Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Lance Armstrong's Life After the Lie Will Be A Greater Challenge Than Beating Cancer

With some anticipation, Oprah's interview with Lance Armstrong will make for good television. Already there are some leaking reports that Armstrong does admit to doping.

To lie to a small group of friends or co-workers is not anything to brag about.  However, it is hard to imagine knowingly and with some calculations telling a grand lie to millions of people and the burden Armstrong must have had  keeping and protecting that lie. 

For Armstrong, and all other liars,  protecting a lie  takes some creative energy which could have been better used.

And in reality, Armstrong's lie probably was not the most damaging lie in the annals of history but some people were injured by actions and subsequent lies.

The sponsors who paid Armstrong highly to promote their products might be hurt financially by his lie.   The non-doping cyclists who Armstrong  beat in his seven  Tour de' France wins were possibly robbed of a title.  And perhaps the  consumers who foolishly bought products based on Armstrong's over paid endorsements probably felt cheated.

But Armstrong did not kill people nor did thousands of people lose their life savings because of his actions. 

Armstrong was caught up in a grand whopper of a lie.

And should have Armstrong wanted to admit to doping----the lie went on so long he probably could not quite figure how to get himself out of it. And to fess up to a lie, Armstrong probably knew of the possible legal and personal ramifications which would likely result. How do you tell your immediate family and friends that you knowingly lied?---a real dilemma.

But perhaps without the performance enhancing drugs, Armstrong maybe would have still won the competitions, albeit perhaps not all seven titles.

Armstrong was a talented athlete caught up in his personal greed and most certainly he is not the first nor will be the last to have a tarnished athletic career.

But the real story will be how Armstrong acts today after he has admitted to doping and has come clean with the public.

For Armstrong beating cancer was a big deal but no bigger of a deal than the thousands of people worldwide also dealing with cancer. The difference for Armstrong, and a good thing, he acted nobly and based on his good reputation and connections  found the LiveStrong foundation to help others with cancer.

But Armstrong's biggest challenge greater than athletic competition or beating cancer will be how to live his life after his "forced" confessions.   How he lives his life will now be the true test of his manhood and spirituality.

Rumors are that he is going to take down others---but does that really redeem him or perhaps just  confirm his self-seeking nature and an attitude of a sore loser who says, "If I can't have it-----you will not either."

There are many notable men and women who have rebounded after admitting to lies and have gone on to offer meaningful contributions to society afterwards.  

Probably many of us have had to engage in  some self-forgiveness for our actions.   And many of us for our spiritual sanity, had to make amends to those we hurt.

There are many great quotes about self-forgiveness that  might apply to Armstrong as well as those of us who at one time had self-loathing because of past actions. 

My favorite (for today) and if you wish substitute forgiveness with self-forgiveness is the following quote by Paul Boese.

Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future.

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