February 28, 2011

I only speak the truth.

... says the magical sitar in the musical they put on in Moulin Rouge. One knows that didn’t go down very well. The sitar said quite a bit too much and one wishes it hadn’t. Mind you it all comes right in the end but not without major movie drama difficulties.
In real life it seems the same. Most of us are big advocates of the truth. Or so we think. As long as we like it. The truth that is. I think certain things, true as they may be, don’t need to be said. Some people may disagree. Take one of my lovely New York guy friends. A few conversations would go like this:
Friend: Your ass looks really big in these pants.
Me: Thanks. I actually didn’t ask for your opinion.
Friend: But I just wanted to tell you the truth. You should know.
Me: Why? It’s hurtful (and of course not true), so why would you tell me?
Friend: I thought you may want to know. I am your friend and should tell you the truth.
Here I add my Mum’s wisdom – if you are not asked and you don’t have something nice to say about a person, don’t say anything at all. My friend considers this a lie and thinks he is doing me a favour by being such an honest friend.
I don’t think this is necessarily a male - female issue. I think some people prefer to tell everything and anything and think that by not telling certain things, they are lying. Others think that withholding certain information to spare someone’s feelings (I would like to think everyone’s motives are that noble) is perfectly okay. I can usually more identify the latter. But then I realized something: I also sometimes don’t tell myself the whole truth to spare my own feelings. It’s a given that this might become a problem sooner or later...
I recently attended an amazing workshop with Ashtanga master Michael Gannon. On the first evening we did a chakra meditation. And while working through my agonizing back pain that occurred ten minutes into sitting still, I could still listen when he described what each chakra stands for. One stuck out for me – the throat chakra: Speak the truth. Not only to others but also to yourself. Wow, a thought which importance really hadn’t occurred to me since now. Speak the truth to yourself.
Tell you what – today I did just that. I spoke the truth. My truth. To myself and then to someone else. It sucked. It really, really sucked (because, you can guess what is coming, I didn’t like this response).  But as my friend Jackie put it so nicely the other day: “You can hide it, you can bury it, you can run from it, but at the end of the day Truth is all there is. Anything done to disguise it is a waste of creative energy. Know. Speak. Live.”
So now I do. Sticking to my guns. Speaking the truth. And crying a little bit over a very big glass of wine. Luckily I have a good friend to keep me company while doing all of that.

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