because of this. We’ve been called a bitch. We’ve been called self-righteous. We’ve been called judgmental. We aren’t trying to be any of these things. We need to stand in the light. We don’t let our sisters sit in the mud. Even when they think they want to sit there.
“We tell lies when we are afraid… afraid of what we don’t know, afraid of what others will think, afraid of what will be found out about us. But every time we tell a lie, the thing that we fear grows stronger.” ~Tad Williams
3 thoughts on “Cosigning”
You have no idea how this resonates with me. I can’t talk about it on my blog cos the person reads it, and because ultimately the person who might be hurt by it is my son, and I’d never want to hurt him in a million years. A public forum is probably not the right place, but it would make for great reads!
I think at some point, we are all cosigners. But then we grow up and become______________(wives, mothers, fathers, responsible adults) and we realize that we can’t live like that. Not with lies and not around lies. Hopefully…
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