The Power of Telling Our Truth

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Recently, I had the opportunity to work with someone with high social anxiety and very low self-esteem.  Full of so much self-disgust, he hid his true self from everyone he came into contact with, for reason’s not even he understood.  He often found himself lying to others in order to appear more desirable or amicable to them.  It was not as though he thought of it as not being truthful, he simply wanted to be agreeable and attractive, therefore making statements or comments that were contrary to how he truly felt.  When life and relationships became overwhelming or he could not hold to the untruth’s any longer, he would bail and isolate himself.

I observed this and worked with him through a mindfulness lens, using non-judgement and compassion as our framework.  As we neared the end of our work together, he began to see how not being truthful, even when it was not with the intention of hurting someone else, was harmful to both parties involved.

When we are able to be more honest about who we are, the more room we make for natural and positive connections with others.

As he began the journey of attempting to be honest in the world and slowly show parts of his true self to others, he was surprised when these interactions were not met with the rejection he felt was surely going to take place.  As if, once people knew the truth about him, they would no longer want to be in connection with him.  It is important to note, I did not see him the way he saw himself, as I found him to be enjoyable to interact with.  I was not at all surprised when he began to recognize being himself was receiving a positive response.

I feel as though this is applicable for so many people, as I can remember times when I felt this way as well.  Being honest, truthful and showing up as we are is the greatest gift we can give ourselves.  It is also the greatest gift we can give to others. It feels as though there is this universal impression out there, that we need to change ourselves or appear to be something(s) we’re not, so other people will want to be in relationship with us.  This way of being in the world complicates our situation and in truth makes relationships more difficult than they need be.  It is also the very reason they often fail.

There is so much power in being able to tell our truth, even if it is rejected at first.  It opens the door for intimacy on a deeper level.  It can be satisfying even when it is terrifying!  It guarantees other people in your life are getting to see the real you and will be more clearly able to respond during interactions.  It also can assist in deciphering who not to be in relationship with; a guide in a way which could potentially save a lot of heartache and time, even if it feels hurtful at the time.

How are you showing up in the world?  Are you a truth teller or a soothe sayer?  No judgment either way, but I hope you can bring a gentle curiosity to the idea.

Mindfulness

Wishing you well.

~TS

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Exquisitely beautiful, Exquisitely tragic

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One of the greatest tragedies of living is dying.  Even in my darkest most painful moments, I have believed this to be true.  Life should be cherished. Every breath, every heartbeat, given full awareness.  Each day brings new moments to seize; an abundance of opportunities just waiting for us to rest our attention upon them.  Hoping to be snatched up and spent with the air of importance they deserve.

Each second we have on this earth is meant uniquely for us.  Each second waits to be experienced or expressed as part of your specific journey.  No two persons stories are the same, even if by some chance on the surface, they appear to be hauntingly similar.  It is impossible for another human being to see or feel the world, or the essence of life itself, exactly the way you do.

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The Quiet Christian

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As I have moved through the progressive classes of my counseling program, I have been challenged on many occasions, to doubt who I am and what I believe.  I am a naturally humble person and I am quiet in my faith and beliefs.  I do not boast or try to convince others to live or believe the way I do.  I do not feel it is my calling to change others or to lead them down the path of light to the moment they will indeed be saved.  I am not even sure I know what such an attempt would look like or what being “saved” really means.

I  have however, spent so many moments listening to others and drinking in their thoughts and beliefs.  Questioning what I was hearing and asking myself questions such as, does this resonate with me?  How does this compare to what I was taught to believe? Where do my beliefs come from and how did I come to believe them?  Who am I and how does what I believe affect others?  What exactly are my values?  Who am I as a person and who am I as a counselor; are these two parts of me different or separate?

As part of the counseling program, we are taught not to allow our values to affect how we counsel others, while simultaneously being told to “bring ourselves into the room.”  How exactly does that work?

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Goal Setting vs New Years Resolutions – Setting Yourself Up for Success.

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While the year 2016 had its moments (the good, the bad and the ugly), it did not shape up to be the year I wanted it to be.  As I took a look back at my accomplishments, I realized not only had I not set any new years resolutions, but I did not set any goals either.  While I have a bucket list in my head, I have never written it down.  To be honest, I am not a big fan of creating new years resolutions anyway, because I can never seem to follow through with them. I know so many people who feel the same way!

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Sleeping Tips

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Improving your sleep can have a remarkable effect on your amygdala. The best approach to improving sleep is to take a careful look at your sleeping practices and make sure that they are healthy. The following sleeping practices can really assist you in achieving a good night’s sleep.

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Brutiful

Brutiful – adj.: Life is brutal. And life is beautiful. Brutiful, I call it. Life’s brutal and beautiful are woven together so tightly they are inseparable. We must embrace both or neither. If we reject the brutal, we reject the beautiful. Our problems stem from our refusal to surrender to the fact that life is truly more brutal and beautiful than we can imagine. We must let it be. Breathe deeply and know that if we let it come and feel it all – the brutal will make us kinder, softer, stronger, even more beautiful.

― Glennon Doyle Melton

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On The Military Battlefield and Beyond

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Do not miss a heartbeat; dare not blink.  Know what needs to be done and follow through no matter what happens.  Do not hesitate; there is no room for fear or even a millisecond of weakness.  It is your oath to watch their back; it is theirs to watch yours.  Hesitating will get you killed. Or worse; it will get your buddy, your best friend or your entire squad taken out.  Mistakes are not just unacceptable, they are deadly.  Do not fuck it up!

Values become ingrained like a second coat of armor.  Among many things taught, we learn:              

                       Suck it up             figure it out            get it done          soldier on        

trying is not good enough       mistakes lead to disaster         weakness is deadly

bring your A game 24/7                       rely on the training – do not think

                       sleep with one eye open                    there is no room for excuses

  prepare for the worst, hope for the best        there is no room for emotions         

a soldier’s life is no longer theirs   –  the mission is the only thing that matters

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