What’s to be done when the world is not treating you right? When the day is full of bumps and bruises, impediments to reaching the goal, the result, the state of being you are after?
Pushing forward seems to be the expected way – buck up, pull yourself up by your bootstraps, carry on. Oh, and hide your feelings while you’re at it ‘cause no one likes a crybaby, a loser who can’t keep their stuff together. Do you ever notice these programs running you when wrestling with struggle? I find them so ingrained in me that even though I know better they are still the initial inner voice I hear, the big brother of society’s sub-conscious sitting on my shoulder whispering to keep me safe and approved of.
What if, instead of hiding and pretending, what if we said, “It’s been a rough morning. For some reason I woke up every two hours in the night and then found my car broken into and my new I Pod stolen. I’m really feeling violated and bummed out.” I tried this approach the other morning. I told the truth amongst colleagues and clients, other career women at a monthly networking meeting. I let my heart be seen and felt and told the truth.
At first I was afraid of being judged or glossed over – of getting a cheer up girlie sort of response that usually side-swipes my feelings and ticks me off. But I did not. Instead I received many genuine ears to listen to my succinct, honest response to How are you? acknowledging the bummer of my morning. I was greeted with compassion and some great hugs too. Unfortunately, many of us know what it is like to be violated, in one form or another, and it can be freeing for the person sharing and listening, both, to exchange that open truth-telling. I’m not recommending a joint therapy session in the midst of networking, rather the simple honest facts of events and primary feelings.
What if we let ourselves do this, to tell the truth and receive compassion from others? What if we were not hooked in the loop of the façade of perfection? What if we trusted others to listen and have empathy rather than judgment? What if we really understood that we all have our up and down days and moments and that accepting this turns the peaks and valleys into rolling hills? What if?
I believe there would be a lot less stress and illness – cancer, heart disease, obesity, alcoholism, drug and sex addiction, anxiety, depression, etc. I believe we could become a more cooperative community again, the kind that could be depended upon. I believe social responsibility and creative solutions, on behalf of our selves, others and our planet, would flourish.
We need each other. Not to be the perfect image of those we see in the movies and on TV, in magazines. We need each other to be real, to be all of who we are in this beautiful human imperfection. We need the connection, the love, the listening, the honoring. We are feeling human beings – we have feelings for a reason – and we need to live in the safe space of honesty, recognizing them, responsibly expressing them, and allowing ourselves to be empowered through them.
Try it. Try being honest – whether elated or infuriated. The next time someone says How are you? tell the truth.
to Living Sensual!
Live in Love with Life