I once heard of a psychologist who had "discovered" the cathartic experience of telling the truth, even when it was most difficult. He started a whole practice based on the idea that it is always best to always tell the truth, no matter how uncomfortable or painful. It intrigued me because...well, because of the truth of it! We read in John that the truth will set us free (John 8:32).
Yet, most of us don't really believe it. At least, in practice we don't. I consider myself one of the few fortunate women to be married to a man who always tells me the truth. I may not want to hear that my rear end is getting larger or that I really need a shower to get the stink off me, but you know what? It is unbelievably freeing to never have to doubt the words of the one who is dearest in the world to you. It takes away the insecurity and suspicion. Is he just saying my butt looks good because he knows that's what I want to hear or does it really look the same size as before I had three children? Does he really like that meal that I made? Am I really a good writer, mother, wife? Hearing honest answers to these questions allows me the opportunity to truly grow and become a better person. And in seeing the benefits to our truth-based relationship, I have become more comfortable with simply answering questions truthfully myself, rather than participating in social lies.
But there's a catch. Part of the downside is that I sometimes truly forget the "social norms" of our culture. I forget that not everyone wants to hear the truth when they ask a question. This is a warning to you. Do not ask me questions that you really don't want answers to. Ladies, seriously...When you are nine months pregnant, you are huge. Just accept it and move on. I mean, you have another whole person inside of you! I am not saying you are huge and ugly. Do not assume that "huge" means "fat". In fact, I think pregnancy is beautiful, large bellies and all. And even if you do look puffy and strange, I promise not to tell you that you look puffy and strange...unless you ask me. So, please, don't ask me. But if you ignore this warning, I'll probably try my best to nicely deflect the question or dress up my answer because I also believe in doing to others as I would have them do to me. (Nothing is so frustrating as wanting reassurance from my husband only to get the harsh truth...no ribbons, bows, or glitter included. But of course, those are the exceptions, not the rule. He understands I still need a little glitter on the ugly truth from time to time)!
So, if the truth will set us free, then I believe it will set us free in all areas. If I don't fit in because of it, then I guess that's okay, too. Maybe more can join me in the quest for being completely truthful so we can all be odd specimens of society together!