Monday, June 28, 2010

Aphorisms and Truisms Self-Hate Can Use

Reading the Practice Everywhere tweet “Better to be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubts,“ caused me to reflect on how many of those kinds of insidious messages most of us have been given. From standards such as “children should be seen and not heard” to vague information that what you’re feeling and the amount you’re feeling is wrong/bad, we have managed to take in an impressive amount of “negative intelligence” under the guise of truisms or words to live by.

A few more that occur to me:

A fool and his money are quickly parted.
A friend in need is a friend indeed.
Better to be safe than sorry.
All good things must come to an end.
All's well that ends well.

I’ve tried to see how we get information such as “those feelings” are “anxiety” and anxiety is a bad thing. I can’t recall hearing anything specific but somehow the message gets transmitted loud and clear. Wouldn’t it have been wonderful if we had been encouraged with something like, “Oh, those are sensations; they’re how human beings feel life. They don’t mean anything in particular. You have to pay close attention because they change with every situation and you don’t want to miss any messages from life.”

A variation on the value of truisms I wish someone had given me is along the lines of, “maybe yes, maybe no” from the story of the old fellow whose only horse runs off. The neighbors say, “What a terrible thing to have happen to you.” He responds, “Maybe yes, maybe no.” The animal returns in a few days bringing a small herd of wild horses with it.
“Isn’t that wonderful,” say the neighbors. “Maybe yes, maybe no.” His only son goes out to break the horses, is thrown and his leg is broken, rendering him incapable of helping with the work. “Isn’t that terrible,” say the neighbors. “Maybe yes, maybe no.” The army comes by looking for able-bodied men to fight the most current war. “Isn’t that…” You get the picture. Bottom line point is that we simply do not know. Ever. Anything.

How about this: As you recognize the vaguely unsupportive to downright self-hating “truths” that torment you when you’re not attending closely, post them to this blog, and we will create a great list of “conventional wisdom” that is not wise at all under a heading of Lies to Ignore.


  1. "Forget about it & it will go away"...not so

  2. "No good deed goes unpunished"

  3. "Good things come to those who wait."
    "Think before you speak."
    And the recently popular, "You complete me."

    Bad advice...

  4. "Don't just sit there, DO something!" The exact opposite is true!

  5. "In for a penny, in for a pound."

    "You made your bed and now lie in it."

    "There's a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow."

  6. Nothing worth doing is easy

    Idle hands are the devil's hands

  7. "If he really liked you he would...(insert any - call, find the time, remember your birthday, etc)" or a variation "If you really loved me you would..."

    "You just haven't met the right person. Everything changes once that happens."

  8. "The Early bird gets the worm."


    "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy."

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  10. Life is fair,if you tell truth nothing bad will happen to you.

    This is going to hurt me more than it's going to hurt you.

    Do as I say not as I do.

    Santa is real as child?

    Is God real as a child after finding out about Santa being your mommy and daddy,is god an impostor,do the adults lie?

  11. Out of sight, out of mind.

    Absence makes the heart grow fonder.

  12. "Never settle for less than your best."

  13. I am noticing that conditioning has it's own version of these lies that often aren't even worded cleverly or that interestingly and are tailored to the person's condtioning... Like, "You don't matter." "Better not to say anything that to risk being hurtful." "You are the only one....." Funny how boring and nonsense the sentences can be if they go on under the radar and no one is paying attention.

  14. "Be prepared" (always, forever, for all contingencies)
    "Save for a rainy day" (and never spend the money)
    "Look before you leap" (and ask yourself, "Do I really want to leap here? Is this the right thing to do? Will I regret this leaping?")

  15. This is the last straw.

    You can't go home again.

  16. The second mouse gets the cheese

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  18. If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.

  19. God never gives you more than you can handle.