What is truth? Is it something told or something lived?
Think about that question. Really think about the difference. Because there is a difference.
You can speak truthfully, but still live a lie.
In the schoolyard we heard phrases like, “liar, liar pants on fire.” The importance of not telling a fib is drilled into us at an early age. What we don’t learn is how to live in truth.
Whether you realize it or not, many people don’t live in truth. I watch it everyday. People on social media sites who, because they have thousands of followers, start to believe their own importance. When in reality, most of the “real world” doesn’t give a rat’s ass about Twitter.
“Followers” are stalkers to them.
In the world of a writer, it would be easy to get caught up in the rollercoaster of expectation. But if you live in truth, you quickly realize expectations need to be managed. Just because XYZ super-important network or production company had a meeting with you, doesn’t mean squat unless they want to pay you for your idea. You are no more important than the next screenwriter waiting to be kicked out of the waiting room.
Just because you kissed a lot of frogs does not make you a princess. It makes you a frog kisser.
White lies. Those are trickier.
“Does my butt look good in these jeans?” If you have to ask, you’re either fishing for a compliment or looking for someone to rationalize those Ho-Ho’s didn’t go directly to your Jaba-the-Hutt ass.
Pause before answering and ask yourself, “Am I hurting her by not speaking the truth?” If the answer is yes, then spill it and be prepared for the wrath. The girlfriend I took with me when I tried on wedding dresses was the type of friend who had no problem telling me if I looked like hell.
Friends don’t let friends wear bad fashion.
The most difficult person to be honest with is yourself. Sometimes we need a 2×4 to hit us upside the head to snap us to our senses.
The reality is, once you’ve spoken the truth out loud… your truth… there is no going back.
Let’s pretend this is Cosmo and take a quiz:
- Do you lie to yourself about your flaws, either diminishing them or magnifying them?
- Do you blame yourself for other people’s actions?
- Is it hard for you to accept responsibility when something goes wrong?
- Do you only look at the world through rose-colored glasses?
- Are you in a relationship with someone knowing they don’t love you, but settling for it anyway?
- Do you minimize the good in your heart and hold it back from the light of day?
- Does fear keep you prisoner from making decisions?
See where I’m heading here?
Be honest about the lies you live. Right now, go to the mirror, look at yourself… really look at yourself… and have a chat. Tell that person staring back at you what you think of them. What you like about them. What you don’t like about them.
Then breathe. Soak it in. Absorb the truth.
Dare to stay there as long as you can stand it, being honest with yourself. Seeing the true you, maybe even for the first time.
Then say one more daring thing…
“I love you.”
Once you declare that love out loud, you cannot hide from it. Your choices will change. Your friendships will change. You will change.
I know this because I lived it.
If you can’t say those three words to the one person in your life who is most important to your happiness, then make the changes you need in order to love yourself.
You deserve it. You deserve happiness. You deserve to live in reality, not fantasy.
You deserve love.
If you don’t love yourself, self-sabotage will infect your life like a poison, spewing into your relationships and into your work. You will fail over and over again, until you finally hit rock bottom.
Some of us need rock bottom to get honest. It’s not something to fear. It’s a blessing… as long as you choose to learn from it and evolve.
This is I, looking at you… right in the eyes…
I love you.
And that is the truth… now go live it.
I recently heard someone say that those without a vision will return to their past. I believe that may be one of the reasons people self-sabotage. We don’t realize that we’re supposed to be successful and thus keep returning to our old ways. Least that’s my take on it.
An essential part of growth is learning to love ourselves so we can love others.
I could ‘preach’ on this for hours.
Thanks for this.
I totally agree. Self-sabotage happens because people need/want to return to a place or behavior of “comfort”. Sadly, that comfortable place is simply familiar behavior… unhealthy behavior. The only way to break the cycle is to understand your past, accept it, and choose a better, different approach. Looking in that mirror with objectivity is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life, but the most rewarding.
If this were a screening or a premiere, I’d be standing up and cheering! I make a habit of really looking at myself at least several times a week and doing what you have suggested here, although on a smaller scale. I figure that if you can’t look at yourself, something’s got to give. Saying I like you, I forgive you, I find you admirable, I think you’re beautiful, and I love you out loud depending on the moment is a good barometer of inner dialogue. This — as usual — was beautiful. Thanks, Jeanne!
Thanks, Sidney. “if you can’t look at yourself, something’s got to give.” That, my dear, says it all.
Awesome post. I’m glad that you’ve shed some light on the twitter class of self importance, and how much more important self love is. I’ve lived a bit of this myself. Keep writing great stuff! You’re an inspiration!
You know me, Ben. I love Twitter, but every once in a while I see a discussion happening that makes me scratch my head… self-proclaimed “experts” starting arguments with someone, hiding behind a computer screen.
One of the biggest lessons for me last year was letting go of that deep concern of what people thought about me. There are people out there who hate me. That used to haunt me. I got past it by simply accepting it. Everyone doesn’t have to love me. I have to love me. Only good can come from that.
Tried it. Had to turn the light off in the bathroom where the mirror is.
I’m a toad kisser anyway.
Unk, you do love your toads. 🙂
Just so you know, I’ve learned a great deal about life from you this past year. Thank you for the lessons.
People hate you? My bet is the truth lies in the fact that they dislike themselves.
Insightful post. As always.
Thanks, Jan. I’m honored you keep coming back for more. xo
Love this and so true.
“Just because you kissed a lot of frogs does not make you a princess. It makes you a frog kisser.”
Such a hard lesson to absorb and live…
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