Truth telling is a scary thing. It’s something, that many of us, including me sometimes, avoid until one day there is just no more running from it. That day has already come for me.
These days I’ve found myself unable to hide from my truth, The Truth, with a capital T. After going through another breakup (each one has it’s own gems to teach me), I found myself pissed off. I was angry at myself because I realized that so much of my suffering stemmed from me not telling the truth. I’m not talking about lying or cheating in this case, I’m speaking about not sharing what I really felt. Not sharing what I really wanted. Not sharing what was not okay. Not sharing my fears or my dreams. Not sharing because I thought I am too much, that I was being ungrateful for what I had.
The thing is, I found that when someone is willing to love me, I’ve compromised parts of myself to let that love in and then hold onto it, even if it doesn’t really feel right. This allowed me to settle for things that weren’t really aligned with what I really wanted. The shadow parts of me know this comes from a very deep, dark place of feeling unloved most of my life. The first day that I felt this was when my little sister was born.
I was six and a half years old. My parents were so incredibly happy, they’d been trying for years, and finally, here she was, this amazing miracle of a baby. I was excited too, or so I thought. As soon as they brought her home and I saw their faces filled with new hope, immense love and incredible light I created a belief inside me that I was not enough. I believed in that moment that something was wrong with me and that they needed something else, or someone else because they were bored of me and I didn’t matter anymore. The months coming, we sold the family business, the home I loved to pieces, I had to leave my friends and start a new school, and I didn’t see my dad as often because he got a new job. Everything changed almost in an instant because we had a new baby to care for. It wasn’t anything to do with her really, she was completely innocent — but for some reason, in that moment I had decided that I was unlovable and that I didn’t matter anymore and that all those years I was happy and thought my parents were happy were all a lie. I told myself they had been waiting for this moment all along and that they weren’t really happy when it was just me and them.
This has been the basis of MOST of my relationships my WHOLE LIFE. Through middle school, high school, college, university, work life, friendships and intimate relationships I’ve had the inner belief that I am not enough. That there is always someone or something else that this person likes better than me. That when they find that person or thing, they will, of course, abandon me and everything will change. At first, when I’d hang out with friends in a group I’d notice how everyone interacted and because I had this painful belief, I would gather evidence of how each person talked or engaged with anyone else more than they would with me. If I hung out one-on-one with a friend, I’d think they were bored or just waiting for time to pass so they could go and do something more interesting.
This was all true for me because I was creating this experience over and over. I was allowing this and not being present in the moment. If I had been present in the moment I may have noticed people drawn to me more because I didn’t have the look of pain on my face. If I was present in the moment, I may have noticed people engaging with me more because my body language would have been open and relaxed instead of being tense and protected.
We’ve all had moments in our childhoods that have created trauma and then shaped certain experiences or triggered pain in our relationships. The important thing is to uncover the truth and question these limiting beliefs. Where did it come from? Is it really true? That old saying by Henry Ford, “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right”. I believe this goes for all of our beliefs, too. If we believe it, we will create it. Our minds are THAT powerful.
As soon as I figured out this is what was going on, yes, believe it or not sometimes we are not even AWARE of these beliefs, I decided to question my thoughts. All of them. Full disclaimer, this is not an easy process by any means. Shifting years and years of old programming will take time, but the important thing is to start now. Slowly and gradually you will build momentum and then things will get better, fast. Don’t get me wrong, I still find myself listening to those dark thoughts from time to time, and in those moments I have to go back to that question — is this really true?
So, back to the truth part. I found that the more honest I’ve been with myself, the more open and courageous I feel. The more open and courageous I feel, the more honest I’ve been with people. I have a great group of friends that accept me for who I am and also share my values in being honest, which is great, but it took time to really build that level of trust. The best place to really practice this whole honesty thing is when dating.
When you’re starting to get to know someone, you can do one of two things. One — be who you think they want you to be, or two — be yourself, in all your glory. Both these options are going to have elements of ease and discomfort, it’s more so about the order of which you experience them.
The first way will be easy and pleasant in the beginning, but it will get very old very fast and then eventually everyone’s true colours will be revealed. This doesn’t create a good foundation because there isn’t any trust. You are not who you said you were or who you showed up as at first. The second way might be uncomfortable in the beginning, because the other person may not dig everything about you, but in the long-term yields for much more happiness and fulfillment. The people that don’t jive with you will be gone fast, and those that stay will actually see you for who you really are and love you for it.
We all crave to be loved and liked and adored and respected, but at what cost? I am practicing being myself more and more, even when I feel that I might be too much, or that I call something out as it is instead of playing along with it when I know it’s a lie.
The thing is, I spent too many years FEELING like I wasn’t enough or I didn’t matter. I have to believe that I do matter and that I am loveable beyond measure. I don’t want to waste the time to engage with situations or people that aren’t honest, or true, or REAL for me. I want to spend the rest of my life loving openly, being present, and allowing others who share the same values to walk and dance alongside me.
What old limiting beliefs can you let go of now?
Where can you benefit from sharing more of your truth? With whom?