I understand this phrase now. Or at least I’m beginning to understand it. And I definitely have my own take on it. Because from my vantage point truth is subjective.
In Forrest Yoga we’re encouraged to be authentic. One of the exercises I did in my teacher training involved looking at a bunch of different scenarios that could occur as I began my yoga teaching career and deciding what my ethics were around them. Ana Forrest, our teacher training leader, made no moves to coerce us into any right or wrong answers. She expected us to come up with what we believed and what felt right to us. This is not normal – anyone else with me on this? Where’s the teacher or parent or authority figure or religious icon who’s going to tell me what to do? This concept is scary. And incredibly liberating.
Telling the truth isn’t always easy. Sometimes it means admitting to parts of yourself that you’d much rather forget. Sometimes it means saying something that might set someone else off. I love Ana’s advice on this situation as well. She says it is important to speak your truth (hopefully with some grace) and then let the other person or people have their reactions. You can’t control them. You can only be yourself. When we begin to let go of our toddler mindset grip on the world, this too can be frightening. And freeing.
The truth will set you free.
There have been a handful of times over the last 6 months when I’ve had the opportunity to be honest about something important to me. Sometimes, afterwards, I felt like my consciousness expanded ten-fold. The world and myself suddenly felt much bigger and braver than ever before. And sometimes it felt like I had a knife in my gut and all I wanted to do was vomit. Two very different experiences. Both worthwhile. Because both are opportunities to learn and heal.
But is honesty always the best policy? When is lying or shifting the truth appropriate? When is it detrimental? I have so many questions on this topic. Please share your thoughts and feelings with me below. What kinds of experiences have you had when telling the truth? Is it easy or hard for you? Or does it just depend? Let’s start some dialogue.
“Integrity is telling myself the truth. And honesty is telling the truth to other people.”