Is truth always black and white? Yes, I believe it is. Let me clarify the context in which I ask this question and oh, by the way, I am asking the question of myself: “Am I telling you the truth about how I feel?”
Communicating my truth, being authentic with how I feel, what I want, don’t want and how I see things has been a very difficult thing for me to learn to do. It’s embarrassing to say because that just makes me sound like a liar. I guess I am. I could make all kinds of excuses for why and what the other factors were in all of these instances but I don’t care to. I want to focus on telling you why the truth has been so difficult for me to express, how it’s made my life more complicated and what I have learned in the process.
I’ll get right to it. I lied because I was afraid of being rejected. If I revealed what I really felt or really wanted I would be acknowledging who I was and risked not being accepted. I didn’t understand my value because for so much of my life, I was untangling a mess that had been created by childhood abuse. I lied because I did not love myself and at my core felt ashamed of who I was. Why then, would anyone else accept who I was.
For much of my life, I side stepped my story unaware of how much the abuse affected me mentally. I didn’t try to side step by avoiding the story. It did the opposite. When I was ready, I dug and dug into my past. I spent thousands of hrs. dissecting my experiences through therapy, just to understand what the fuck happened. It’s not an easy subject or the best happy hour conversation but, the time spent in discovery was necessary and important. I honor that space. I learned what loving myself meant and experienced a ton of healing. It really is a wonderful story about the power of love. It’s worthy of discussion but again, that is not my focus right now.
I said that I lied because I feared rejection. I now understand that the fear of rejection is rooted in lost love. Lost love for myself. Fear disconnected me from myself. From loving myself. It is the middle man, the guard between my true self and my story. When I allow the fear of rejection to stop me from expressing my authenticity, I lie. This lying digs a deeper hole and the awareness of love lost increases. How could I love and trust someone who keeps lying to me? I couldn’t. It’s no different when the person I’m lying to is myself.
Have you ever heard a famous person talk about how they still get a bit nervous in the first few moments of stepping on stage, even though they have done it a million times before? It’s the same with telling the truth. There is always a little edge to it. Saying what I feel requires being alive and being in front of a live audience. I hope this makes sense to you. I bring it up because I am learning that truth is an action. It’s not a feeling. It requires practice and exercise. You never get it “perfect. It’s not meant to be perfect. It’s truth. It is what it is. This takes all the mystery out of it for me. I understand this. So I want to feel but the feeling I want is that edge. The butterflies that come with stepping out and being real. If I feel them. If it’s a little vulnerable, I know I am speaking my truth. If I stop exercising my truth, it loses its power and the butterflies disappear. I will never stop.
When you are authentic and speaking your truth, you should not need a person to validate it as being right or wrong. Good or bad. It is yours. You just need to tell it like it is. It’s nice when I feel a person has “heard” me and asks questions to further understand what I have said. This is what a healthy relationship is about. Dialogue is a back and forth exchange of views or feelings, freely expressed with the intent to understand, not judge the other.
You can disagree with another person’s point of view and still respect their feelings. You can decide, based on truth to part ways in a relationship, job or church without judging or disrespecting the other party. Truth is the invitation to understand and explore another point of view. I’m really preaching to myself right now and dangerously close to pegging the bullshit meter because this is an incredibly hard thing for me to practice. I screw up all the time. Especially in relationships where I have “experienced” and “heard” others “truth” in the past and therefore already “know” what they are thinking. I really don’t know yet, I act as judge and jury. I don’t like when it’s done to me and I don’t like that I do it but, sometimes I do. There may be merit to why I do what I do, but that’s not the point. It’s not right. I will keep practicing to respectfully disagree or simply listen and say nothing. After that I can walk away or shut down my email. That’s my truth in action.
So, where does the practice of telling the truth begin? It starts by being honest with yourself. Acknowledge your past. It is what it is. Whether your past holds great memories or great pain, you can do nothing to change it. It is in the past. Then, learn to embrace and accept your present. That’s where you are right now. Wishing or wanting does nothing but hold you back. You can be OK with yourself without settling or giving up. There are thousands of stories of people finding success after everything else failed because at rock bottom, they chose to embrace their moment. This is a powerful space, not the end of the road.
Give yourself some love. Lots of it. Speak your truth. As you practice, you empower your future. You set intention. You build a life that’s perfect for you. A life filled with beautiful imperfections that are rooted in truth and love. A life filled with people that give and receive from that same space. This is Love working through you. This is what I wish for you. You are enough. You got this. This is Lifein180.