The truth is rarely pure and is never simple.
Speaking my truth has never been easy. From the time I was a little girl, I remember hearing words like “shut your dam mouth” or “who asked you” or “why don’t you go and make yourself useful.” Even though some of those words may have had a slight smile attached to them, all I heard were the words, as would most children who do not have the intellectual development to discern the tone and subtleness.
Most parents have no idea how seemingly innocent remarks can affect a child’s undeveloped mind in terms of what stress responses will incur within such a young heart and body. Sarcastic or deliberately hurtful words without a child’s awareness of the manner of presentation cut deeply and permanently and absolutely affect not only a person’s behaviour throughout life but also his/her emotional wellness and physical health. I grew up believing that I not only did not have a voice in the world but also no one would listen anyway even if I did want to say something. That was my mind’s reality, but it wasn’t my truth.
Over the years I have struggled with standing up for myself and saying what I really wanted to say. I believed unconsciously that there would be retribution from my words because that was my experience. Friends who were courageous, trusting and loving enough to help me understand my behaviour, or lack of it, have been dear angels in my life, as harsh realities about oneself can be painful things to learn and heal.
One particular earth angel said to me a couple of years ago “You are not responsible for what other people feel and think about you; you are only responsible for how you feel and think about yourself.” These wise words have helped me on many occasions to deal with confrontational behaviour with others. It helped me get myself ‘off the hook’ of always putting myself down by creating self-blame for everything that happened. I don’t deserve that. Nobody does. There are enough unpleasant things going on in the world and plenty of sociopathic behaviours; we don’t need to create any more stress within ourselves. But it leaves me wondering why do we continually expect other people to say nice things to us and treat us with respect when we don’t tell ourselves loving thoughts? Like attracts like.
Writing on this blog has been an important stepping stone for me. For the past two decades all my writing has been within the confines of my private journal, and I felt safe with that. Writing for publication has been a deep fear of mine for many years. Every time I felt a spiritual nudge to start writing a book, I would start to shake and get butterflies in my stomach. So, like most of us, I would avoid following up with the nudge and redirect my focus. I think that’s call resistance.
I realized recently that all the writing that I have been doing on this blog is for my friends, family and other people who are kind enough to drop by and read my pieces. When I begin the process of writing a post, the first thing that I hear in my head is “What can I write for them?” or “Will they find this corny?” or “What can I write about that will make people like what I say?” This is not my truth, only the reality of my own fearful ego’s creation.
So what is personal truth anyway? My word processing program’s thesaurus gives the following synonyms for truth: reality, genuineness, honesty, integrity, to name a few. Personal truth means being honest with myself and having integrity with my thoughts, words, and actions. Applied to writing, it means saying what I really want to say, not what I think others would like to hear. It also means speaking from my heart, not from the ego mind. I am in ‘truth articulation recovery’, a process of finding my true voice and untying my tongue. This post is a start.