There’s something about love which stimulates the imagination. We fantasize about romance and sex. When we are in love we walk on air and everything is wonderful, even when in reality we soon discover that it isn’t perfect. Besides, who can compete with our complex imagination? And this is just the setting, the backdrop, for all the other lies, small or huge, which will soon emerge in our relationships:

• We have a hard time saying no because we want to be well-liked or to snare the quarry in a quest for love. For example, when John and Mary were dating, Mary pretended to love golf because golf was John’s favorite activity. However, once they were married, she never played golf again. John wondered if had married a stranger and in a sense he did.

• We are anxious to please because we feel insecure about our own uniqueness and we tell our beloved what he or she wants to hear. Brad tells Joan he loves her macaroni and cheese when he is lactose intolerant. As a result, she makes it every week for him and gives him a double portion. Ouch!

• We do not like confrontation especially in purposeless, repetitive fighting. Scott has learned to lie to Renee when she asks him if she looks like she gained weight. She no longer needs a scale because she has never gained a pound according to him. How can she improve her health and fitness?

The truth will liberate your true identity.

It’s time to go from people pleaser to self-pleaser. Carve out the time to remove your mask. This is the part of you that is not afraid to be bad. By bad I do not mean evil, but rather confronting your do-I-dare mindset. It feels good to be bad once in awhile because it liberates you from routine restrictions. Also, it is freeing to be bad at something new. You are not afraid to go beyond your comfort zone to try something different. For example, few people are proficient at driving when they first learn or fluid when playing a musical instrument. I play piano and hit a few wrong notes here and there, but they are my wrong notes and I enjoy playing the way I do just for me.

The stress of people- pleasing and performing for others can steal your heart away by making you an artificial person while you lose your natural self. Identity is tied into seeing yourself as separate from others – how do you differ? what is your opinion? What do you enjoy doing? What is your specific contribution?

Don't always resist what naturally emerges from your own personality. Suppression and self-silencing to maintain "the peace" or hold on to love come at a great cost to your health, both physical and spiritual.

You don't need to say what other people want to hear. However, you do need to hear what others say to honestly respond. Imagine how light you feel and how freely you breathe as you relate to others without your mask.

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Author's Bio: 

I'm an author, stress management specialist, and my latest book is "Addicted to Stress: A Woman's 7 Step Program to Reclaim Joy and Spontaneity in Life" (Wiley, Sept. 2008). Also, I host a weekly radio show and run an educational site where you can learn more about building immunity to feeling bad: