Telling the truth.
It’s big. It’s hard. It takes remarkable courage. (Not to say something like “I don’t like peaches” but to say something like “Yesterday, I broke down in tears because I realized that I’m not really happy.”)
I believe telling the truth can save our lives. (Along with Wonder Woman.)
I had to start telling the truth to myself. To admit how I was actually feeling. To take off the blinders and allow myself to feel and allow the truth about it all. The resentment. The anger. The sadness. The fear. The wanting.
And who it involved. My family. My kids. My husband. My parents. That person.
Can we tell the truth to someone else if we haven’t spoken it to ourselves first?
Our truth is so sacred that we need to own it first. To speak it to ourselves first. To allow it. To feel it’s edges. To feel it’s heat, whether it’s burning or frozen. We can only move past it when we speak it.
The truth that we don’t speak (or that we tone down so we only speak a part of it) just buries itself in our skin. In our cells. It shuts down our joy. It is a barrier between us and someone else. It keeps us the victim. It festers into self-criticism and self-hatred.
I’m having a hard time with life right now.
I don’t like it.
I am not happy.
I don’t know what to do.
When we don’t tell the truth to each other, we continue this isolation. Each of us in our own small world, thinking that everyone else has it together. That we are the only ones that can’t get it. Can’t hold it together. Don’t know what we are doing.
We think we are the only ones struggling.
We all stay down in the dark. All struggling alone. When we tell the truth, it’s like a ray of sunshine shines in that darkness. And we begin to see a way out of it. Together. Whew. We don’t have to do this alone.
Speaking the truth is a hard-won freedom.
Speaking my truth used to feel like something that diminished me. Made me weak. But now I know better.
Speaking the truth requires trust and someone to hold that truth like an egg they will never drop. Speaking the truth to someone means that you have determined that they are worthy of hearing this whisper from your heart. That they will honour it. Respect it. Hold it for you.
Never speak the truth to someone who can’t hold it for you.
I am learning every day to speak my truths. Some are getting easier. Some are hard. Some still get stuck in my throat. Maybe it is my fear, or my ego, or my heart that is trying to keep the words trapped there; I can feel the constriction as it fights to be set free.
I want to tell the truth. I want to set myself free by telling my truth. I want to set other people free by telling my truth. Maybe one of my truths is one of your truths. Then we are, all of a sudden, not alone anymore. Not crazy. Not wrong. Not unable.
Telling the truth comes with risk. To be hated. To be judged harshly. To be labeled. To be shamed. To be misunderstood.
But it’s a risk worth taking because the truth does set us free.
Here are some of my truths.
I still struggle with feeling that my story is worth telling and hearing. So sometimes I don’t tell it.
I struggle with believing that I am loveable. And worthy of love. I am still surprised how much people like me.
I am resentful (in various degrees from background noise to eruption) over how much my life “stopped” with kids and wifedom.
I have a hard time asking for everything I want. I have a hard time asking for help even though I tell people to do it all the time.
When I yell at my kids, it’s like I am split into different selves. One is totally shut down because she feels out of control. The wise part is shaking her head, sadly. And one part is enjoying it, whispering “Let them feel your rage. They deserve it.”
I miss the days when I got instantly turned-on just thinking about sex. I miss what the first kiss feels like.
Every time I walk into a group of people, my heart is beating and I’m trying to act cool and confident but inside I’m afraid no-one will like me, I won’t connect with anyone. I won’t belong. I’ll be on the outside. Which is a place I know the pain of well.
I judge. When my heart is tight, when I’m tired, when I’m depleted, I judge. And I rank. I can feel smug about thinking I am a better mother, cooler wife, cooler woman. I can feel superior. (It’s all bullshit, obviously, and the only difference on this one is that I judge less and it now feels like shit. Damn.)
I envy. I have an ongoing battle with scarcity. Somewhere along the way, I claimed the idea that there isn’t enough to go around so I want it all. All of the attention. All of the validation. All of the love. I need to be the best, the brightest. In everything.
I am very comfortable when I am bright and shiny and sometimes disappointed, frustrated and impatient with my quiet, shy, withdrawn, self-doubting self.
I’m afraid of dying because I don’t want to be alone.
Thank you for reading my truth. I hope you can hold it for me.
The next time you are with someone whom you trust with your truth, tell them something. Something real. Something close to the bone. Something tender. Be the first one. Be brave. Save your own life. And theirs.