The Prime Directive of a Love Ninja

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“I want to live an authentic life and honesty is one of my most important values,” she said, “but if I were to tell the truth I would hurt people and destroy lives.”

I wish our lives were simple. That there was black and white and nothing in between. But the reality is that our lives happen in the grayscale in between. When I got the email above it reminded me of my own experience.

Back at the beginning of 2010 I found myself emotionally entangled in a physical relationship with a man who wasn’t my husband. I was on a journey of spiritual transformation, I had declared my life’s purpose to be authenticity and here I was telling lies to everyone. I lied to my husband, I lied to my friends, and I lied in my blog posts. Even now I can’t reveal what really happened because it’s not just my story to tell. If I told the truth I would hurt people and destroy lives.

I even lied to Duckfish for a long time. I told him that this man and I hadn’t been intimate. It took me months to confess that I was an unfaithful wife. I worried that Duckfish would think I was morally corrupt and incapable of honouring my promises.

Absolute truthfulness is an ideal that can never be reached. I can’t tell my mother that her religious belief in a God that judges some worthy for heaven and others damned to hell is the polar opposite of what I believe. I can’t tell you the name of someone who claims she’s never had an eating disorder who I know has been treated for exercise bulimia. I can’t tell my friend that she let me down when I needed her the most. I can’t tell my father that I believe his illness is a result of not forgiving his own father.

So what keeps me from telling the truth? Why is authenticity dependent on the circumstances?

It’s because there is one principle even greater than honesty and truth ~ it is the principle of love.

Because ‘love’ is such an abstract concept with many interpretations it is easier to put it into a Prime Directive (like in Star Trek). The Prime Directive for an enlightened woman living in her feminine energy (a love ninja) is ~

First, do no harm.

If telling the truth would hurt someone and bring conflict into your life and theirs then keep your secrets. We all have secrets we keep between ourselves and the Universe in order to keep others free from harm.

The uneasiness comes when we find ourselves drowning in guilt from the mistakes we have made and the lies we have told to keep our secrets safe.

There is only one way to be free of this pain.

Tell this one truth and live in this authenticity ~

I’m an imperfect person who has made mistakes. I forgive myself for my shortcomings. The past can’t be changed and at the time I did my best. I’m letting this story go and living from a place of love and acceptance from now on. 

First, do no harm.

Don’t harm yourself by living in guilt.

Don’t harm others by hurting them.

Love is the Prime Directive and takes precedence over all other considerations.

Be love.

About KatieP

Embracing my midlife sexy while exploring modern love & relationships • Devoted to all things beautiful • Master of Arts in creative writing & non-fiction writing • Join the hottest group on FB → Sassy Ageless Women

12 thoughts on “The Prime Directive of a Love Ninja

  1. So amazing Katie! I just finished reading “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz and this post lines up wonderfully with it. Being authentic with ourselves will guide us in how to appropriately interact with others.

    Lovely post – do no harm…beautiful!
    XO,
    Jess

    1. You’re the second person who’s mentioned The Four Agreements today so maybe the Universe is telling me something. I must read it myself.

      Thanks Jess x

  2. I have struggled with this.

    Love is a higher law.. and sometimes the truth is more loving than lying. Sometimes the truth needs to be said to heal hearts. I have been more wounded that someone lied to me in order to protect my feelings than I have been by the truth. I want the truth. I want the truth. I want the truth. Telling me the truth is how you love me, it is how I expect to be loved, it is how I demand to be loved. I think the truth is loving.. most of the time.

    Yes, others sometimes need to be protected. We have to choose our words. We have to choose our moments. And sometimes it cannot be told. Each truth needs to be measured for the healing or hurt it can bring (telling me my dress looks heinous is not worth the hurt. Telling me you don’t love me anymore needs to be said, even if it hurts). But I would like to believe that truth can bring healing more often than hurt, even if it hurts at the start. Hard truths can be shared with love. It is possible.

