I don’t know about you, but I’m not a liar.
Ok. So maybe that’s a lie.
I’ll rephrase. I do my best to approach every situation with honesty and integrity.
But the cold hard fact is… I’m a big fat, pants of fire, L-I-A-R and so are you if you’ve ever answered someone by saying “I’m fine” and you’re really not.
I know why we do it. We do it because we spent our impressional years living up to standards like “fake it ’til you make it,” “love heals all wounds,” “suck it up and keep going,” and my personal favorite “never let them see you cry.”
We say it even when we know it’s not true. Why? Because it’s easier? More polite? What everyone else does?
Well, I say f*ckit. Why should you have to lie when someone asks how you’re doing? The truth is, you don’t and when you do, you’re actually hurting yourself even more by repressing the emotions you’re having at that moment.
When you say “I’m fine” and you’re suffering, you’re telling your subconscious that you don’t mind feeling that way. You’re actually giving yourself permission to STAY in suffering.
Yep, you heard that right.
Get that your brain, the subconscious, is a command taking machine. It does exactly what you program it to do whether you intend it to or not. So when you give it a command like “I like suffering. This is my safe space. I’m fine here” your ass is going to be stuck there for a while, I promise you.
And don’t get me started on the droves of society that ask the question and are taken back when you don’t answer with the cookie cutter response.
Slap someone with “Ya know, I’ve been pretty miserable lately but I’m coming out of it” and then grab some popcorn because the look on their face will be sheer confusion. They weren’t expecting the truth.
Now, I’m not saying, drop truth bombs on people just to get a reaction but I will admit, it’s pretty damn funny.
If only we, as a society, cared enough about our neighbor to actually want to know how someone is truly doing imagine how different the world would be. A girl can dream, right?
So many people walk around each day masking their true feelings because they’re considered the “strong one,” “the upbeat, bubbly one.” It’s possible that since they give so much of themselves supporting others, they’re not seen as having any emotions other than happy.
If you’ve ever felt like you had to hold it together all the time to keep up a façade for others, know there’s a freedom in letting people know that you have feelings too.
Keeping it together has always been my thing. You know the phrase “never let ’em see you sweat?” Well, even in my worst moments, I would keep it all in place, poised for the public, but secretly I would cry in my shower, or in the car because of the emotional pain of what I was going through.
It can catch some people off guard to see you be real, revealing that you don’t have it all together, and at times their responses can leave you wounded. I know that feeling all too well.
But again I say f*ckit!
You are allowed to feel. It is perfectly O.K. for you to admit that you’re having a dumpster-fire kind of day and if the person on the other end can’t handle it, that’s on them because you deserve to be real.
There is freedom in making space for the truth about how you feel. So the next time someone says to you “How are you doing” I invite you to say “f*ckit!” and hit them with the truth.
Not quite ready to run naked in the streets. Metaphorically, of course!! Here are some small steps you can make towards a more emotionally free YOU!
Practice honestly connecting with people, even if you start small.
Barton Goldsmith, a renown Psychotherapist, wrote, “When you open your mouth, you’re also opening your heart. And knowing that someone truly hears what you are feeling and understands you is soothing to the soul.”
If opening your heart to people isn’t your thing, start small by sharing one thing you’re thinking or feeling but may be tempted to keep inside. Opening up to others will allow you the space to be yourself, and from there you’ll clearly see who’s willing to receive what you have to say with an open heart. You’ll also begin to forge deeper relationships through your honest connections.
Also, be the person who allows others the space to just be, and offer support and guidance as needed. Ask about their lives, and let them know you’re happy to be a nonjudgmental ear. Giving people room to share pieces of themselves lets them know you’re there for them and they can be honest with you.
Allow yourself space to feel.
Many times when we avoid sharing our feelings with others, it’s because we haven’t given ourselves space to identify and process our emotions. We try to cover them up or engage in activities to mask the pain, but they don’t go away when we do this. Left unprocessed these emotions get buried deep in the subconscious creating what Carl Jung, founder of Jungian Psychology, identified as the Shadow which manifests itself much like an undisciplined child begging for attention.
(You know what I’m talking about. The kid at WallyWorld that needs a good whoopin’ as my grandma would have put it. If you haven’t read “Embrace the Darkness Before It Consumes You” it’s a quick read and I highly recommend it. *Psst!….I wrote it. LOL*)
Give yourself permission to feel whatever you feel, without judgment, and learn to recognize when you’re lying to yourself, telling yourself you’re “fine” when you’re not. The first step to being honest with others is being honest with yourself.
Be kind to yourself.
We tend to beat ourselves up when we do not respond, act, speak, or think how others believe we should. This can put pressure on us to shift to meet everyone else’s needs without truly acknowledging our own.
Get in the habit of checking in with yourself and meeting your emotional needs, whether that means processing your feelings in a journal or practicing self-care. The more you respect your truth and your needs, the better you’ll be able to communicate them to others.
It’s a heavy burden to hide behind a mask. Allow yourself to experience the freedom of being authentic in each moment and making genuine connections with people who willingly receive your feelings.
There’s power in putting down your superhero cape, being vulnerable, and sharing your truth. You don’t have to hide, pretend, or feel bad about not always being the “strong one.” You’re not weak, you’re human, and you never have to apologize for that.
PS… If you liked what you read let’s hang out @BraveNewMe and @MessOlogy; guaranteed nuggets of lunacy and inspiration with a dash of hot mess, we’ll tackle the sh*t that throws us off-game and have some fun along the way!!
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