Always tell the truth. Really??

“You are so black and white!!!”my mom used to tell me when I was just a teenager. The phrase came in response to my demanding justice or issuing various judgements. At 42 not much has changed.

This week was tough and not because work was hard and demanding – it always is. But because for the first time in a long time I received a message along the lines of “shut up if you know what’s good for you”from someone I look up to. Days passed and it still hurts and I am guessing a sort of a crevasse was created.

What is the middle ground between being true to yourself and “knowing what’s good for you”? How far is too far when trying to choose courage over comfort? What is the difference between being courageous and being plain dumb? The thing is I don’t think you can see these in any other way than retrospectively … . And that will have already had its effects on your life.

I am a loud mouth. An opinionated, emotional, fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of person most times and it burns me almost every time. There is so much talk out there about authenticity, vulnerability, courage but I am learning that there are limits I cannot cross. It’s a learning experience really. I guess my mom was right, life is not black and white and I need to make peace with the grey areas just as much.

My good life, for which I am deeply grateful, is based on the money I make working (and keeping my mouth shut at times), my son’s well being depends on me showing up to work every day and performing well (and keeping my mouth shut at times), I can afford to help others because I make a decent salary working hard (and keeping my mouth shut at times). The question that nags at me when I do manage to keep my mouth shut is whispered by a tiny voice inside of me – “is this honest?” It is so hard to draw the line and know when this voice is my ego or my authentic self being pushed to limits it does not want to go to.

I go back though to the difference Glennon makes between truth and fear – truth you know in your body, fear you think in your brain. It this does not look like fear … it feels like truth.

Brene Brown, Braving the Wilderness

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