I have been thinking a lot about transformation lately.
What it really takes to change our lives and become who we most want to be. Really, who we are meant to be.
This is the best part of ourselves. When it is realized is happy, peaceful, creative, and capable of changing the energy of the world.
Yes, that is possible for all of us, it is our birthright and it begins with becoming honest.
This is the path to spiritual awakening, and is absolutely the catalyst to change.
It often starts in a moment of insight with a voice that says, “enough.” “I can’t live like this anymore.” “I’m done, it’s time to do something different.”
It can be small like a deep knowing. Or it can be so loud it fills your brain screaming so its impossible to be ignored.
And it is always about getting honest and real with what’s here.
Too often we try to fix the symptoms of our unhappiness. In hopes that it will create the shift we long for.
So we diet, exercise, try to find a partner, work harder, do more. We over extend ourselves to fix what we feel is inherently wrong with us.
Or worse, we try to numb ourselves with addiction, food, shopping, sex. Anything to avoid looking at what is causing the pain.
But that’s just the band aid covering over the symptoms, and not the cure. As Pema Chodron says, what we resist persists.
Those feelings of loneliness, unworthiness, shame, and fear will continue to come back until they are examined.
To change those feeling we need the willingness to look deeper at ourselves and our lives through an honest lens. One that is compassionate, accepting, loving, and truthful.
We cannot change what we do not see. It is by seeing that we can start the process of change.
One of my first moments of truth, and the beginning of my spiritual awakening happened when I was 17.
My dad drank a lot when I was growing up. If you’ve lived with an alcoholic you know it is a shame filled environment and fertile breeding ground for denial and secrets.
We habitually lied to protect ourselves and each other from what was happening at home. I became so used to lying that eventually I lied about everything.
Even things that were inconsequential like what music or clothes I liked. I lied so much that it felt like I didn’t know what the truth was anymore. Or if I did, that it didn’t matter anyways.
Now, I still remember the moment when the truth exploded my brain and changed my life.
Life was a huge struggle at that time. I had moved out at 17, dropped out of high school, had been on anti-depressants for years, and felt utterly black inside and hopeless.
The shame, lies, and denial were pulling me deeper and deeper into a dark dank well. I knew in my bones that it was only me that was going to pull me out of the hell I was living in.
It was then that I KNEW my freedom began with becoming honest. Becoming honest about me, my life, and the choices I was making. I HAD to start telling the truth in all ways.
It was awkward at first, because I was so habituated to lying that I would often catch myself in a lie. Only to correct myself, saying “I’m not sure why I said that, what I mean is…”
The practice of being honest became my purification. Burning away all that had held me down and suffocated me.
It was my liberation and set me free to create myself and everything I wanted in my life.
Even now, over twenty years later (don’t do the math please! Ugh.) I refuse to lie.
If I am late, I won’t blame the traffic (or my dog!) if I didn’t have my shit together in time. I take responsibility for it and apologize. I say no a lot, to avoid disappointing people in commitments I know I can’t fulfill. Never do I take credit for anything that isn’t mine, however minor. I do my very best to be impeccable with my word and say the truth as I see it.
The truth is what sets us free.
Being truthful has become my practice, and that practice now is through Mindfulness Meditation.
It is the practice of being unconditionally present with all that’s here in the moment. With the body, breath, emotions, and thoughts that make up our experience.
Sitting still in the moment opens up the doorway to truth.
It lets us get to know ourselves better, it lowers stress, protects our brain from mental illness, boosts immune function (until I had a baby. Now it always seems like I’m sick!), makes us better people, and it even continues to help us when we’re not actually doing it.
I truly believe that I am the person I am today because of all the sitting around doing nothing I do, and I can’t recommend it enough!
I’d love to hear from you now: Has truth set you free? What impact has honesty had on your life? Do you get sick all the time too with children? Share your thoughts in the comments below.