Martha Alicia Chávez  



When I was four (take into account that it was 52 years ago), a classmate secretly told me that when we grew up into women, blood came out of our navel every month. Another told me that her father had caught a virus when he opened a window on the plane he was travelling on. Another girl told me how she had gone to Europe by bus on her summer vacation and another told me that the moon was made of cheese… and I believed them.

Then I grew up and learned the truth: that women do not menstruate through their navels, that airplane windows can’t be opened, that it‘s impossible to go to Europe from America by bus (unless it goes inside a ship) and that the moon isn’t made of cheese.

As an adolescent, many adults told me that all men are unfaithful; that “good women” should not enjoy their sexuality and that money ruins people…and I believed them.

When I learned the truth, I found out that many men are unfaithful (and women as well) but that many are not, that “good women” could enjoy their sexuality intensely and that money could be a sublime and positive blessing in life. And I grew more and more (maybe not so much in height as in heart and soul), and I discovered—though I am not the first nor the last to have done so—that people lie to each other but perhaps mostly they lie to themselves, although generally all this is unconscious and we distort the facts, deny our feelings, hide our motives and design masks to hide behind them.

I also discovered that though these lies sicken us and cause us anxiety, we invent them not because we are bad people, but because we are afraid… afraid of being rejected, criticized and abandoned. Because we believe that being who we are, feeling what we feel and wanting what we want, will mean that we don’t deserve love.

I also understood and convinced myself that one condition for growing, healing and living in peace is to leave aside self-deception and become genuine and honest with ourselves. Honesty with others will come from this as well. The most transcendent, liberating and important step which I have taken in that direction was when I decided to commit myself to life, to set aside self-dec

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