What’s the truth that you’re afraid to know? And what are you pretending, in order to keep from knowing it?
Maybe you’re pretending that you don’t know what to do next, to mask the fact that you’re scared of what you know must be done. Perhaps you’re pretending that you have too many commitments, because you’re scared to say no. Maybe you’re pretending that you don’t know which choice is the right one. Or that you don’t know what to write, because you’re petrified that what you write will be awful.
All this pretending inflicts harm on you. You’re lying to yourself, over and over again, and weaving more intricate webs to convince yourself the lies are true.
Unfortunately, when you lie to yourself, you are the one who suffers. You overeat, you remain stuck in addictive patterns, you fester in ennui, you feel aimless and stuck. You sink into depression, or seemingly unjustified anger. All because you don’t want to admit a scary truth, and even more, because you don’t want to have to engage with that fear.
I understand; truly. This is such an entrenched part of our culture, this fooling ourselves to avoid truths we think will hurt us. Luckily, the reality is that learning to tell ourselves the truth, while terrifying, will unshackle us. While it may seem harsh at first, learning to be honest with ourselves is one of the most self-loving, brave practices in the world.
I want you to answer this question honestly. Answering it may steal your breath momentarily, push you into a freefall of the soul. But the rewards you’ll reap from this radical honesty with yourself will be more worth it than you can imagine.
What’s the truth that you’re afraid to know?
Wanna know what I’m afraid to know, right now? The truth is, I’m afraid that someone will think that what I have to say in this piece is too harsh. As a result, I’ve been pretending for a few days that I didn’t know what to write about. It didn’t feel good. Truth.
Perhaps your most present fear is, like mine, also of the writerly variety. Perhaps it’s something completely different. When you ask yourself that question, one truth might come to mind, or ten might. But I’m begging you: ask that question. Then, write down your answer on a piece of paper. You don’t have to do anything with the truth after you write it down. You don’t have to try to solve it or examine it if you don’t want to.
But I guarantee that simply stating and being willing to look at your scary truth, scribbled on a piece of paper, will lighten the load you’re carrying. If you make a practice of asking and answering this question, it will gradually (or maybe suddenly) transform your life into one that’s in alignment with the most effervescent version of you. A life that feels good. A life that centers around your very best interests.
Now, darlings, go. Be brave. Be honest.