Sunday, May 18, 2014
Speak YOUR Truth
I disagree. My belief is that people behave this way, because they've learned that no one is truly interested in what they have to say. From early childhood, we were hushed, told to mind our manners, not to speak unless spoken to, or diminished for our comments. As we got older, if we were brave enough (or defiant enough) to speak our opinions, we were ridiculed, demeaned, argued with, or dismissed. Finally, as adults, we were told that it is not about your feelings, but instead about the bottom line. How you felt about any particular issue was a matter for private voting booths or debate clubs. It was not for check out line conversation.
Finally, as technology replaced human contact, we stopped using the social niceties that those of us over 40 were schooled in as children. There is no need to say hello or goodbye or to ask about someone's family during a text message. Instead, we use abbreviated language to give only directional information. Phone conversations are a thing of the past with instant messaging. In-person meetings are nearly never done, because it is much more convenient to use Facetime, Skype, or another technological marvel.
When we are genuine, we provide permission for all of those around us to stand in their own space and be genuine as well. There is some risk involved. Being authentic, speaking your truths, requires the ability to be vulnerable -- to allow others to see who you really are at your center, rather than the persona that we are taught to display over and over. If I am genuine, I am not always well. Sometimes, I'm sad or angry or sick. I needn't pretend that I'm the picture of perfect health and perfect attitude. Many people will now argue with me that we attract what we put out. I agree. I also believe that we must allow ourselves to honor what we feel. I can be sad or angry or depressed and speak to someone about it, honor that it is what I feel at the moment. I know that, of course, like all emotional states, it is transient and will pass.
If I refuse to acknowledge the emotional state, however, how genuine am I being? Am I not playing the same old game to pretend to be something I'm not -- in this case, happy when I'm not? How is that genuine? I also needn't delve into every emotion like a treasure hunt, looking for all possible causes and related issues. Some reflection is necessary if any state of being resides within me for any length of time (Yes! That's right! I'm saying that its not expected that I will always be happy. What a ludicrous thought?!). If a period of depression follows the death of a loved one, I would not consider this abnormal nor worthy of assessment. Instead, it is to be honored. Grief is a process, which can be beautiful in its raw pain if we allow it.
Life is a cycle. Its only absolute is the constant flow of change. I'm going to speak my truth. If someone asks me how I am, I will answer honestly. This does not mean that I will divulge intimate details of my life at the gas pump on a regular basis. It does mean that I will be genuine with those in my life. How dare I not be? Because if I fail to be genuine, I'm sending the message that I am unworthy, as are my feelings and thoughts and values and beliefs. And, the second message is that YOU are unworthy, also, because I don't trust you to share myself with you; nor, should YOU be real when I've clearly not done so.
I'm going to speak my truth. I'm going to allow space for everyone else to do so, as well. I will listen if you decide to talk about politics in the waiting room. Its okay if we don't agree on all issues, but isn't it a gift to treat each other with respect and discuss our thoughts? Sometimes, I'm not clear on my own beliefs until I've explained them to someone else. Sometimes, I don't know my own truth until it exits my mouth in sound.
We are connected. We have forgotten. We can remember.