Truth in Isolation: Covid-19
The truth is powerful at the moment. We can’t ignore the fact that the planet is healing while we humans lie dormant. Canals with dolphins jumping high, green parrots in my local park, birdsong the loudest sound in the sky! Nor can we ignore that renewed sense of community that’s emerged and needs to be honoured and continued. Neighbours are shopping for one another and making regular calls to those in need. There are Instagram Live workouts, singing lessons and discos connecting us all to each other. We have woken up to the fact that we must appreciate the little things in life as they’re not a given. Toilet paper!
Like all persistent nudges towards honesty, this situation will keep showing up for all of us unless we make positive changes to honour it going forward. If we don’t take note now and listen to the sound of TRUTH then we will just have to keep learning these lessons again and again.
What’s My Truth?
Thinking ‘love and kindness = truth’ sounds fanciful or whimsical but it is true. It is true and it is HARD. Love can be really hard work because it requires a heavy heap of discipline. First, we must start with loving ourselves because once you’ve cracked that, loving other people is easy.
If we go back to thinking about our inner child then we can remember how that self-love and true self-acceptance feels. You were not a wandering whirl of benevolence as a kid. Of course we all made mistakes, annoyed others and did things we were told not to. Yet we didn’t spend hours beating ourselves up afterwards or pummelling ourselves with self-hatred. We might have gotten a telling off, but more than likely we brushed ourselves off and carried on. If we were repeatedly told we were bad, naughty or useless as a child it is more than likely that the accumulation of those moments affect us more as adults than it did when we were kids. As adults, we see the potency in what we deem as good or bad behaviour, whereas when we are children we perhaps don’t have the capacity to give it too much thought.
Remembering we are OK whether we are reaching our goals or not, the most popular person in our group or not, on top of all the house chores or not, coping with life or not, means we can connect to self-love, no matter where we are at in life. Acceptance of ourselves exactly as we are, without conditions, is not a notion we can digest once and apply instantly. This sort of self-love requires dedication. It needs to be regularly exercised to become a habit rather than forced.
How Do We Start Speaking Out?
To have well-oiled relationships that run smoothly and avoid drama we have to speak up. We need balance, understanding and, of course, boundaries. Establishing these requires a healthy dose of communication, as we don’t get them all clearly outlined and explained in a relationship rule book and we can’t read each other’s minds, no matter how close we might be.
If speaking up feels scary, remember that not speaking up can be worse, leading to resentment, anger and usually an explosion of frustration later on over something small and insignificant.
If you experience any level of success from speaking your truth it can act as an instant confidence boost. If you have told your partner that you don’t like it when she/he talks over you and that is received with understanding and establishes a new dynamic, you may feel you can speak openly in other areas of your life. If you have managed to summon the strength to tell your boss you feel overwhelmed by your workload and it was met with empathy and a positive change in your role, you may feel you can flex this muscle in other areas too. If you don’t give it a go you’ll never know.
What If People Don’t Want to Hear It?
We often believe speaking our truth will lead to rejection but is this fear rational? If we say our bit and tell people how we really feel, will we really end up alone?
this isn’t about firing off and saying whatever you want however you want without thought. It’s about establishing healthy relationships through honesty, kindness and a little compassion. How the other person/people react is down to their view of the world and their personal history. If they have felt like a victim since childhood then victimhood is likely to be their reaction. If they haven’t been told no before then maybe they won’t be able to see another point of view or have empathy. If they have been brought up with strict rules maybe they struggle to be flexible. All we have to remember is that how someone else processes your truth is not your responsibility. Their reaction says much more about them than it does about you and your truth.
In reality, we’re unlikely to be rejected for our life choices and how we express them; if anything, people will admire us for being true to ourselves. So really, the fear is only of our own truth and what living it would do to our comfortable lives. Facing up to our own truth could require great change, a lot of energy and losing old habits and that is of course all scary stuff.
Can I Help Others Speak Their Truth?
Reaching out to someone in your life who may need support or help isn’t easy. Any sort of intervention or outstretched hand for support might be met with defensiveness or even a push away. Before you feel offended, it’s imperative to remember the moments where you have felt similarly closed off from the world and rejected help. We must recall how that fear felt so we can work out the best way to approach difficult subjects and support from the heart and not the head.
If we are able to step into that person’s life and properly offer support to help them reveal their truth then we need to make sure our ears are ready. We need to ask ourselves whether we are truly listening or just picking out the bits of their story that apply to our own. It is so easy to make someone else’s story a portal for your own pain and history.
We’ve all done it in the past. Thinking we’re being helpful, we’ve found an opportunity to be nostalgic for a few moments, waxing lyrical about our own pain and suffering, thinking it might lighten the other person’s load. So just be ears. Let your heart open to them without judgement, keep your ears soft and still and just simply listen. It’s often enough.
What If My Truth Changes?
Our expression of our truth changes shape over time and with that can come loss. Remember that loss is usually temporary. We may call off a wedding, split up from a partner, end a marriage, leave a job, end a friendship, move location and all seems lost but ultimately we still have our hearts, our love and our knowledge. They are ours for the keeping – they are our truth. We still have our lungs to breathe in adventure and newness. We still have the unknown in front of us to explore. Change is painful; we all know that and yet change very rarely lasts for long. New rhythms set in and what was once different and unknown starts to feel, well … quite normal.
Our truth changing shape means those around us might need to change too. Remember leaving home? Maybe you haven’t yet, so this is to come. But it’s a big, life-defining moment for all of us.
After scary moments of change, even when we are still full of doubt, new opportunities naturally unfurl. In order to allow in the new, we have to allow space.