To Respect “US” Through Honesty
This is a subject I’ve wanted to write about since I started this blog over a year ago. It wasn’t until Thommy and I got our “Be Love” tattoos that I really felt compelled to finally sit down and share this confessional with you. They say that tattoos are addictive and that’s the TRUTH. I already want my next one and I want it to read “T.R.U.T.H.” – I want it placed on my left forearm so that while I type away, telling you my story and encouraging you to sculpt your own amazing tale, I will never be without a reminder to do so from a place of honesty, integrity and love.
I’m not talking about the “truth” that we each find in religion, spirituality, opinions and every other arena of subjective thought. We all have our own “truths” that we feel passionately about and want to share with others. We all have battle-tested ideology about human nature, preferences and choices; that is not the kind of truth I’m talking about. And I’m not talking about your private relationship with honesty and lies.
What I want to say today is this: I am not even close to where I want to be in terms of owning my feelings, thoughts, desires, perspectives and preferences. This causes me to occasionally choose lies and falsehoods for comforts’ sake. I still crave acceptance; I still yearn for the fleeting comfort that comes from other people’s approval; I still hold some room for doubt, not necessarily sure if I’m interesting or smart enough when in the company of strangers … even friends, family, or my husband.
What happens then, when these feelings of unease and insecurity creep up from past scars and disappointments? I choose lies. Not always, not even frequently, but sometimes. Not big lies (not lately anyway), but small, deceptively inconsequential lies. A recent example: I was writing an email to a friend and instead of saying that I WOULD do something, I implied that it was already done. A mere change in tense is all it took for me to lower my anxiety level. What was wrong with saying it wasn’t done yet? What was wrong with speaking my own truth and declaring myself in the process of doing, not already done?
What I now choose to embrace is the fact that these small twists of truths are eroding, over time, my sense of self-worth and value. I realize that by choosing little lies, I am creating one huge lie: I am not good enough. So over time, with every conversation, with every email, with every interaction in which I let these little cover-ups into existence, what I am really creating is a false image of ME, and ALL that I stand for.
Those that think it permissible to tell white lies soon grow color blind. ~Austin O’Malley
As I sit here writing this, reflecting on all my past indiscretions, falsehoods and lies, I do not feel guilt or remorse or fear; I do not believe that those are empowering feelings conducive to change. I do not think that those who love me will judge me by this confession today. I understand, as I believe they will understand, that we all choose behavior and action based on the very best feeling we have at any given time. As I’ve stated, there have been many times in my life where I just did not feel empowered enough to embrace the truth; those were the times I did not want to be judged, ostracized, criticized or ignored. I’m not saying that from this moment forward every utterance (written, spoken or thought of) will be 100% truthful. Love is really the only absolute, anyway.
What I’m looking forward to, what I envision and now claim as my own, is a recognition that my previous feelings of inadequacy no longer serve me; I now believe and accept that I am whole, complete and perfectly imperfect. I will remember that with every word I write, with every song I sing and with every truth I tell, I am representing the very best version of me. I will no longer disrespect myself or those I speak with by choosing falsehoods or inaccuracies. I am enough, just as I am. You are enough, just as you are, and I would encourage you to monitor yourself for a couple hours and see if and when you let little lies creep into your exchanges. Ask yourself why you are choosing those lies, what purpose are they serving you at that moment. Perhaps you don’t want to hurt someones feeling. Maybe you don’t think your story is interesting enough without a few embellishments along the way. Maybe, by speaking your truth, you will judged or ridiculed.
We’re scared of almost everything, afraid to even tell the truth / So scared of what you think of me, I’m scared of even telling you. ~Lupe Fiasco, “Words I Never Said”
Speak the truth anyway, in every opportunity you get. Don’t be scared. Don’t be silenced. Be you. Not only are you doing yourself a great service, but never underestimate the power your truth can have on others. If you don’t share all that you are, all that you might be scared to reveal, you are denying others the opportunity to connect with you and your experiences. We learn so that we may teach. Reveal yourself to everyone you meet and revel in the particular brand of “truth” that everyone reveals to you.
I find change easier when I have a constant, visual reminder – until the desired behavior becomes second nature. And since speaking my truth involves not just choosing the correct tense, or the right sequence of events … since it involves trusting that I am ALWAYS enough, I went ahead and ordered this AWESOME, custom-made necklace from The Giving Keys:
I will wear it while I’m writing or when I’m in a new circumstance that will test my commitment to staying true and representing myself as honest, in all ways. And when I feel brilliantly confident in my ability to speak only truths (or I get my tattoo, whichever comes first) I will do as The Giving Keys ask and I will pass it along to someone I come across who has unnecessarily disengaged herself from her absolute truth. Not someone who “lies” or engages in “deceptive” behavior – I have no room to judge or assess others; no, I will find someone who has expressed to me their lack of confidence in their true self, someone who has expressed to me their need to hide who they are from the world. I will know that this person needs to shine their light bright for the world to see and I will pass along this message. Choose the truth. Be your truth. Live your TRUTH. The world needs it.
(If you haven’t already, take a moment to check out what The Giving Keys are all about: they represent the very best in entrepreneurial endeavor- the spirit of what they stand for, and how they have decided to conduct their business, should be a blueprint for all those looking to provide a much-needed service to our world…)