You know the way most social conversations go –
Person 1: “How are you?”
Person 2: “I’m fine.”
All hell could be breaking out inside that person’s life, but still they answer “I’m fine.”
Now I am not suggesting for one minute that we all should bear our souls to perfect strangers and make of honesty a rule. But what I do see all the time with clients is that they aren’t being honest with themselves. That’s right they are downright lying to themselves. Now they are not doing this because they are bad people or sick people or stupid people. This is something that we are all socialised into. If you are blessed to know a child, think about the way they interact with the world. They “tell it like it is” “I don’t like it’ “I don’t want to”, no lying there!
Then along comes a well meaning adult (it has been me from time to time) “Don’t say that, that’s not nice.” Over the years the child is trained to censor what they say which becomes them censoring themselves and their feelings. The child becomes an adult who sits in my office and says “I don’t know what I want.” The work then becomes a process of learning it is OK to feel your feelings. Feelings are neither good nor bad in and of themselves.
I often think of that marvelous scene in Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Eat, Pray, Love when she is in the ladies bathroom with her friend. Her friend turns to her and says “Tell the truth, tell the truth, tell the truth.” I join her in this fine sentiment, tell yourself the truth.
Tell yourself all about what you don’t want in your life. Tell yourself all about what you don’t like. Even tell yourself what you downright hate, loathe and abhor in your life. Tell yourself all the things you never, ever, ever want to do again in your life. Tell yourself all the things you have been afraid to admit out loud. Tell yourself all the things that you really, really love to do (especially those things other people would think you were mad to do.) Don’t hold back. Don’t censor yourself. Don’t rule anything out by telling yourself you are too old/young/fat/thin/poor/rich or what ever other obstacle you generally place in your way.
You don’t have to tell anyone else. You just have to do one thing today that will take you closer to your truth. And in doing so, by the simple means of being honest with yourself, you will find the treasure that you seek. YOU will be happy.