It has been a while since I have posted anything here. I have started many posts, but few have made the cut, however today’s post is going up for sure. In truth, I have been busy – I have been doing 2 courses. One for my mindset and one for my skillset. They have both been interesting, and presented many “aha moments” but as always, these things leave me with more questions than answers, something my friends know I do NOT deal well with. I have also made some interesting self-discovery that I will be blogging about over the coming weeks, once I have processed it myself. However, all of this self-discovery has left me feeling a bit low and out of sorts. So yesterday when a friend asked me how I was doing, the lyrics of this song came back to me – do you want the truth or something beautiful.
It is a great question – and it admits that sometimes the truth is ugly, and messy and if I am honest with myself, sometimes that isn’t what I want, oftentimes what I really want is something beautiful. I have learned a lot recently about the power of thought, the value of attention and the importance of what we focus on. I have seen for myself the value of seeking positive out of an experience that may otherwise be viewed as negative, and I definitely know that what I dwell on seems to increase in size. So when I get into a funk like this one, there is always an underlying panic that accompanies it – don’t focus on this because it will only last longer and get worse.
And while that may be true, this time I have decided to just go with it, and in the meantime, try to think of what would help me feel better in each moment. I have learned over the years that sometimes, living with the ugly truth is the best gift I can give myself, instead of trying to rush it off with false bravado – something which I am exceptionally good at. The other thing I find challenging about living with the truth is the “ugly truth” of the matter, that oftentimes when we ask people how they are – we too simply want something beautiful. How often have we asked someone how they are doing, and felt slightly disappointed when they didn’t give the quick and simple answer. How many times have we actually listened to the answer they gave, or made eye contact with them to realise that they are not being entirely truthful. How many times have we rushed onto the next sentence without waiting for them to answer, or gotten ready to walk off without engaging. And how many times have we ourselves exhibited false bravado instead of vulnerability when someone asks us how we are. I am not talking about confiding in everyone we meet (although you can do it if that is your thing) but I am talking about those closest to you. I am talking about seeking out company when you need it most.
One of the things I have found the hardest about this season in life is that we no longer seem to have the time to spend meaningful time. I have in recent times found myself longing for those long conversations of my youth, instead of the soundbites that I feel I am forced to live my life in. I find it difficult to accept that these days, no matter how much time I spend with those I care about, that it is almost never enough for me. I feel selfish about sharing that time with anyone else, and I often will choose to be superficial in my interactions when they do occur, rather than try to cram what I would prefer to be a phenomenal experience into a brief conversation. It can make interactions shallow, when sometimes deep communion is what we need to really nourish us. In my IIN course I took some years ago, the lecturer and founder of the school made mention of the fact that sometimes we need intimacy, or physical contact, but it is interpreted as a need for sex. To quote him “sometimes we think we need sex when what we really need is a hug” (and/or conversation I would add to that!) I so understand that feeling, and it would take another blog post to unpack it, but it is definitely something that I can identify with. Why am I saying all of this? Not to illicit random hugs (although I do love hugs – and if the Rock is reading this – I will gladly accept one from him!) I say this so that we – both myself and the reader – can remember to listen for the truth from others and from ourselves. To notice when we need to speak the truth instead of something beautiful, and to want that from those we interact with – especially if we want to have a deep and meaningful relationship with the person. To make time for the long conversations, to give a genuine hug. By doing so, we may find that we get both the truth and beauty, and give (and get) a measure of joy while doing so.
And I send you (as always) big love and hugs from a small island!
PS Speaking of the truth vs something beautiful - I took the photo above while making a pasta sauce for my 3 year old nephew. While I doubt he would be caught dead eating a plate full of the truth: ie cabbage, squash, carrot, lentils (and the spinach I threw in at the last minute) I blended it up into something beautiful and he woofs it down on pasta, or rice! A great idea for your little eaters.