God offers to every mind its choice between truth and repose.
Take which you please – you can never have both.
It’s not easy to speak the truth. When you are having a very bad day and someone, an acquaintance, asks: “Hey, how are you doing?” Your first instinct would be to reply “Fine thanks. You?” At that moment your mind starts to think for itself. “You are not fine, darn it, you feel like crap!” Why do we ever speak the truth when someone asks “Are you ok?” Instead of replying fine, why don’t we say “Hey, NO, I’m not ok, I feel like shit and I want to crawl under a rock”? Wouldn’t that be more authentic?
Obviously in society, we are conditioned to save those crappy moments in our lives for our loved ones. We obviously do not want to look like “the drama queen of the office” or come off as “negative”, but sometimes I think if we really acknowledged how we felt.. Wouldn’t speaking the truth be cleansing?
Since this summer, my theme is truth. I’ve been walking around with my truth stone (Yes! I have a truth stone like the one in the picture above) to remind me to tell myself the truth and not hide so much under a mask. No no.. I do not go around town telling the milkman of my recent separation etc.. but I did catch myself telling the school’s crossing guard!!
The conversation looked like this:
Crossing guard: “Hi, how are you? Did you move? I notice you come from the opposite direction now.”
Me: “Yes, I moved down towards 20th avenue. I’m separated. Back to being a single mom again!”
Notice how I threw in “I’m separated” and “single mom” in that answer! I’m sure you did!! I could have left it at 20th avenue. Yet I have this tendency to want to gain sympathy I guess? If I am speaking the truth here… isn’t that what I am doing by throwing in “I’m separated” into the conversation. Maybe, maybe not. It really doesn’t matter. What matters is that I am aware of this and that I know that its ok to need sympathy now, however, maybe not from the milkman himself! In my defence, I’ve known this crossing guard for at least 9 years. She helped my children cross the street every day when we lived on 14th, so openly declaring my recent separation, to me, means that I trust her and she is familiar. Thus, I admit, I probably did need an acknowledgement, a tap on the shoulder, or a “its ok, you are strong!” kind of response.
Speaking the truth, removing the mask, taking off all my clothes (not literally phewf!) leaves me feeling vulnerable, very vulnerable. However, if I keep the mask on, I will be doing exact thing I cannot stand (Scorpio me): Saying: “I’m fine” when obviously (I can tell right away ) you are feeling quite sad or angry! It is hard for me to ignore when someone is feeling low. Yet I have learned over the years, to let the person be once I have asked once “Are you ok”. I am not a pro at it yet. I sometimes drive my daughter crazy with this. She tells me “Its ok mom” and I return and say: “Are you sure?”. By then I have received the “teenage glare” that no mom can ignore.
I tore myself away from the safe comfort of certainties through my love for truth– and truth rewarded me. ~Simone de Beauvoir
Truthfully speaking, am I ok? No, not always. I’m I going to be ok? Yes, eventually. There are times when I am perfectly ok. I am ok with my apartment, I am ok with my children, I am ok with my hair (on some days) I am ok with my goals… and yes, sometimes I still find joy in the little things and I still can laugh! However, there are just some things I need to accept. That will come in time.
If there is one thing I have learned from this process I am working on, which is: breaking a lifetime of old habits, is that it is painful, it is a challenge, it is like digging a deep hole to go find some archeological relic which will eventually open my eyes to my past. I can choose to dust off this piece and carefully look at it, appraise it and see its worth, or I can leave it where it came from and move on to the next piece. I may also discover a whole new historical world there, which may be the discovery of the century!!
What I know for sure is: delving into my history to find the “truth” and break the cycle of abuse will be the most loving, compassionate, caring, amazing thing I can do for myself right now.