to sing. Yet singing our own song or humming our own tune or living our truth still eludes so many people. In our society, we are not taught to celebrate our uniqueness. It’s no one’s fault. Perhaps, our parents and our teachers did not realize that they too had their own distinctive song to sing. Therefore, they did not teach their kids or students to honor and celebrate their individuality. Throughout history, there are shining examples of people living and speaking their truth. Think of the founding fathers of the United States. They rebelled against their home country because they did not feel free to express themselves or pray in a way that felt authentic to them. They moved to a new land and risked everything to live their truths.
Have you ever wondered why telling the truth is so difficult? As I discussed in my last e-newsletter, much of this has to do with being, or not being, in a safe space. When people are not in a safe space, and most people are not consistently in a safe space, telling the truth and living one’s truth is a downright courageous act.
I felt inspired to write this e-newsletter the day after President Obama declared that he supports same sex marriage on national TV. President Obama shared his truth. Not only did he share his truth, he is living his truth. He is not presenting or supporting legislation that would hurt the lives of people who are gay and then saying, but I personally support gay people. No. He is both living his truth by supporting gay rights more than any other U.S. president in history and he is stating his truth. It is important to note that when Obama took a public stand in favor of marriage equality for all, that he was bringing his words, his public persona, his past actions, and his inner truth into alignment. Experiencing such alignment in oneself and/or witnessing such alignment in another is powerful. It’s possible that witnessing this alignment in President Obama encouraged others such as Jay-Z and the NAACP to speak out.
Is this a big deal? Yes. It is always a big deal when people speak their truths. It is an even bigger deal when people live their truths. Living one’s truth means having the courage to be exactly who you are without apology. It is inspiring to witness people live their truths. You cannot live your truth if you are hiding your true self from others and from yourself. You might wonder how someone could not know who they truly are. Easy. We don’t listen inward. We pay attention to everything around ourselves (parents, family, teachers, friends, society, TV, Facebook). We try to emulate others. We disregard what our internal truth is telling us. Therefore, many of us act in a way that makes society thrilled with us, or at least keeps us out of trouble, but we feel less than satisfied with the life that we have created. When this happens our actions and our inner selves are not aligned. Hence, this creates an inner struggle within oneself.
Do you all remember the movie “Runaway Bride”? Julia Roberts’ character shapes herself into whatever she thinks the man that she is dating wants her to be. She has done this so long that she does not know who she is or what kind of eggs she likes. Haven’t we all done this at one time or another?
So, why live your truth? In my mind there is only one reason to do this. It feels right. Inside your heart and your mind, you feel better as a human being. And it feels right because you have aligned your inner truth with your daily actions. This is who you were meant to be. If you are not living your full truth, you are hiding or putting on a mask to present to the world. That doesn’t feel good. That can’t feel good. Think about it. When you were young and caught in a lie, even though telling the truth was difficult, painful, and possibly humiliating, did you not feel a sense of relief after you had told the truth? Why? Because you don’t have to hide any longer. Hiding any aspect of ourselves is not living our truth and therefore not being aligned. I believe that we are confronted daily, even moment by moment, with the opportunities and decisions as to whether or not we are going to live our truth.
Here are just a few examples of how people make choices every day that either support them in living their truth or keeps their true self hidden.
Choosing whether or not to speak up when you disagree with what a group of people are saying
Choosing to answer the question “How are you?” in an honest manner
Choosing to tell our aging parents that you have concerns about their driving, their habits, such as smoking, their health, etc.
Choosing to say I am sorry for hurting someone else or their property
Choosing to come out as gay or transgendered
Choosing to communicate intentionally and honestly in relationships even if what needs to be said could hurt the listener
Choosing to recognize that you could benefit from the help of others, and then asking for help
Choosing to be proud of the people from whom you learn and find inspiring (eg. Oprah, Jillian Michaels, Madonna, Boy George, or your favorite teacher etc.)
Choosing to focus on the joy in your life as opposed to the pain
Choosing to follow a path that is spiritual, religious or non- spiritual because it feels right to you
Choosing to support groups and organizations through volunteering or in other ways that speak to your personal core beliefs
Choosing to dress in a way that makes you feel good inside and out!
Choosing to get to know yourself, your preferences, your strengths and your weaknesses, and then making personal decisions as to how you lead your life
Choosing to follow your heart and allowing yourself to have feelings for the person who rocks your world!
Choosing to follow your heart and creating a life that speaks to you whether or not it will please anyone else
We were all born as unique individuals! Yet, most of us conform. Our society, our schools, our corporations our communities encourage us to conform and be like everyone else. This encourages people not to celebrate their uniqueness. I say “Celebrate You!” Otherwise, you cheat yourself of the life that you were meant to live and you cheat the planet from knowing the extraordinary person that you are meant to be. Don’t be a casualty of society’s pressures. Stand up for yourself. Be true to yourself and enrich the rest of the world as a result!
Here is a quote that I think speaks to this issue of Safe Space Life Lessons:
"Nothing will bring you peace except yourself."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Here is a song that I heard a long time ago and immediately fell in love with. It is entitled, “Everything Possible.” It was written by Fred Small. I am sharing two versions of the song. The first is Fred Small singing it himself.
The second version is the Flirtations. The Flirtations were an amazing all gay a cappella group. Their version is beautiful as well. Although, this recording reverberates a bit.
As if you needed anymore after the quote and the song, I felt I had to share this Ralph Marston with all of you. Interestingly, this Ralph Marston showed up in my e-mail inbox the morning after President Obama stated that he believes that same sex couples should be allowed to marry. Very timely!
Until next time,