TRUTH

Oh man, that’s a big one.  Who do I think I am to be writing about such a thing as TRUTH, truly one of the Big Ones.  One of the Commandment things, if one is so oriented.  No matter what your altar looks like, if it’s worth altaring at, it better, (or should, and that’s still a SHOULD, folks), have a goodly amount to do with Truth.  And there’s where it gets all prickly, doesn’t it?  I mean we’re fighting wars now that are based, (allegedly), on protecting truths and rights, however we all might define them.  The problem raises its ugly and familiar head when we, or someone, has to bring up that “My Truth is Different than Your Truth” thing, and there we go.  Sometimes it’s just a fightin’ thing, to the death.  Really.  It’s not the allowing anyone else to have their different truth and everyone go on their merry way that causes all the difficulties.  Certainly not and does that even much happen anymore?  Notice that different and difficult are rather related – and then think about the difficulties in your own family, maybe because you are “Different?”  See, it happens so easily – contempt or hatred or maybe just bad juju are all laid right at our own personal feet.  All this stuff seems to start right at home.  Who do you think “raises” the terrorists?  The bigots?  The gang-bangers?  We get it programmed right into us, whatever “it” may be, by the ones that nurture us, and it’s Game On.  It all starts at home, with family, or ironically, the lack of one.  Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.  It is only later, with directed and purposeful thinking and exercise, that we realize we can CHOOSE a different life if we want one.  If we even get around to pondering such a foreign concept.  Ain’t life interesting?

I get off on this tangent because lately I have been having extended phone conversations with friends who are valuing my opinions or audience enough to want to spend long spells of time with me on the phone – talking.  And I listen, and then it seems like I pontificate.  Or I just go on about what I think about such situations, having evidently attained some sort of credibility in their eyes.  Amazes me every time I think of it.  I mean, they go so far as to tell me they enjoy talking to me, or thank me for what I’ve offered.  Jeez Louise.  I fear I really am becoming one of those late life characters.

I guess I’ve been somewhat of a character all my life, but I never knew quite what to do with it.  It for sure doesn’t want to be caged up in an 8 or even 9 to 5 office.  I can’t tell you how many decades I did that, until it became painfully obvious that I didn’t fit.  Hardly anywhere.  I mean I was competent or even talented, (enough, anyway), to make my way through a plethora of jobs, (and some of them were lulus – I suppose there could be stories, actually – and I got myself fired only one time, but we won’t go into that here), and damned if one of those office jobs didn’t get me called Queenie for the first time – the first time that I can really remember it – and I’m afraid it fit.  However, it has taken me 35 years to own it.  To own it and work it and make it work for me, and just be it.  Now what a waste that was, I guess, but it all happened like it happened and here I am.  I do urge my followers, (or whatever they are), especially the younger ones, to get to this point sooner than later, for fun is fun, but fun is sometimes a lot harder on you as you get, uh, older.  I mean the Grand Canyon beat the crap out of me this year.  But I’m probably still going to go one more time, just one more.  And then there are so many places yet to see, but as usual, I digress.

What I’m getting around to, with this Truth thing, is the continual unfolding of the mysteries of it – if you’re willing to listen and look at it.  Some of us are so busy defending our Truth, and I would be so bold to say that many have no idea of exactly what some of those truths really are, especially considering the ferocity of their defense sometimes.  May I just throw in that Politics and Religion are particularly fine examples of that, and ‘nuff said – for now, anyway.  And I believe that there are many who have no idea of what their truth even is, and sad for them.

I was told many years ago that “Nobody really likes to hear the truth,” and I have to sign on with that one.  I spent years avoiding my own truth, and even the truths about others whose impact on my life was significant, and damned if I didn’t just double-whammy myself before it was all over.  But it’s all the same thing – it’s a universal experience – and even if we grow up in the best of functional families, and are taught and know, really know, how life and the world work – even with that knowledge and advantage – you still have to utilize those tools when experience comes knocking at your door.  I’ve seen bad things come to good families, and sometimes nothing makes any sense why.   But so much of the behavior I’ve seen and still experience is so directly wired to agonizingly dysfunctional family upbringing that it’s impossible to come to any other conclusion about it.  About like the abrupt truth of what happens when you stick your fingers in a fan, and I’d say most of us are willing to believe what we hear about that one without actually trying it.  When it comes to people and relationships, however, all bets are off.  We think we become masters of our own ships and aren’t we going to have us a swell adventure, when sometimes we’ve been Shanghaied or sometimes we willingly signed on when we thought it was a better ship than it turned out to be.  But hey, that’s why they invented Mutiny, so all is not lost.

