My parents raised us with two important qualities: honesty and truthfulness. My Mum would tell us: “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all,” and my Dad always said; “Remember, when you lie, you’re only fooling yourself.”
Through the years, these paradigms stuck with me through thick and thin. And when I would forget them, my parent’s voices would be repeating them within the walls of my subconscious, much like those little devil and angel cartoons that appear in Loony Toons soon as a character needs to make a decision.
But as the years passed, it became painfully evident that not everyone likes the person who tells a truth. And the more I grew, it became harder for me to stay silent in matters where I witnessed lies and manipulation. So I would speak up: when and where I could. And because of this, I’ve lost friends, changed jobs and in general, just moved on and away from situations, places and people where I felt taken for granted or where the trust was broken.
And though I had to do this, it wasn’t always easy to do.
At every ‘break-up’ - whether a friendship or relationship - I felt heart-broken and miserable and sometimes for days and weeks at a time, my misery would throw all my focus out the window.
I’ve had a best friend tell me, “I’ll see if I can forgive you”, when I apologised for something I did wrong, and another friend’s Mum message me saying, “I ask you kindly not to contact her at this time,” after her daughter stopped returning my calls or messages with no explanation (and we used to talk daily). I’ve had another friend ask someone close to keep a secret from me that related to a gut feeling I had shared with her and I also had a previous partner tell me that he wasted his time by being with me. All in all, there have been many instances where I felt my worth, time, friendship and honesty were undermined and unappreciated.
And the truth is, it hurt. It really, really, reaaally hurt.
At the time, it was all I could think about. Until I did something about it and changed how I let those situations affect me. Soon as I found the lessons I had to learn from those friendships and situations, it was much easier to look at them objectively and recognise that even though they felt like a rejection from people I loved, they were actually a redirection towards more love from other people. And even though it felt like I was losing friends, I wasn’t losing anyone at all. Instead I was creating space for better relationships that were more congruent with my ideals and beliefs. And if anything, they were losing me.
Being honest or telling someone how we feel or what is right, may not always get us a lot of friends or fans, but that’s okay because life isn’t a popularity contest. However, telling a lie and being narky, won’t win us any friends either because once the trust is broken, becomes really hard to repair.
Before I conclude, I want to leave you with an excerpt from my book that has been on my mind all week:
The truth is that we have all have been hurt. Some more than others. And it’s painful. Of course it is! She has been injured and wounded too, but what is she going to do about it? Is she going to sit and stew and wallow in self-pity? Is she going to forget it by pushing it aside and busying herself to the point of exhaustion? Is she going to run from it? Is she going to embrace it? Is she going to confront it? Is she going to re-create it? Or, is she going to accept it?
So, my question to you is what are you going to do about it?
Are you going to be honest with yourself and others?
Are you going to let the hurt consume you?
Or, are you going to use it and create the best version of yourself?
This is the truth, peace be with you.