‘If it ain’t the truth, it’s a lie.’
I don’t remember who originally said this. A poet and dear friend, Thomas Rain Crowe quoted this many years ago during one of our powerful and robust conversations while drinking a bottle of beer or two. ‘If it ain’t the truth, it’s a lie.’ That says it all.
For most of my life and in all sorts of ways I have lied, and continue to lie. I lie to myself and others. I say I’m fine when I am not. I act like I care when I don’t. I say I’m too busy when I have time. I say yes when I want to say no. I say no when I want to say yes. And on and on and on. I have been so busy trying to be something I am not or attempting to protect some identity I have conjured up about myself so much of the time I don’t even know what the truth is.
When something was important for Cindy she would say, ‘honest the truth Mel, honest the truth.’ She emphasized that all the time. It was very important for her to share the truth, and the truth was always something beautiful. ‘I love you Mel, honest the truth, I love Neil so much, honest the truth, I feel good Mel, honest the truth, I’m happy to be with you, honest the truth, thank you for this, I love it, honest the truth.’
Sometimes when I teach, less now than before, I feel a veil come over me. I feel as if I have to prove that I know what I’m doing and am smarter than I believe I am. This veil is my ego and it does a wonderful job of keeping me trapped in fear. On a very deep level inside me this fear is life or death, as if my life is on the line. ‘I’ll be discredited and my whole world will fall apart if they see that I am a fraud.’ This understanding has taken me many years to uncover and my conscious, rational mind would never believe this.
Evolutionary psychology shows these adrenaline induced fear responses were essential to protect us and maintain our safety when we lived in caves in order to live and pass on our genes so our species could survive. It was a useful genetic design thousands of years ago and not so useful today. We live as if we are still in the cave afraid of making even the slightest mistake. Honest the truth we are safe in our day-to-day lives. If we don’t do something well we won’t die and become extinct because of our mistake. We simply learn and go on.
If this sounds crazy to you that’s ok. It sounds crazy to me too and, I know this is honest the truth. The truth is most of us are so afraid of being wrong or nor good enough or not anything enough that we don’t know that we are okay, safe, accepted, loved and appreciated for who we are. I am okay as I am. I am human, which means imperfect. I have feet of clay, legs of sand, a torso of feathers, a heart of fluid and a brain of light. I am permeable and fallible and imperfect and human and that is honest the truth. And so are you. Honest the truth, you are perfectly human too.
My favorite moments in life are when truth is revealed. That happens sometimes with people we feel safe with and love. That also happens in the work my partner and I do when others are willing to go on the difficult journey of excavating for truth. We ask questions that allow others to go in, layer by layer, till they connect with something that is core and central to their being. When that happens their expression changes, the veil falls off and they sense a moment of unencumbered truth. Those rare moments are astoundingly beautiful.
Those moments and experiences fill me with hope. Those moments are ‘honest the truth.’
What would happen if you allowed your self to be who you really are, your honest the truth self? What would have to change in you to allow that happen? How could you love your perfect humanness, and how could you love others in their perfect humanness?
Cindy saw other’s beauty. She saw my beauty and for much of my life I did not see hers. I was too busy trying to form my own identity and also working very hard to protect her from the world’s harsh realities when I was younger. I see her beauty now, in hindsight, and am profoundly grateful that I am open enough to allow her teaching to make me stronger in my capacity to love. My real hope is that some of you reading this will be inspired to do the same and be who you are, and allow your perfectly human self to be seen.
It’s our greatest gift and may be our only gift.
I am giving mine to you.
Honest the truth.