The Truth Shall Set You Free
Recently, I've had a lot of opportunities to talk with my best friend about "protection" and how, when we choose to "protect" another by withholding our truths from them, it eventually leads to hurt. Hurt of each of the people involved and eventual hurt - or possible demise - of the relationship. My experience has shown me that, without fail, the longer I hold onto my truth the more painful it is when I release it.
My best friend and I would go the rounds because he used to be one who never told the whole truth, but didn't consider it lying because what he did say was truthful. However, I would always say, "You may not be telling lies, but you're lying by omission. You're not telling the whole truth." Omission, or not sharing the whole truth, is still dishonesty in my book. When this would happen, I'd feel really angry and super-charged about it. Something about his dishonesty had a barb that stuck inside me every time it happened. However, I could never put my finger on why I got so bent out of shape.
For a long time, one of my mentors frequently said to me, "Angie, you really need to clean up your withholds." I'd look at her with wide-eyes, feeling clueless as to what she meant and brush it off as 'her thing' because I pride myself in being a very honest person. Whenever I would hear her speak of withholds, I had the same emotional reaction as I would have when I heard my best friend telling only half the story. Thing is, I never put two and two together.
When I speak, I speak the truth. When I act, I act in truth. This last week, however, I discovered that I live in a very private world, which I keep to myself. While I'm kind and outwardly honest, my withholding of my inner life is my form of dishonesty. I had no idea I was withholding my truths and it was quite shocking to discover what I have been creating for my life on an ongoing basis as a result of withholding my truths. My withholding was leading me into arguments and upsets and disagreements galore. I would end up in the middle of one and wonder why/how I had ended up there.
After a particularly painful period of time that was full of one mishap after another, I stopped myself and stared in the mirror and asked, "What are you missing, Angie? What pattern are you repeating that is resulting in this frustration?"
As I stared in the mirror, I realized that my sadness and frustration is coming from the fact that I am living in an inner world of my own creation that no one else knows about, but I expect them to understand me. I've heard it said that human beings have an average of 50,000 - 70,000 thoughts a day and, for me, many of those thoughts were regarding how I felt, what I was experiencing and what I could or could not say about all of that.
In that moment, I chose to make a commitment to reveal and share what is going on for me in each moment. I see now that my commitment last year to be 100% accountable for my every thought, word, action and emotion was the beginning of what I really need to do. I'm aware that I'm scared AND I am fully taking on my commitment from last year which means something totally different now and is on a much deeper level.
I invite you to take inventory of your life. Is there anywhere that you are withholding your truths? It's sometimes tricky to uncover it, especially if you are as practiced at it as I was. Honesty is the best policy, they say and I agree. For me, it is the best policy because it keeps my space clear and I see now that it feeds my aliveness unlike anything else.
© Angie K. Millgate 1/23/09