For one year in the 1980’s I practiced telling the truth in everything I said and did, including within my very thoughts. It was a difficult year to try to discern how to tell the truth about what I thought and felt and be honest in a way that was tactful and kind. One thing I did was follow the advise before speaking to ask, “Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary?”
To decipher this saying more clearly, I would ask myself, “Is what I am about to say really true? Meaning is it really my truth? Is it really the truth about the other person? Is it colored by judgment, prejudice, assumptions?” Taking time to consider this before speaking was very powerful. Then I would ask, “Is it kind? Meaning, is what I am saying said in a compassionate and thoughtful way? Will it really serve the person by saying it? Even if I do say it, will it help them grow, or just be a futile effort that will make them defensive, shatter their self-esteem, and run them down somehow? Having taken time to evaluate this, is there still a way I can be honest and yet kind in what I am telling him or her?” Finally, I would ask, “Is it necessary? Meaning it this really the right time and place to tell this truth? Or, is there a better time when the person will be more receptive to it, and therefore more likely to hear what I am saying? Or, is it necessary for me to say this truth right now for my own peace of mind, self-esteem, and integrity? If so, can I say it in the most thoughtful way?”
Since that year I have gone on to learn other approaches to truth telling, including that of Non-Violent or Compassionate Communication. I’m still a newbie at this, but I find it a very powerful approach. And, as of today, I was also blessed to discover a book called Radical Honesty: How to Transform Your Life by Telling the Truth by Brad Blanton. You can read the Introduction to it on Amazon.com.
Along these lines here is what I also know. According to an Eastern system of conscious development outlined by the seven chakras (or energy centers located in the body), the “throat center” (located in the throat area of course) is all about speaking, listening to, and hearing the truth. In other words, when we learn to live in truth and speak in truth to each other it opens the gateway between the head and the heart centers. Truth telling in the right way opens the gateway to a sense of oneness with others, a clear seeing of reality, and tapping into the universal source of love.
When we don’t come from truth what are the results? Brad Blanton lists quite a few in his book. You can also find some in another excellent resource a book called The New IQ: How Integrity Intelligence Serves You, Your Relationships, and Our World by David Gruder. http://www.amazon.com/New-IQ-Integrity-Intelligence-Relationships/dp/1604150130 Then there is another excellent resource in the well-known book The Four Agreements by Don Miquel Ruiz. http://www.amazon.com/Four-Agreements-Practical-Personal-Freedom/dp/1878424505. All these books help reveal something the chakra system also reflects, when we don’t live in truth we commit a kind of suicide. As Blanton states lies are the major source of human stress. Lies literally kill you. (Or, as Merlin says in the movie Excaliber, “Everytime a man lies he murders a part of the world.”).
Think about it. If your throat center is closed off so is your ability to listen as well as speak and sing well. With a closed throat you can’t take in the same amount of air into your lungs. Unable to breath your anxiety level shoots up and your circulation shuts down. (No wonder so many people compensate for throat center problems and anxiety by smoking. Is it a desparate attempt to deal with the anxiety that happens from not living in integrity and telling the truth? Is it one of the only ways they know how to get air into their lungs?). Worse, once your circulation is cut off so is the blood flow to your heart blocked. And, if the heart center is about loving and being loved, then in fact lying (especially hiding, which is Blanton states is the worst form of lying) is killing your chances for love in your life. Maybe that is why people react so much to lies. It hurts to know that people don’t love themselves or us enough to be open, honest, to tell the truth.
Ok. Knowing this I confess, unlike the year I was totally rigorous in my truth telling, due to some stressful times in my life I started to find that it was easier at times to hide, fudge, or lie about the little things in my life. (For example, I might fudge and say I am late to a meeting because traffic got in the way, instead of confessing I was late getting out the door because I was unmotivated to go). But, when I do this the immediate result is I feel lousy. Fortunately, I have been exercising my truth telling muscles long enough that I rarely keep even a minor untruth hidden for long. And, as of late I have been going back to my practice of practicing truth telling no matter what. (For example, I can say that I was late getting out the door, but I’m working on getting my life more organized so it won’t happen anymore. Or, I can have a conversation with myself or a trusted counselor friend of mine and explore the resistance I am having to attending the meeting and see what I can do about that so I either get more responsible in my commitments or take responsibility to get out of them and not make them in the first place).
The end result of truth telling? I feel better about myself. I feel better about my life. I sleep better at nights. My friends know that they can count on me to be honest, even if it doesn’t always make me look good (which may be a relief as all of us at some level see through the lies we are telling ourselves. Better to just get them out! In makes us easier to be around).
Another strange effect of truth telling I have noticed lately from a law of attraction perspective, the truth about myself and others literally lands in our laps. In fact, a week ago I was talking to someone who I suspected was lying to me about something. At that moment, that person was inspired to hand me his cell phone. He wanted me to hear a song on his IPhone. And, just as he handed it to me, a text message appeared from someone totally validating that he was lying to me. He was shocked and upset at being caught in such a strange way. And, I was disappointed that he still couldn’t just be honest with me.
On a final note, consider this. We are living in an increasingly transparent world. The truth gets out there someway, somehow! Maybe it is time them for all of us to stop living in fear and start telling the truth to ourselves and others in a compassionate, thoughtful, and even humorous way. Remember love and fear cannot co-exist in the same space. As for me? I’m all for love. Let’s get honest with each other. We are after all worth it!
Copyright 2010 by Dr. Lisa Love. All rights reserved.
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