When something was important for Cindy and she wanted me to know she meant what she said, as if she ever said anything she didn’t mean, she would say, ‘honest the truth Mel, honest the truth.’ And she emphasized that all the time. It was very important for her to share the truth. And the truth for her 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.’
‘If it ain’t the truth, it’s a lie.’
I don’t know who said that originally. A good friend and poet, Thomas Rain Crowe said it to me and I have loved that saying and used it so much in my life. I lie. In so many little ways all the time I lie to myself and I lie to others. I say I’m fine, when I’m not. I act like I care when I don’t. I say I’m too busy when I have time but don’t want to help. I say yes when I want to say no. I say no when I want to say yes. And on and on and on. Honest the truth, so much of the time I am so busy trying to be someone I don’t even know what the truth is.
Cindy never did that.
She simply was who she was. She was Cindy Love. That’s it. She didn’t try to be sweet or funny or smart or fast or happy or anything other than her self. She lived truth, her truth. She was her self.
Only all the time.
When I teach and work with others sometimes I feel a veil come over me like I have to prove something to them. I feel as if I have to know what I’m doing. I have to be smarter. I have to be good at what I do or they will find out I’m a fraud and then I’ll be discredited and my whole world will fall apart, when honest the truth I’m okay as I am. I am perfectly human, which means, perfectly imperfect. I have feet of clay and legs of sand and a torso of feathers and a heart of water 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 absolute favorite moments in life are when truth is revealed. That happens with people we love and feel safe with, sometimes… That also happens sometimes in Alexander Technique Lessons, and in Movement Therapy sessions, and in work my partner and I do with others based on the Enneagram and 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 whole expression changes and their mask falls off for a bit, and it is astoundingly beautiful to me.
I live for those moments and those experiences fill me with hope.
Those experiences may go by unnoticed by others and even by the person experiencing them, but somehow they know that for a moment they were different, and totally familiar at the same time.
How can that be that we could experience something as different and familiar at the same time? It’s because, unlike Cindy, we live behind a mask of ego. We really can’t help it. We learn early and well that in order to cope in the world we can’t be who we really are. That’s the reality of forming our ego identity. The irony is that we spend years unlearning what we were mistakenly taught if we are lucky. If something awakens in us a desire for truth we begin the journey that takes a lifetime. We begin to find our selves.
We can learn to release the mask and to soften its grip on us so that our hearts open in compassion and love. Beautiful angels masked as people with Down Syndrome show us that truth is possible, that truth is beautiful and beauty is truth. Other beautiful souls on this planet show us as well. Your teacher is in front of you waiting for you.
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 let that happen? How could you be in love with your perfect humanness? And how could you love others in their perfect humanness also? Honest the truth I’m asking the question sincerely because I don’t really know how. I get glimmers of insight how to love myself, but every day, many times during the day I fake it. I go so far away from honest the truth that I am lost to myself. If I am lost to me who can possibly see me and know me? And who can possible know you?
We tend to look away from people who are different, or disfigured, or handicapped, as if it’s too painful to see them. And yet if we were to truly look at another we would see the beauty in their humanity and humanness, and then, like Cindy, we could live honest the truth. If you were to live without the mask and truly see others and your self as perfectly human beings what would your life be like?
I LOVE that thought and am getting tingles all over from that idea. Cindy saw other’s beauty. Cindy saw my beauty. For much of my life I did not see hers. I was too busy trying to form my own identity and also trying to protect her from the world’s harsh realities when I was younger. I see her beauty now, in hindsight, and am so 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.
It may be our only gift.
I am giving mine to you.
Honest the truth.
with love, and dignity and strength,