You know how when something is on your mind, it starts to show up in all aspects of your life? Like you are thinking about taking a trip, and someone suggests Vietnam, and suddenly all signs point to Vietnam? The takeout menu that is slid under your door. The commercials for Hanoi playing while you watch House Hunters International. The cover of your favorite travel magazine touting the undiscovered beaches of Phu Quoc. It’s inevitable–you must go to Vietnam.
It’s often that way with the thing you don’t want to face too. You start seeing it everywhere. Tattooed on the arm of the man in front of you at Whole Foods. You find yourself using it to score 12 points in Words With Friends. Yet somehow you are still unprepared when it invades your favorite yoga class as the mantra repeated over and over at 8:00 on a chilly Saturday morning.
I recently had a conversation with an important person in my life about honesty and truth. And how I knew she had been dishonest with me at so many places throughout our relationship, usually about things of no consequence, mostly just embellishments. Which made it even more baffling to me, these mini-lies that meant nothing to me except the gradual chipping away of trust. I wanted to understand, does she know when she’s telling me an untruth that it’s untrue? Is it intentional (or does that even matter)? If someone tells you that the sky is green, and you KNOW the sky is blue, where do you go from there?
Do you argue, stating all of the reasons why you are absolutely sure that the sky is blue, pleading with her to see what’s real, what’s true, what you see? Because if you see it, it must be true. Do you ask questions about why the sky seems green to her, why this not-color-blind person seems to now be blind to something as clear as the color of the sky? Do you take it personally that she would insist to you that the sky is green, assuming the intention is to misguide you, to trick you. Or do you simply accept that for her…the sky is green?
I naturally lean towards the argumentative, the “listen to me, this is what is right!!” I internalize these lies as an affront to me, when really they have nothing to do with me. I’m working on trying the questions now instead, seeking to understand. I’m striving to be the person who just accepts, without questioning, without understanding, just accepts.
Because who am I to demand absolute truth when so often I’m not willing to live it, or as I realized in yoga this morning, to face it? I think about the little untruths I’ve told myself, and others, just today:
“I’m detoxing from wine right now”.
Truth: I’m detoxing from the calories in wine.
“I think someone is sitting there”.
Truth: My bag is sitting there.
“No, it won’t hurt my feelings if you don’t come”.
Truth: It will. It does.
I don’t know if these misrepresentations, these white lies, really affect anything. Of course that begs the question, then why tell them? I don’t need to share everything but it would be great if what I do choose to share is really, honestly, sometimes gut-wrenchingly true.
So here is what is really true for me right now:
I would rather be skinny than healthy. It would be great to be both, but right now skinny is higher on the priority list.
Trying to become a better person sometimes makes me feel like who I am now is a horrible person.
I am scared to figure out what I am supposed to be doing with this life. Because what if I fail?
I’m tired of traveling.
I hate yoga.
Not always, not usually even, but today I did. I hated that it was so early. I hated that it was so physically demanding, and that I struggled to keep up. I hated that my stupid hamstrings refused to loosen, and that my body would not unclench. Mostly though, I hated that someone was asking me to focus on the truth, asking me to reach inside and draw things out that I didn’t want to let out.
Although of course I did. Don’t we all really want to share our truths, despite our fears? Don’t I, with a blog about “confessions”, really want other people to read my truths, and tell me that not only do they still love me, but that they love me even more?
So these were my truths today. I hated yoga. But I’ll go back tomorrow, because luckily we get to shift our thoughts, our bodies, and continually form new truths. Tomorrow, I may not be hungry. Tomorrow, I could quite possibly love yoga again. And tomorrow, the sky could be green. I’ll accept that as truth.
Photo Credit: SwamiNathan