Somehow I always know when I am not being true to myself. It's a bit like when you know someone is hiding something from you because they avoid meeting your eyes. Well, in the same way, there are times when I seem to shift my eyes away from my own Self or from others.
My mind may have even justified what seems a perfectly 'reasonable' explanation of why I need to step away from being 100% truthful. The rationale it uses may be, 'If you say the truth you'll hurt that person', 'That's the way it's always been done', 'Nobody will know', or 'I don't want to upset them'.
Yet in all those cases, I have set aside my own inner wisdom, I have betrayed the trust I have in myself, and followed the tune of the Pied Piper. I have allowed it to lead me astray...
Pleasing Others or Being True to Yourself?
I remember my behavior at the beginning of my relationship with the man who has since become my ex-husband. In those days, I was still very caught up in 'pleasing others'. Let me give you an example: He would suggest we go somewhere, i.e. the movies. Now there were times when I really wanted to stay home or do something else, yet, in order to please him I would go. Those outings always turned out badly. We would end up having an argument, get into some kind of unpleasant situation (traffic jam, etc.), or I hated the movie.
On the other hand, on those occasions that I decided to be true to myself and respect my desire to stay at home, things always worked out for the best. Being true to my Self has always proved to be the highest possible course of action.
What If Everyone Was True to Self?
If everyone was being true to Self, there would be no war, no hatred, no problems on Earth. Now that may sound like a pretty far-fetched statement, yet stop for a minute and think about it. Would there be wars and killings if the people involved were true to their Higher Self -- their own 'higher' nature? Of course not!
Even on a smaller scale -- such as 'warring' with the people around you -- following your Truth is always the path of growth, harmony, and inner peace. On those occasions where you have followed your truth, even when it seemed like it would hurt someone or disappoint them, did it not, in the long run, turn out for the best for both you and the other person involved?
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There are times when we thought we 'should' choose a particular course of action in order to avoid hurting someone. Yet, how do we know what the "greater scheme of things" needs for its accomplishment? The only thing we can do is be true to our inner guidance, and trust that it will always lead us to greater good.
Sometimes, it is necessary for someone to hear the truth we need to share. Yes, it may seem to hurt them at the time. Yet if we choose our words so that we are not attacking them but sharing our perspective and feelings about the situation, the person can then accept what we have to say as our truth instead of as a judgment on them. Our non-judgmental presentation of how we feel will make it easier for them to look at themselves, and the situation, for whatever truth is in it for them.
Putting Others First, Being Polite (Nice)
I must admit that I still sometimes have a struggle with this one. The ethic of always putting others first, being polite (nice), not being 'selfish', and of at all costs not hurting others has been a strong one in my Catholic upbringing. Somehow I took it as the gospel truth. Yet, looking back at that very gospel, I see that Jesus Christ himself was unafraid of expressing his Self and following his truth.
So often we have been told 'don't be selfish'. Does that mean we need to be Self-less? Does it entail losing our Self, betraying the trust that the child within has for our Higher wisdom?
We are strange creatures. We commit what we judge as crimes to our Truth, and then we turn around and manifest situations in which we punish ourselves for our previous behavior. Being true to ourselves makes life much easier and pleasant. You will no longer need to create all kinds of situations in which you punish yourself for having been untruthful.
The easiest way out of that rigid dance is to follow our truth and to trust that it will lead us onward to greater good. Go for it! Make the tune that you sing be 'I've got to be me, I've got to be free...' Be true to your Higher Self. You'll love yourself for it, and so will those others whom your being truthful will assist in moving forward on their path in life.
The truth shall always set us free.
Radical Honesty is not a kinder, gentler self-help book. In it Dr. Brad Blanton shows us how stress comes not from the environment, but from the self-built jail of the mind. What keeps us in our self-built jails is lying. "We all lie like hell," Dr. Blanton says. "It wears us out...it is the major source of all human stress. It kills us." Not telling our friends, lovers, spouses, or bosses about what we do, feel, or think keeps us locked in that jail. The way out is to get good at telling the truth. Dr. Blanton provides the tools we can use to escape the jail of the mind. This book is the cake with the file in it.
About The Author
Marie T. Russell is the founder of InnerSelf Magazine (founded 1985). She also produced and hosted a weekly South Florida radio broadcast, Inner Power, from 1992-1995 which focused on themes such as self-esteem, personal growth, and well-being. Her articles focus on transformation and reconnecting with our own inner source of joy and creativity.
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