“I love how you keep it real”, remarked a friend regarding a recent blog. “You know, you let it all hang out.” Uhhhh. Okaaaay.
Faking it, sugar coating it, denying it—squanders my energy and yours too. The truth is: Life is amazing and full of great joys. And life can be ridiculously challenging and stressful. Of course, it would have to be both–
Pretending that all is fine, when its not so fine perpetuates isolation, disconnection. It sucks. And when we get so caught up in what others think of us, so much that we choose not to keep it real, we literally give away our own power.
We get out of our own way when we put less energy into how others perceive us, and invest more energy in communicating clearly. Bearing our hearts with both truth and kindness–the two must be present. As Pema Chodron teaches, truth without kindness is brutality. Kindness without truth can’t be trusted. We need both. It’s not easy but it can make all the difference in the world.
Because in the end, telling it like it is, with compassion and vision, ultimately means that our relationships with everyone in our lives–from our children to the clerk at the store–deepens beyond the surface tension. This sets a blueprint for a much happier, saner world.
No matter what they think of you, keep it real. True strength is probably not the ability to hold Warrior three for 20 breaths. True strength may really be the grit it takes to keep our hearts truly open.