Transformation Through Self Honesty
“We hardly ever realize that we can cut anything out of our lives, anytime, in the blink of an eye.”
― Carlos Castaneda
I am continually amazed at how effective not trying has been as a driver for positive change in my life. The alternative, trying, has been my predominant tactic to instill habits that support a vibrant, energized, and balanced lifestyle. Absolutely there were temporary successes along the way, I would have been insane to persist otherwise. I experienced periods of time when I would establish through a forced discipline, or trying, habit patterns I believed would lead me to a state of electrified aliveness. Now that I decide to acknowledge the inevitable rebound of such efforts, the insanity would be in perpetuating the cycle by trying harder. The light of conscious awareness integrates and dissolves the shadows of our unconscious. This is honesty, the embodying of our truth.
A Deeper Knowing
The sharing of truth with others opens new dimensions of self and other awareness. Through this openness I became conscious of the potential depth in relationship and have found myself wondering why so few of my personal connections ever touched such an intimate knowing. Certainly each has their own unique significance, but in terms of sharing in a reflective, constructive, and honest bond with an other, why so few? I am speaking here of all my relations. Was it something about me and the way I respond to people? I felt willing to share with honesty and receptivity, did I need to open up first? Is it a fear of intimacy and rejection? My personal awareness of this inner landscape was relatively new, how many people are even aware of deeper reflection?
I am now actively nurturing such relationships, both in my physical and virtual space. I am tired of talking about the same old surface level bullshit while the world is in the state it is in. Blah, blah, blah. I did this. I did that. Oh, you did that again hey? I hear it’s supposed to rain. Can’t wait for the weekend! How about that game last night? Did you hear what so-and-so did? Umm… are you aware of the current state of this planet, our home and giver of life? What do you think about that? What are we doing or not doing about it? Tell me about your experience and perspective on the world! There is comfort in the surface but the real healing and transformation happens underneath.
The Titanic has hit the iceberg, the bottom compartments are filling with water, and people seem to be more interested in watching the band. I have empathy for the feelings of paralysis, cynicism, and escapism that pull us in to “watch the band” for I often find myself in such states. Embracing the oncoming water seems impossible as fear of the crippling weight and overwhelming magnitude push us into denial of the inevitable sinking. To deny this fear is to deny life. To acknowledge and face this fear is to heal and open to life – a letting go of the shore so we can float on the surface as the waves carry us. Only when we face our fears are we then able to effectively and cooperatively build the new green life boats of celebration and gratitude.
The painful throws of sorrow sweeping the planet are the result of a collective releasing of that which no longer serves us. It is a letting go of an old story in order to clear space for a new. We are grieving because our planet is grieving. Life is not all “love and light” right now. Yes, I am terrified when I think about the enormity of what is happening. Yes, I experience a sadness beyond measure at the thought of all the suffering happening. We are causing the same pain to the Earth that we are collectively holding onto. In my personal life, my refusal to acknowledge my pain was causing me to hurt those I love. How can we possibly heal the planet and change our disconnected habits? What can one person really do facing such monumental forces?
Changing Your Habits
Fortunately it is actually quite simple to affect change in your life: stop trying so hard and be honest with yourself. That’s it, no force, no convincing. One slight modification of our inner self-talk that we can all do ourselves and inspire in others. When I suggest to not try, I do not mean inaction. The difference is in how the motivation arises. Once we accept and take responsibility for where we are at completely, then real change takes place. I don’t know how many days would go by with me saying “tomorrow I will start…” or “this is my last…” only to find myself doing the exact opposite again the next day – I was perpetuating an inner lie to myself. Complete acceptance requires being truthful to oneself.
One method to instill a habit is to try to force the change, “that’s it, no more sugar for 30 days”. Will and discipline are exerted for that time to avoid the desire, only to have the indulgence creep back in during weak moments. I got tired of this yo-yoing effort and decided to stop trying and to be truthful. I replaced the “tomorrows” with, “I am choosing to (x) and will change when I am ready” as a way to admit where I am at and to take responsibility for the choices I make. Reflecting back now, all of the small and lasting changes that have come about in my life have been a result of this recognition through honesty. As a result of fully embodying my truth the inspiration to change naturally arises within and I am easily able to let go of limiting habits when they no longer serve me.
The truth is that nothing can stop a person who has made a decision to do something. If you truly wanted to learn that new skill, you would. You don’t want to quit, otherwise you would. Some part of you is still filling a need from the habit, and this is okay, there is nothing wrong with it. You will release it when you are ready and that will only happen with acceptance, honesty, and by forgiving yourself. This applies to our emotional expressions as well, for our outer habits reflect our inner state. Moving past challenging moments and emotional turmoil is not a matter of simply ‘thinking positively’. Healing happens when you allow yourself to feel however you are feeling. All of life’s trials and tribulations will pass.
You Make The Choice
I believe that lying to one’s self is the most limiting habit we carry. We talk about how we “have to” do this or “can’t afford” the time or money to do that. This lie gives away our power and the truth that we have a choice in every moment helps us remember our power as we stand in honesty. “I am choosing to do this and am responsible for being here” dissolves the outward projection of blame or anger for your situation. Adding “because…”afterwards further brings the light of awareness onto the underlying motivation of either fear or love. “Yes, I have time and am choosing to use it in this way because this is what I love to do.” “Yes, I acknowledge I have a choice in this moment and am acting out of fear of loss.” You choose how to prioritize your time and direct your attention. If you wanted to do it, you would have done it – excuses are just excuses! Accept, take responsibility, forgive, and move forward.
This degree of self honesty requires courage and vulnerability, for once you start telling yourself your truth you begin uncovering the fears hiding under the lies. Find the strength to tell your inner truth. See your fears and feel deeper into the love beneath. Feel into the pain and allow the grieving to happen. Feel, be, think, and do exactly as you are in each moment and let your heart guide your actions.
The inevitable release of trying through fear, force, guilt, and anger as change agents will make way for bubbles of spontaneous habits of love, inspiration, excitement, and joy. Cultivating these inner drivers of change will send ripples across the globe and into the cosmos. Your truth will transform the world.
Be and do as you are <3