    1. A brilliant response Sara ~ I totally agree.

      It has made me think that perhaps there is a difference between hurting someone and harming them. Maybe lying to avoid hurting someone can do more harm in the end than telling the truth.

      It seems the answer is always “it depends” …
      Bugger!

      1. I know right? I do like your distinction between hurt and harm.. that is probably the key. So “do no harm” = brilliant mantra for truth-telling.

        I also meant to say above that if someone thinks my dress is heinous and says so, it isn’t going to kill me. 😉 But, really, what’s the point in that kind of observation? It’s subjective, anyway.

        Honestly I think this is an endless conversation with our consciences. There are no hard and fast rules, it’s an art and not a science.

  3. The answer will always be ‘it depends’..
    The differential is that one persons truth is not another’s..
    What will hurt one may not hurt another.
    How to tell the difference is the difficult question to answer.

    Exaggerate and embellish the truth?… Yep ..can do… dreams feed the imagination.. But when it comes to the crunch?
    Tell a down and out AND in your face lie? Nah. Couldn’t to save myself…leads me to tend to believe everything I’m told at times.. and hence need to be treated with honesty… not naive .. just a bit gullible at times.

    Honesty on important matters can be dealt with .. one has choices: ignore or not. Some truths cannot be condoned. Surprisingly to many this is often the case where infidelity is concerned. That, for me, can be understood. Child abuse NEVER.. not in any form. Big clue there to my life story!

    What WE think may hurt someone may not matter to another. We all have different parameters or codes of acceptable behavior by which we live our lives…

    ‘First do no harm’ has been one of my rules for engagement for many a year now so that isn’t the problem… just the HOW because as you will have surmised by now i totally agree with Sara as well.

    i also now want to read the “The Four Agreements” and will look out for it.
    Ciao.

    1. Thanks for your great input which has got me thinking even more about what I mean by lying (such a triggering word in itself).

      I ask myself the question “will sharing this information with this person empower them or tear them down?”

      Telling someone I’m not in love with them gives them information that empowers them. Telling my mother that her core values contradict mine does neither of us any good. When we sit at the table and she says grace to a God I don’t believe in, is closing my eyes and playing along a lie?

      “Each truth needs to be measured for the healing or harm it can bring.” (Sara) That’s where I’m coming from.

      Thanks for making me think.

  4. I’m with you in spirit, my dear. We should consider the outcomes for ourselves, for others, and for the world when we act and speak. However, some things must be done or said, even if the truth will destroy lives. Just as it’s impossible to live a wholly open, authentic life in order to preserve sanity and love, it’s impossible to do no harm at all times. I’m with Sara on this – hard things can be said/done with love. Sometimes there has to be harm before there can be real healing, before love can be accepted.

    1. “Just as it’s impossible to live a wholly open, authentic life in order to preserve sanity and love, it’s impossible to do no harm at all times.”

      That’s why life is all about holding on to our authentic selves in the midst of an imperfect life. It’s not an outcome (being authentic) it’s a process/adventure and an art.

      Thanks for stopping by and adding to the great discussion.

  5. Hmm. I was getting a bit confused with this, as I had really begun to think about writing a memoir type blog and actually keeping it online this time. But so much of what I have to say involves others.

    So I thought, “Well there goes my idea.” And started to scrap the idea again. This is exactly why I’ve taken down blogs I’ve started every time.

    But then I saw Ellie Di’s post and that helped with…well if I’m honest, permission to write on personal experiences on a public forum…mind you to an audience don’t even have yet. But hey.

    Then I thought further and realized that it really is in the intention too. It could still cause harm, but the difference now for me, is that now I can come from a place of a lot less pain, and a bit less anger and have the writing be more objective.

    Before, with all the hurt inside of me I just wanted to tell my side and let people who read hopefully judge certain people I’d be writing about. So with that intention, it would be all about doing harm/dishing out hurt because I felt so hurt, instead of putting it out there with the intention of healing, like I’d be doing now…now that I have some distance between me and the initial searing pain.

    I think there could be some insights that can come out of writing it, from self and from others.

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