The truth is subjective right? I mean, I have one idea and I KNOW it’s true, but you do too and you KNOW it’s true as well. Okay, so if that’s the case, then which is it? Why all the fuss and fighting about it? And why are we on this incessant pursuit of knowing it? Why the pre-occupation with ‘finding our truth’?
Because we’re unaccustomed to living it.
And that’s perfectly natural.
We are born as itty bitty babies relying on those around us to be there, to take care of us, to make sense of us, to be the bubble that is our world. Our first conscious exposure to our living story is a completely EXTERNAL one. Our truth is based on what others do around us.
We see our mother’s face, feel her touch, hear her voice and that’s how we know we’re not alone. We don’t even know what alone is, we just know that we’re more than one.
We hear, smell, taste and sense our environment and that’s how we know where we are.
We are born without words, without context, without place, yet with a soul story to know and to give away, but we can’t yet because we haven’t developed the tangible tools like language to do it.
It’s as if it’s a set up! Life positions us to meet who we are through how we’re received. Now this is a beautiful opportunity to grow if our ‘truth’ is always reflected back at us which is probably why we call this life thing a magnificent journey. There’s so much to learn. But come on, it sure seems wildly inefficient though. Doesn’t it? That we should come in to the world perfect, whole and living our ‘truth’, only to spend the first 40 years of our life (usually) living on auto-pilot then waking up during a mid-life crisis, or a 20-something existential emptiness, or our 30-something drive to ‘be someone’. And then Some of us just skip it all together by playing the ‘acceptance game’ which isn’t acceptance at all, but rather resignation. Ewwwwww. I’ve seen it and so have you. I’ve even lived it a few times.
When my husband and I couldn’t stand each other for about ten years of our first fifteen together (yup no kidding), the only way I knew how to cope was to say to myself: Okay well I guess he’ll just watch TV and I’ll live in the kitchen (I’m simplifying but you probably get it). No wonder I crash and burned. Resignation ate me up and spit me out.
Here’s the thing, once I took the dangerous step of actually LISTENING for whom I’ve always been, I realized, I’d never actually left. I wasn’t lost, I just wasn’t found.
Did you know that we can’t ditch ourselves? There is no where we can run to lose ourselves either. It’s not like we get to shed our ‘truth’ on the floor as a rumpled outfit as we reach into the closet to wear someone else. We’re not a costume nor a wardrobe. We’re not inter-changeable, well, at least not on the inside.
All the self-help books, personal growth workshops, inspirational wall-art and lit up catch phrases that we devour as a way to ‘find’ our truth is the habitual way we’ve moved through world since we arrived. It makes sense right? We think: I am because you see me, I do because you know me, I say because you hear me, I love because you love me… There’s beauty in this ‘we’, in this interconnectedness. There is. I get that, but it still has nothing to do with the ‘truth’ quest we all end up on.
Today I ask you – Who are you in relation to only you? Who are you beyond what fills your mind all day? Who are you outside of where and how you live? Who are you and who have you always been?
Oh mannnnnn big questions and you’re probably feeling the desire to skip it. I mean, why ask when you can’t ever truly know. There’s no proof, no check mark, no enlightened someone to say: Yes, you’re right, that’s who you are. There’s only you and all you can do is listen for you. Listen to the story that has been telling YOU since you arrived.
A life and business coach I once worked with Isabelle Mercier Turcotte said to me in a day long session together: “That’s not your gig” and she wrote it on a yellow sticky and stuck it to one of the many massive post-it notes on the wall. For months I walked through my life with two imaginary yellow stickies: one that said THAT’S MY GIG, and another that said THAT’S NOT MY GIG and in every single interaction I would figuratively hold up my two stickies and decide which one was true: my gig, or not my gig. If you’re interested, here’s a quick video in my own words that I made for Isabelle about it.
I had a good life five years ago when I was holding up those stickies, in fact, most would’ve thought that I was at the top of my game. I was at the pinnacle of my profession, by all accounts I had a great life: two kids, a house, husband, career, passions and my health. My truth however was that a lot of that good life wasn’t actually mine, I just lived it like it was.
Today, I ask you: What’s your gig? What’s not your gig? The truth will always always always tell you, you need only listen for it.
I challenge you this week to hold up your two yellow stickies and see what answers come back.