National Association of Shoplifting and Theft Addiction Specialists
Many commit check fraud, embezzlement and other acts of theft to keep up or live a certain lifestyle. These criminal acts have short-term benefits with long-term consequences. There are many who steal to impress others or even pretend to have a lifestyle that they really do not have. Gaining acceptance and approval from others can be intoxicating. We see examples of this behavior played out through social media sites, school yards, clubs, and even the workplace.
This behavior can become burdensome and lead to increased pressure to keep up the lie. This is an unfortunate position to be in for many. This can lead to embarrassment, criminal charges, and addiction. But is it worth it? Do we want people to love us or our lifestyle?
Does our lifestyle define us as a person? Are the clothes, shoes, cars, designer bags, and electronics really important? Are we chasing the lifestyle, or are we really chasing the feeling that the lifestyle gives us? Ask yourself, does another person has less value than another because of the car they drive or the clothes they have? For those that have so-called “nice things,” are they really happy or are they wearing a mask?
There are those in those in this world that I call magicians. You see what they want you to see. They don’t want you to know who they really are. It’s all an illusion and at the end of the magic show nothing changes. Their problems, insecurities, and issues are still there. The clothes, electronics, purses, shoes can temporarily mask the depression, guilt, shame, and anger for a while. But the truth always catches up with them, and it can be revealing.
We are more valuable that clothes, cars, shoes and fancy gadgets. We can replace these things. But no one can replace us. We should not compare ourselves to others because it causes insecurity and you never know what that person is really going through emotionally, physically, or spiritually. They may be paying a price that we are not willing to pay.
I knew a woman who was worth millions at the time I met her, but she was severely unhappy. Her husband was struggling with a methamphetamine addiction and he was having sex with many of her female clients. There was high turnover rate within her organization and her mood and behavior was erratic. This drove her employees crazy and many of them talked negatively behind her back.
Let this be a lesson to all that read this. Happiness is not defined by what we have, it’s defined by how we feel. The woman I mentioned above had millions of dollars, respect in the community, and a wonderful lifestyle. But at the end of the day, she was empty inside searching for love, happiness and respect.
We must confront our core issues and not be bullied by our past, false perceptions, and things that don’t really matter. It is ok to be vulnerable or exposed. Our lives cannot be based on lies or illusions. Telling the truth has to be more comfortable than telling a lie.