truthfully yours

Posted by on May 19, 2014 in Blog | Comments Off on truthfully yours

truthfully yours

I often talk about the importance of authenticity in my yoga classes, of practicing in a way that is honest and truthful and serves the needs of the body as it is rather than the ego.  I also talk about using the teachings on the mat to move into a place of living from a deeper sense of authenticity- being yourself, being truthful and being unafraid of the perceived repercussions of honesty.  After years of training I’ve noticed the idea of “delusion” comes up again and again in the sacred texts, in both Hindu and Buddhist traditions.  To live in delusion is to move through life with a cloak over your eyes, with a permanent sense of separation between self and the world.  We all delude ourselves to some degree, some more significantly than others.  We ignore our inner wisdom, we set aside our conscience, we act in ways that we know break away from who we are and what we believe.  But to move to a place of greater intimacy with ourselves, with those we love, and with the world, there needs to be a breaking away of the layers of deceit, pretence, and denial.   And this all sounds great until you think about actually putting it into practice.  There are often huge consequences to truthfulness.  We risk losing people we love or stepping out into the unknown.  And so we work through a thought experiment:  I know I should do this/say this… but then x might happen.  (Insert fear response here).  And so the status quo remains, and we continue in separation.

A few months ago I went on retreat with a friend to Costa Rica to study with some great former Anusara teachers.  The theme was “Catching Fire”, and over and over we talked about opening our hearts, to living authentically.  I was inspired by so many people who were bravely breaking away from old patterns in search of a life more aligned with their dreams and goals.  And I had many heart to heart talks with a friend who is working on building greater intimacy in her life by making friends with truth in all of its unexpected and complicated connotations.  Layers of my own dishonesty began revealing themselves to me all at once, and rather than being able to push them away and stuff them back down as I’d been able to do in the past, areas of deceit or inauthenticity or denial refused to be ignored.  After I returned I experienced something I can only describe as a deep crack in the veneer.  Nothing could plaster over what had begun to open.  I walked around in permanent awareness of the gap between the intimacy in life that I craved, and the secrets that held it at bay.  When you know the type of person you want to be, the type of relationship you want to be a part of, the path in life you want to carve, there is a point where you have to look at all of the things that stand in your way that are self created and make a decision.  Either you are willing to overcome your fears to be your truth and speak your truth (and let’s acknowledge that some truths are easier to face than others), or you must be resolved to stay stuck where you are.

With some admittedly very uncharacteristic courage, I took advantage of such clear internal upheaval.  It was time to make myself plain, to reveal myself as the flawed and complicated human that I am.  No more swallowing, no more avoidance for the sake of calm surface waters.  I felt ready to seek clear waters, all the way down.  And part of the fear, part of the hesitation all along, was that to be revealed is to empower another person with their own decisions and life choices.  I had to accept that despite believing that speaking my truth was empowering and healing, I would never be able to predict the reactions of another.  Would I be embraced?  Would I be shunned?  Would I be heard with judgment or anger, or with love and compassion?  The scariest thing about honesty is the surrender to the unknown, a surrender of control.  I had to allow for whatever was coming to me.  It’s the ultimate act of showing your belly to the world, to claw or comfort.  I recognized that for so long I had been slipping away into a place of distance and separation and complacency.  But something shook me awake with an understanding that communion with people must begin and end in truth.

Be who you are, reveal your humanness, admit to mistakes, be courageous and trust in the ability of others to hold you close.  In envisioning rejection I had always chosen to hide anything controversial or dark about who I was or what I was capable of.  In a place of clarity, urged forward by a belief in possibility, ready for whatever was coming to me, I was met with grace.  Sometimes I feel old, like I must have already seen it all, but here I am still being surprised by people, by life.  We don’t know it all, we don’t truly know one another.  We assume, we mix in our narrative and baggage and fear, and we hide.  We can even create excuses, convincing ourselves that telling the truth is hurtful, unkind, or unnecessary.

If you feel that no one will want you if you are authentic, you are not alone.  If you fear rejection, isolation, change, if you imagine nothing but worst case scenarios will come to you as a result of revealing your humanness, you are not alone.  If you don’t believe you have the courage, if you have trouble trusting that there are better things on the other side of truth telling, you are not alone.  But so much of the good stuff in life requires trust, an ability to be vulnerable and a willingness to be surprised.

 

All content by Lisa Veronese. Please do not publish or copy my material without my consent.