This reminds me of what I am currently learning with my body-centered therapist: my racing heart is the result of my body attempting to moderate/balance the stress chemicals coursing through as the result of some thought, action, word or deed of myself or others. The body is very powerful, useful, and sometimes difficult to live with! Aargh. So very grateful for the breath, our ability to eventually, if not quickly, slow everything back down and remember that Now is all there is.
And yes, this all takes time, when we are ready, the teacher appears and another layer is peeled. Thank you for your share!
I like to believe that I tell the truth and that is the truth although it may not be all of the truth. Is all of the truth necessary or helpful or kind or what’s the other of the 4? Sometimes, I think not, especially if it relates to another person rather than myself.
Truth has gotten me into so much trouble throughout my life that I am finally becoming more aware of how my truth might hurt someone else. In Adult Children of Alcoholics meetings in Minnesota in 2013, folks would say “trigger alert” before relating what’s in the next paragraphs.
Perhaps if I told my story publicly, there would be financial compensation (which my daughter and I could very much use). That is the first thing that comes to my mind as how truth might change my life for the better. We have accepted help, but that is a different prospect entirely.
Some part of me is ‘glad’ that I discovered the absolute unforgiveable act that allowed me to leave my 8 year marriage to the father of my two youngest children, At that point in my life, the marriage vows were sacrosanct and I would not have dreamed of breaking them (although raised Catholic, I had no idea how strongly those beliefs were entrenched in my brain). That truth is much easier to tell all of you than the truth of my 16th year and my 3rd episode of running away which resulted in an abortion and antibiotic treatment.
So, how does telling that truth make my life better? It has taken me a very long time to love, accept and approve of myself exactly as I am (thanks Louise Hays!) . And, I really don’t know - I am glad to be here now and to have had all the opportunities my life has presented me with and continues…Family, what a growth experience! And that’s the truth (at least part of it).
For me, I have always been comfortable telling the truth; I however, have struggled with having proper tact and timing. What I am learning along this journey of life down a more spiritual path is that when I have to tell the truth to someone, I first ask myself if I am doing this out of a place of love or if I doing this out of being hurt or having to be right? If it is not out of a place of love, I am starting to recognize if it is due to being hurt or needing to be right, this is my ego kicking in. Being able to pause and think things through as well as calming myself down helps me to then come to a place of love so I can be truthful. This still is something that I have to be more mindful of recognizing if I really am being truthful from a place of love or am I being truthful just to be right to feed my own ego.
David, I can completely relate to your text here. It somehow really transmits the step-by-step process being on this enlightenment train entails…
And those steps aren’t even in a helpful linear forward-facing structure.
yo this!! Thanks for sharing David. I can relate so much to your post. I too had a pretty colorful background which ultimately led to the same inability to function harmoniously in autonomy. I questioned my every adult decision, and had my fair share of dysfunction in relationships (platonic and romantic). I spent years coming to terms with the trauma, identifying as the victim, and eventually realizing that all of those events have given me so much perspective, grace, and empathy. Ram Dass is so spot on - that every step of that somebodyness, every moment of that whole process was needed to get me where I am now. And here we are, two beings both on the path towards self-compassion. Wishing you love and light on the journey
I appreciate your personal replies to my post. It does indeed help me feel more intrinsically connected in common humanity. I will read them many times.
My current situation in life is such that I simply do not have a particularly helpful social network of people around me. I am putting stock, so to speak, in my practice/sadhana as well as my newfound somatic nervous system self-regulation support to fundamentally change from operating from victimhood/ego/survival/fear to compassion/love/appreciation/truth.
What a powerful share. The trauma-informed perspective is so needed for so many of us as we embark on spiritual practices - and it is often lacking. And then we just use spiritual practices as more abuse. Thank you so much for bringing your sacred truth and authentic voice to this circle. Deeply grateful.
Yes Harmony. Such great questions. Thank you for sharing this process. It reminds me of something about speaking truth that can’t quite remember…maybe others can help. Something like…
Is it true? Is it necessary? Is it immediate? Is it kind?
Can anyone clarify?
Thank you Donna for sharing. It’s amazing how some of those beliefs stay with us even when we don’t realize it, and how much courage it takes to make different choices. Krishna Das tells a great story when Maharajji told him…“courage”. what you need is “courage” and how that comes to him over and over and has changed his life.
Thank you for your deep share and for your courage to live in truth, even when it is scary.
I sat and thought about truth quite a bit after this lesson. I saw just how much our lies are often tied up with shame. Shame is such a destructive force. While guilt may turn one towards better future behavior, shame more often leads to worse and more destructive behavior because it waters seeds of self-loathing and despair. When we hate ourselves or give in to despair we feel we are unworthy or incapable of being better so we just repeat the same negative behaviors which we had already done before. Then, further, because we are ashamed we lie because not only do we not want others to know what we’ve done we also cannot stand to face those things about ourselves. And thus the shame cycle repeats and reinforces itself.
If I could always tell the truth and had always done so in the past, I could see myself having made so many better decisions because I would not have spent so much time being ashamed of who and what I was. I could have more easily learned from my mistakes and would’ve begun to build healthier habits quicker had I not felt I was failed and broken and needed to reinforce a false facade day after day. That freedom is growing in me now but it certainly was not always.