Personal truth and the need to please

I’ve become enamored with people who speak their truth and stay strong in the midst of loud disagreement.

People that honor what they know, do what’s right, and move forward, even when others would like them to back down.

Lincoln, Thomas Merton, Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., Merida from Brave, and even Maya from Zero Dark Thirty are just some of my favorite touchstones.  Not because they were perfect people, but because they stood by what they believed, they believed in what they knew.

Isn’t that our purpose in life? To share what we know? To offer what we have? Because each of us has different things to share, and even though some believe they have all the answers, nobody “owns” the truth.

We all have our own truth, our own gifts, our own message to share – we are here because we have an important place in the world – each of us is needed in this time and space.

Sometimes sharing personal truth causes agitation or defensiveness.  Some become insistent on one way being right and the other being wrong, but life isn’t that cut and dry.

We each have our own experiences and life understanding based on our situation, our choices, and our outcomes.  We see the world through the eyes of our story.

I feel inspired to write about wellness, or more specifically love - not the romantic kind of love, but the self accepting, honoring others, “we are all in this together” kind of love.

There is no way to perfect this kind of love; making mistakes and having challenges is normal, quite human, and often essential in experiencing the love I am referring to – it’s most evident when practicing forgiveness or when we stay focused on the inherent goodness of others in the face of negativity.

This resonates strongly for some, some disagree, and some disagree loudly.

They view the world differently and share their opinion definitively - not in an effort to have a conversation, but in a need to win or be right.  We see this in politics, on the internet, and even on the playground – the game is who can scream louder, who can intimidate more.

For me it’s been a long (and ongoing) road to share what I believe – to stay grounded when confronted with real-time or virtual comments, to say what feels right and true instead of quieting down out of discomfort or the need to please.

Living with the need to please is an old and sticky habit of mine, but I know it's an impossible and mostly self depreciating venture.  The real ad-venture is personal truth, vulnerability, and embracing Joseph Campbell’s wisdom that the “the privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.”

So we can love others, learn from others, and listen intently to what they have to share, but when it gets hurtful, loud, or it feels like a game of win and lose, we can let go of the need to play and just trust.

Trust in what our heart aches to say, and channel those who have been here before us or the fictional characters that inspire us, the ones who stood strong, even in the face of great adversity.

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