I have a few genuine talents.  One of them is in art and decorating, (something about knowing where things go – or “should.”)  The upshot of all this previous rambling is that I think that another of my more worthy “talents” is to be able to envision what it is that people should or need to do, or perhaps hear.  Already you can see where this is going.  Unless someone particularly asks for anyone else’s valuable service or advice, they can get damned agitated when you enlighten them unbidden, even free of charge.  Why, they can actually resent it.  Once all the characters have come to the stage and engaged in the drama, this is when the line, “You mean, (blah blah blah insert appropriate statement), after all I’ve done for you…..” (or various derivations of same), was invented.  I know.  I’ve used it, only it took me a while to figure out what was my own version of it, and when I had actually uttered or written it.  I’m sure I did both.  Probably too many times.  How very interesting.  I suppose it’s part of the addiction thing, and that’s getting into the guts of it – or some of it at least.  You can talk yourself out of anything when you’re floating down the river of denial, and even paint a pretty picture in the doing of it. But that’s why I persist at this blog, and my writing, and whatever else I think I’m doing with this particular talent – it’s because these little pearls I toss out are something I need to heed my very own self – need to hear – need to KNOW, as in the biblical sense almost.  It’s just MY truth, but I think it just might resonate with some or several fellow humans being out there.  We’re not making up much new stuff here – probably because we continue to make so much mileage on the old stuff.  It’s insanely recyclable, and isn’t that a rub?

So here’s my podium, listen as you will.  I’ve just been offering up my own truths when a couple of friends have wanted to talk lately, or listen to what I might have to say about their stories.  And it always boils down to my own personal experience… and see, here’s what I mean…. I had all the books – I was, uh, Enlightened, (thought I) knew all about it, and what do you know I kept going down that recently mentioned rabbit hole time after time…. even going down the same rabbit hole three times after the same rabbit.  I’m telling you, I speak from experience, no matter how pitiful it is.  Let me be your bad example.  (Kudos to Mae West, I think.  Or was it Sophie Tucker?)  But maybe by making my way through Recovery and Reclamation, I can be a good example.  Yeah, the one so many don’t want to hear about – that one.  It’s a tricky dance, finding your audience.  And good relationships!

I’ve become more than acquainted with Codependence and Insecurity.  I know about Women Who Love Too Much, (thanks to Robin Norwood), and standing in your truth.  But the only reason I can tell those who ask is because, at least once now, I’ve managed to make it all the way up to Standing in My Truth, and spoken it.  And here’s how it was, at least that once.  It was softly yet strongly spoken, with nary a shout.  Many triggers were pulled and buttons punched.  It went something like this…  I spoke my truth, and got:  “You’re just making me be the bad guy.”  To which I responded:  “I’m not making you be anything.  You are who you are.  It’s your choice.  I’m just saying that it doesn’t work for me.”  And that’s all there is to it.  And it IS easy for some, but for so many others, and for me, for YEARS, it wasn’t easy at all.  And it still doesn’t always feel easy.  Many of us are accustomed to avoiding Truth at all costs.  We’ve made a lifetime practice of it.  And probably are considered successful in so many ways by so many others.  Well, maybe yes, maybe no.  What’s your truth?

But those words have become somewhat of a mantra to me.  I had to use them again very recently with a friend whose behavior was having repercussions all around me, ones that didn’t feel good, to me or others.  And so I had to say:  “No, I’m not judging you.  Your behavior is your choice.  You can do what you want to do.  I’m just telling you it doesn’t work for me, and I will no longer participate in it.”  Shazzam.  Just like that – and everybody lived.  A friendship was rifted, but it was on pretty uncomfortable footing anyway.  There are sometimes no more passes to be given, and if you do give them, you are in the end supporting your own disrespect, for you’ve indeed compromised your very own self, and how you wish to be treated.  Might not feel very good, but neither does living a lie.  And giving them those passes isn’t really doing them any favors either.  By golly, those are the smelly things you have to wade through and get dirty all over again when you decide to finally deal with it.  The amazing payoff is, you might think you’re getting the old filth on you, and it’s scary, but in the end, after you do the laundry, and take that bath, you’ll find you never felt cleaner in your life.  And yes, you might fall down a rabbit hole, again, (but not again again, please), but the up side is that you DO know which way is Up and OUT now.  Your choice:  Rabbit Hole Village and Asylum, or Tree Top Life in the Skies and Stars?  Well, duh.

I know.  It can sound cold and cruel.  And maybe especially so to those on the receiving end of it – even if it’s your very own self, or someone you love in whatever form.  But is it them, or the one in the mirror that you must make the peace with?  That is some of the collateral damage about Truth – often it takes no prisoners.  There are, indeed, all kinds of prisons.  Deal with it.  Deal with your part in it.  Once upon a time someone said something profound about Truth and Freedom.  Related, I think.

I suppose that’s enough pontificating for one day, and surely a point has been made by now.  Now it is time to get to putting away the clean clothes, get those piles organized, and make way for magnificent art making.  Truth, y’all.

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One Response to “TRUTH”

  1. Yes ma’am. You are quite right that there doesn’t HAVE to be a bad guy. There doesn’t HAVE to be a scene. Whether it’s a marriage or a friendship, we teach people how to treat us. When we patiently overlook their disrespectful or unkind behavior, they learn that they CAN treat us that way. If the other person gets cranky or hostile when we say, “I don’t like the way this makes me feel or This is not working for me,” too bad. It makes it all the more evident to even us slow learners that they really never cared about us in the first place.

    Sometimes the healthiest thing we can do in certain relationships is to withdraw. I suppose the situations specifics dictate whether it’s a formally announced withdrawal or a gently making ourselves less available retreat.

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