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Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Truth You Tell Yourself

You might be surprised to discover how much we hide the truth from ourselves. And you'd be surprised, precisely because you may be doing it as well. It's not a question of being dense, or not particularly intelligent, but of not being totally aware, not only of the self, but also of others, or situations that surround us. If we were more aware, we would recognize more truth, and then - quite simply - would lie less to ourselves.

Some examples:
  • I have such a marvelous relationship with my adult children (when in fact, they - your adult children - feel highly uncomfortable in your presence, and continually avoid subjects that cause potential strife, which means that your fields of conversation are becoming more and more narrow, and tend to be purely chosen by you).
  • My staff and I are on excellent terms: look at the results from the last quarter. They work so hard because they know we are all in this together (when in fact, they - your staff - live in trepidation of your autocratic rule, but desperately need their jobs, and hence never say a word that might make you think they are less than totally dedicated to your firm).
  • We have a wonderful time with my writing group / golf club / bridge club / classmates, etc.; we get along so well (when in fact, they - the other members of the group - avoid you as much as possible except during group times: you are never invited along on excursions, or to parties, and there is always some plausible excuse, but the fact is, they eschew your company).
  • I know myself so well ... I really don't need any advice from others - indeed, I'm the one who gives advice to others in my life, because I've read so many books and gone to so many workshops and seminars (when in fact, some of the above points (or similar situations) form part of your life, and you have not recognized it).
So what, exactly, is going on? It's back to the issue of being conscious; of being aware. Of yourself. Of what surrounds you. Conscious awareness means questioning things. So if you are the only one calling your adult kids (they rarely call you to chat), or if you notice that they don't really participate in conversations, other than with non-committals, but you write it off as their overwhelming interest in what you are saying, or if you only ever receive 'yes' answers from your staff, and never any challenging questions, or if you pay attention to the fact that you're not being invited to the other events your 'group' organizes, and ask yourself why, not from the position of blaming them, but from that of asking yourself about yourself, so if these things are happening, and you are closing your eyes to them, or deliberately ignoring the information they are giving you on other levels than the purely obvious, then of course, the truth you are telling yourself is, in fact, NOT the truth!

Writing a short post like this is evidently quite limiting. I've neither given all possible scenarios (not could I), nor all possible solutions. But what I am, in fact, aiming for, is to open your eyes - if any of this applies to you at all, even if only in some oblique fashion - so that you can begin to look differently, hear differently, assimilate differently, and hence react differently. Your truth about yourself may need a revision. And change leads to growth.

For more about living consciously, about relationships, about change and growth, see my book Rewiring the Soul: Finding the Possible Self, available as a paperback or e-book for Kindle and all Kindle applications.

Foto Credit: Tubuai Mountain in the South Sea Islands

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