Thursday, April 17, 2014

4/18/14—Speaking the Truth

I recently found myself speaking my truth about speaking my truth and someone reminded me of a post I made about that very topic way back. So today's post is partly that post and partly another on the same topic. 

When it comes to being honest, there have been times in the past where I would hold my tongue in certain cases to keep from being mean to others. Then over a while, I'd build up so much frustration over holding my tongue that some random person bears the wrath of my tongue, usually unfairly in relation to the situation. 

Over time I came to realize that holding your tongue to protect someone else's feelings is abusive to yourself. We need to enforce our boundaries in order for others to respect them. And we need to be true to ourselves in order to respect ourselves. 

In the past, I've not only held my tongue to save the feelings of others, but I also haven't made my own needs known. I've also put up with a lot of BS, overlooked a lot of lies, maintained a lot of soul crushing friendships and allowed myself to compromise my own comfort for the comfort of others. And you know what? I'm finally done. 

But it's important to note that we're also not respecting ourselves or others if we use our truth as a way of hurting others. Sometimes, though, a person is going to get hurt. Who wouldn't get hurt about "I no longer want to be your friend" or "I don't feel I can trust you"? If that's your truth there's no kinder way of saying it unless you blow all sorts of crap up their butt that you don't really feel. What's not kind is "I never really liked you anyway, bitch" or "you are a pathological liar."

I also believe there are times for honesty. I didn't used to. But I do now. You can call it "times for" honesty...or you can think of it as "degrees of" honesty. Over the years, I've learned that some people that ask for the truth don't really want to hear it and will argue and excuse anything you say. And then there are drama queens who ask for the truth, then when you give it to them, end up in a puddle of tears and resent you forever after. Finally, I've also learned that volunteering the truth when not asked isn't a wise move. 

So now my policy is this—eradicate those who can't handle an honest conversation from my life. Second, I try to be mindful of volunteering the truth to people who aren't asking for it. That's just a mistake. And, finally when people DO ask for honesty, I deliver it as kindly as possible. And if they don't like it, I don't allow myself to be manipulated to feel bad about it. Most people who know me know better than to ask for the truth if they don't want to hear it. But moreover, most people who know me are people who want to hear the truth, because that's the kind of person I like to be around. 

All that said, I think the truth is subjective. My truth about something may not be your truth. Even something as simple as "the sky is blue" can be argued by a colorblind person or a scientist who wants to discuss wavelengths and other things that affect the way we perceive the color of the sky. So I do think we need to consider the subjective nature of truth when it comes to assessing the honesty of others.

All told, I feel like I'm a pretty honest person. But I believe honesty is a vehicle you need to learn to drive. You shouldn't drive it uncontrollably. You shouldn't use it as a weapon. Nor should you drive it into the ground. You have to treat it with the respect it deserves.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

4/16/14—Being Sufficiently Moved

Sometimes I worry that I'll die talking about being an author, rather than actually being one. 

Sure, I've already been published by a major publisher. And in a few weeks, I will have written my 1000th blog post. But what I have in mind when I say I want to be an author is inspiring people or making them think on a MUCH larger scale. Think Rick Warren. Deepak Chopra. Or even a spiritual novelist like Dan Brown

As I've mentioned before, I had a premonition of sorts when I was three or four that I would be an author living in Maine. At the time it didn't appeal to me. Nor did it appeal to me at any point in my life until about 40 years later. This "vision" or whatever you want to call it, along with something deep inside me, makes me believe that everything up to this date was about preparing me for that moment. When I look back on my life and all the writing I've done, there is a clear path that's been paved to "author". 

And yet, I don't seem especially moved toward making that happen. With the Deck of 1000 Spreads, there was a NEED to get that out and into the marketplace. There was no hesitation. I was sufficiently moved to write it. And while I really feel like I've got some great ideas in the hopper for my next book, I'm not yet sufficiently moved. 

I suppose there are some fears behind that, but not the ones you might think. I'm not afraid I'm not good enough. I'm not really afraid I lack anything of value to say. What I'm more afraid of is being more public...having those critical eyes upon me in my private time. And I'm a bit intimidated by the responsibility of guiding people in spiritual ways. But more than anything, I think I'm just not sufficiently moved. I feel like I have things to say that need to be heard, but as far as a book goes right now, there's nothing I MUST say. 

Today on my Facebook feed, this video came up (link below). This 80 year old woman loved dancing as a child. As she grew older, life got in the way. She became a wife and a mother. Then in her empty nest years, she and her husband moved to Spain, where he died a year and half later. Looking for something to occupy her time, she took a dancing class. And she had moves women half her age couldn't muster.

I don't, for a moment, think any part of it was coincidence. I think this moment was as much a part of why that woman is here as her marriage and children. Same for Nico, her partner. You don't move that many people by mistake. It took her 80 years and a series of odd synchronicities to get there, but she got there. And she didn't just get there in a half assed way, she got there as a full-on badass. She didn't wait too long. In fact, the fact she was 80 punctuated the message.

To me, her message is that it's never too late to start what you came here to do. And if you're meant to do it, no obstacle will be large enough to stand in your way. What's most important is that, win or lose, it comes from the heart.

As I push myself to do more before it's too late, yet find myself less than motivated to do so, I think maybe my "Spain" or my "Nico"—the fuel for my fire—just hasn't come into my life yet. I don't want to spend a lifetime waiting, but as I see the way my life has unfolded, I can't help but feel that things happen when they need to happen and there's never a moment where we're not being guided forward. 

So what might you feel it's too late to start? What do you feel drawn to accomplish while you can? And if those two things are the same, how do you plan to proceed?

Sunday, April 13, 2014

4/14/14—Letting Things Be

I've let go. Today I don't hold any lingering resentment toward anyone or anything. It's less about being blissed out on beautiful spring day than it is no longer having the energy to hold on to anything negative for too long. 

And what they say is true. Focusing on all the stuff going wrong around you, whether it's people or circumstances, is really just a way to avoid all the stuff going wrong inside you. It's true. When you're not so transfixed on what she said or he did or how some situation took a turn for the worse, you can get some really amazing insights about yourself. Some of the insights might be unflattering, but all are there to heal. As a bonus, it also leaves room for you to process and appreciate more of the good stuff. 

Ultimately we all have our business to take care of here. Over the past couple of years I've made a conscious effort to let people have their crap. After all, I sure wouldn't want anyone up in my crap, so why would get all up in theirs? Whoever you are and whatever objectionable things you do, I'm doing  my best to move on. Including haters. Including things out of my control. Including even taxes. :) And when I can't move on, I use that as an opportunity to ask myself why...what button did that person push that is so painful for me? Because our "hate" for others really isn't about them. It's about something unhealed within us. 

So anyway, not a long post today. It just all of a sudden occurred to me that I had no lingering resentments about anything today—not even resentments about myself or my inactions or actions. I'm sure this has happened before, but I haven't noticed it consciously. It leaves the brain unusually empty, which is why the insights pop in. It's not good or bad, happy or sad. It just is. And suspecting that letting things just "be" is the only true path to lasting contentment, I'm good with that.