Privacy Was My Disease

The truth I was scared to tell…

Life tends to be a reflection, and my lifestyle is my canvas. As a lifestyle artist, I look at my personal interactions and how things come into my life. Why do certain moments arise and what do I need to understand and learn from these life events?

So, here it goes… if I am living out my belief system, then I am going to share my experiences with the world as a part of my understanding of a lesson. If I learn a lesson and do not admit my faults then that lesson, also experienced by family and friends around me, is lost. The teachable moment becomes a confirmation of inauthentic beliefs that I have.

By not sharing my authentic experiences and emotions, I am still holding onto misconceptions of my life out of fear of what my friends and family might think. Resistance to sharing my truth resulted in inauthentic behavior which led me down a path of privacy and self-protection.

I believe privacy is the virus of society. We don’t want the world to see our true beliefs and judge us for them. This is expressed in my chosen work in healthcare, where we make everything private. We say that privacy is important because we don’t want the world to know what diseases we have. I say “we” but what I’ve discovered on my own 30-year journey trying to fix the pain in my body is that it’s better to be open. If I had genital warts, or a problem with my daily bowel movements, I would take a picture of it so that I could ask for advice from a professional. I’ve been willing to talk about my issues with anybody that would or could help me.

I remember when I realized that my own pain was not body pain- it was a pain body. This realization unfolded after reading Eckhart Tolles’s book The Power of Now in August 2008.

During this time I was being detained by the US government on charges that were trumped up, to use the expression lightly. I wasn’t willing to share this with my children because I didn’t want them to see me in pain. By hiding that pain from my children “for their protection”, it caused more pain, because it wasn’t long before the national media put a spotlight on my situation.

I had been holding secrets for politicians, governments, criminals, and lawyers. I was known around the world for holding secrets that even the US government was not able to break into. I was the encryption on top of Blackberry, which was used by everybody in the world that wanted to hide information. I bought into the idea that this was okay because it was “just business” and I was protecting the rights of people to be private.

My point in sharing this is not to try to elicit any sympathy, or protect myself, my business or my mission, but rather to show you the extreme nature of a belief system gone wrong. I had become the ultimate expression of the problem because I was hiding secrets, and those secrets were hurting people around me.

Even in a recent business situation, I faced the same dilemma on a smaller scale. Instead of hiding secrets, I avoided directly addressing an issue. A client refused to pay for their service. Instead of confronting them, I took the normally prescribed business route of using my accounting department to send them an invoice. I had done this many times while running over 13 businesses with international exposure. Each time before, I justified my actions. I now realize I should have just had the uncomfortable conversation, acknowledged the situation had failed, and said that regardless it was time to pay up for services rendered.

So, I stand here now taking full accountability for the lesson I’m learning, speaking my truth to the world even though it’s uncomfortable. Yes, it’s extremely uncomfortable because as I’m writing this I know I’m going to post it, talk about it on podcasts to be heard throughout North America, Europe, and Asia, and the truth of who I am will be out there.

I finally made a decision that I would rather live with the truth of who I am than hide it from people. When my words and actions are inauthentic to my true feelings, those emotions live in my body, causing pain and dysfunction. That’s the reason why I had a problem in the first place.

It was very convenient to blame my bodybuilding injury in the 1980s for my pain, but the truth was I wanted to hide my beliefs from others.

I became a bodybuilder in the 1980s when nobody was really going to the gym in an extreme way yet. I competed and went to the nationals in Canada. I told the world that I was a professional bodybuilder because I did qualify, but I never competed as a professional- which means that I wasn’t a professional bodybuilder. I was an amateur bodybuilder who decided not to move forward. Irrespective of why I decided not to move forward, that inaccuracy was being told millions of times on podcasts all over the world. Every time I heard myself, a little part of me cringed. What was said could have been truthful if I had changed the angle or altered the words. I hope it is clear what I am sharing.

I have caused all of the pain in my life, my relationships, my business, my marriages, with my children, and in my body, so I could hide the truth from some people. The truth was I wanted to be open and not hide anything from anybody, but I believed in a set of rules that said hiding truth in layers was okay. I was hiding the truth through my social beliefs, my business rules of etiquette, my emotional training with gurus around the world, and my spirituality. I could talk about these things in the third person rather than express them in the first person.

I began to realize that the rules of life I subscribed to were the very reason why I felt so bad in my body. When I woke up to this reality, I decided I no longer wanted live this way in any way shape or form. The truth in all aspects, spoken publicly to everybody that I know and love, was better than holding a lie in my body. I believe that the virus of society is the fact that we try to keep things private and hide them from others. I choose to make a change in the way I live my life by removing all of the pain that I was causing myself.

I am no longer hiding from people, and no longer hiding from myself. My expression today forward is how I live my life! What other people decide regarding who I am and what I have to say is not mine to be concerned about, or to hold in any way. I always use the phrase “the truth will set you free”, and now I understand that there are multiple layers to that statement.

So here I am: I love myself, I love my emotions, I love my body, and I want to help people learn how to do that as well… There, I said it, so it is and so it will be.

-Garry Lineham