I sincerely hope you all had a Happy Thanksgiving last week. I was not planning on taking the week off from the blog, but unfortunately the Universe saw fit that I leave my carry on at home which included all my most important possessions including my laptop. I do believe all things happen for a reason, and this reason being more time for family and football. How am I to argue with that?
Continuing along the lines of “All things happen for a reason,” my interactions this week have culminated together as inspiration for today’s blog post: #EmbraceYourTruth.
Now this is not to be confused with #LiveYourTruth, which is also a truth-based concept, regarding the act of living out what you redeem to be true about yourself.
#EmbraceYourTruth is more along the lines of coming to terms with what is, harnessing it rather than questioning or trying to unthink it from existence, and reaping the rewards of such a practice. This may seem either completely obvious or counter-intuitive, depending on who you are but I will give some real-life examples that will perhaps better illustrate the practice.
Embracing your truth is arguably much harder to do when your truth is something you or the rest of the world perceives as wrong. American society teaches us from an early age to be ashamed of our mistakes. Corporate culture teaches us there is no room for error. Although most religions preach forgiveness there is still judgment and stigma lurking around every corner. As such, we learn to hide our perceived faults and pretend as though no one (especially not ourselves) has ever engaged in something less than perfect. Of course, this practice is problematic. Issues span from encouraging unrealistic standards, breeding an environment primarily suited for shame and self-loathing and worst of all removing almost any hope for truly learning from the experience to name just a few.
Accepting your truth of positively viewed actions or events can surprisingly also be difficult. This can best be seen in the form of Impostor syndrome, a psychological pattern in which an individual doubts their accomplishments and has a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a "fraud". Such feelings can result in self-limitation and greatly hinder future success and satisfaction.
Luckily, we have started to see a cultural shift towards embracing our true selves. Although still in its early stages, it is an encouraging shift none the less. I like to consider myself one of the early adopters of this movement. I am not perfect (my bun is though). I am a recovering alcoholic. I have mentioned this openly several times on Twitter and am even more open about it in real life but felt like this would be a good opportunity to share in way more helpful to everyone – non-alcoholics included.
As you can imagine, being an alcoholic can come with serious shame. I have made more than my share of mistakes, and often made them more than once. As a result, even after becoming sober it was very hard to embrace the truth of my past. Fortunately for me, programs and well-qualified people helped me work through the process of beginning to. It took years for me to break down the idea that the world wouldn’t forever hold my past mistakes against me and to believe I was in fact more than the sum of my errors. It took experience after experience of sharing my truth and having others respond positively for me to even question the validity of my fear of acceptance.
As a result of this even when I did find acceptance and the beginning stages of success I questioned my legitimacy at every turn. In fact I still do occasionally. But I can tell you the only reason I am where I am today is because as a sober woman I have worked on embracing my circumstances every step of the way. I do not try to hide my feelings, I analyze them. I do not try to pretend my life is different than it is, I share it where I am at. I try to live as genuinely as possible and people see that and respect it. Many even feel inspired to share their own experiences. Furthermore, it allows me to create meaningful relationships, receive helpful guidance and live without the weight of personal uncertainty.
All things happen for a reason. Bad things happen. Good things happen. We make mistakes. Luck occasionally presents itself. We experience failure and occasionally success. In any event, these experiences cannot be undone. Our best bet for brighter, happier, more successful future is to embrace these events.
I will be sharing this post under the hashtag #EmbraceYourTruth. I encourage you to take the plunge with me and share a time you made a mistake, failed, or questioned yourself utilizing the tag. There is power in truth. There is freedom in sharing. I look forward to experiencing both with you all.