August 14, 2018
I struggle to stick with my truth when it is in conflict with what is around me. “I don’t want to do this right now,” is hard for me to acknowledge when I’m sitting across from someone I love who is talking–and expecting me to listen. “I honor my desires, and I desire to sit still and have another cup of tea,” feels like whining in my mind at 7:30 am when I have a 9:00 meeting an hour away.
Naming your truth is not simple. It requires holding those conflicts, letting them both be true. Maybe I don’t want to do this right now, and maybe I choose to anyway in honor of the bigger pictures of my values and commitments. Maybe naming the desire to lounge in the morning eventually helps me relish my mornings at home even more. Maybe it guides me to reschedule my work commitments. Maybe it gets me out of bed half an hour earlier. Maybe it doesn’t change my actions, but it does help me more completely understand who I am, what I like, what makes me comfortable and relaxed.
When I hear my truth in my head and feel pushback–“Well, that’s not what’s happening now, so deal”–I practice inviting my truth. My truth will not match larger reality every moment, and it is so important to seek it, see it, name it anyway. When that taskmaster voice intrudes, shushing my inner voice, I speak up to it. I reply, inviting my truth to be named, to be heard. By me.
Some questions I ask to coax out my truth are:
- What do you want right now?
- What do you need right now?
- Is there a way to get these desires and needs met right now?
- Is there a way to get these desires and needs met later on?
- What could I say to get these desires and needs met?
Many of you know that I taught high school for many years. A horrible hangover from that time is my tendency to hold it when I need to use the bathroom. In the past year, I have used the questions above to work on developing a new habit: when I have to pee, even–especially–in the middle of a meeting–I say, “Excuse me a moment. I need to use the bathroom.” I have had people (who never taught school) tell me that it’s too much information; I could just excuse myself. The point though, for me, is to speak my need aloud. This might seem like a silly example, but my fellow teachers will understand: if I can prioritize my own physiological need to pee, then I can meet any of my needs! That’s how it feels, at least.
This week, when you find resistance to accepting your truth, be an ally to it. Ask it to tell you more. Work to hear it for what it is. You don’t have to create a reality where your truth is validated on a large scale–not today, at least.
You can, though, create a reality where your truth is validated in your own soul.