Speak the truth. Speak your truth.
Honestly is the best policy, isn’t it? We have this thing, in our house, where we try not to encourage lying. I think most people try to raise their kids that way, don’t they? But I mean more specifically, we encourage them to be honest when they’ve some something they know we won’t be stoked about. We do that by talking through the thing that happened, rather than punishing them for doing something on purpose and letting it go if it was an accident. Kids are smart, and if they know simply saying it was an accident means they’ll get off scott-free, you can see how it might encourage them to lie. If a kid is yelled at when they do something ”wrong,” they’re going to just start making sure they don’t get caught. They’re going to lie.
There was an incident at my place a little while back, when a girl we don’t know very well came to play. When she left, she left with something my daughter said belonged to her. I didn’t buy it for Babe, so I didn’t know whose it actually was. Babe said it was hers, the girl said it was hers. She looked me right in the eyes and said that yes, it did belong to her and I felt very, very awkward. The girl left with the thing. For a long while after she was gone, Babe would not let it go and was so upset I knew there was no way she was lying. (I can’t think of a time when she did lie.) I messaged the girl’s mother and asked if there was any chance her girl came home with something that didn’t belong to her. Soon after, the girl was at our door, very apologetic and returned the item. I thanked her for her honesty. I messaged the mom to give her a heads up that her daughter lied to my face. That was not something this woman wanted to know…
Sometimes Babe will get super upset because 3 year old Bug will go on and on about something, insisting it’s true when Babe knows it isn’t. He’s not intentionally lying. He’s usually doing it for the reaction she gives him.
Babe: MOM, he’s saying this is PURPLE!
Me: Is it?
Babe: NO IT’S GREEN
Me: If you know it’s green, why do you care what colour he says it is?
We’re teaching them to follow their intuition. To know the truth, even when everyone says they’re wrong. We’re teaching them that there is more than one version of the truth and that so much of it is perception.
As a mom, as a yoga teacher, and as a regular old human being, speaking the truth has been hugely on my mind these days, especially as I watch my two kids try to navigate what it means. I’m doing the same in my 30s. It doesn’t mean I am always great at it. Most of the time I tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. For normal, everyday things. But for the bigger things, sometimes the truth is embarassing. Sometimes the truth hurts. Sometimes it’s just way easier to say what you think a person wants to hear. Sometimes it’s way easier to say nothing at all than to speak the truth.
Sometimes we are the person it’s hardest to admit the truth to.
When you speak, are you sure what you’re saying is true? Do you gossip?
Dr David Simon often refers to an ancient teaching of the three gateways we should cross before speaking.
1. First, ask yourself ‘Is what I am about to say true?’
2. If so, proceed to the second gateway and ask ‘Is what I am about to say necessary?’
3. If the answer is yes, go to the third gateway and ask yourself, ‘Is what I am about to say kind?’
I think there’s a difference between always saying every single thing that comes to mind, spewing it out, in the name of honesty, and taking the time to sit with and reflect on something before throwing it out there. I think filters are good. And I think if the intention is to hurt someone with what you say, even if it is what your believe to be true, it’s probably best to not say anything at all.
We can stay stuck–so stuck in the wrong relationship or job, not only are we unable to speak our truth, but we’re certainly not able to live it. So often this is because we’re afraid. Afraid of other people’s reactions to what we have to say. Afraid of being rejected.
The opposite of fear is… LOVE! So speak, please, from a place of love. Speak your truth and shout it from the roof.
”One way to know we are living the truth is that while our choices may not be eay, at the end of the day we feel at peace with ourselves.” –Donna Farhi
Sat Nam. Truth is your name.