“Pass your wisdom on; not your suffering.”
~ Dr. Caroline Myss, PhD
Dr. Caroline Myss, a wise teacher who has been going about this whole life-advice thing a heck of a lot longer than I have says that “choice terrifies people.”
I’d agree with that (and I’m including myself in that agreement). I think part of the reason why, as I’ve learned through teaching and counseling people navigating their various transitions and traumas, is that it puts ownership on them, the chooser. It requires awareness. Maybe even clarity. Some certainty, perhaps…sick-to-ited’ness. Culpability? Accountability? A lot of those words carry negative baggage.
Another option is to see choice as a place where we exercise agency of our truth– that sense of what I do matters, or a sense of getting to live according to our values, even when the choices aren’t easy or convenient (or at times, downright dangerous).
That all kind of sounds like big, heavy stuff to me.
Dr. Myss also says that the choices you think are BIG, are small; and the small ones, well, you guessed, they’re actually BIG.
That one hit home for me.
Because, in the months it’s been since I last wrote you, my family and I were faced with some challenging choices ranging from professional to personal. It seemed pretty clear – after fighting it tooth and nail – that the Universe was saying “choose.”
Do more or rest more?
Old job or new job?
Footy or yoga?
Old narrative or new path?
Colorado or somewhere else?
Staying or going?
Sell or rent?
Trusting or fearing?
And so on…
Those all felt like BIG – arguably, IMPORTANT – choices.
Then, soon after moving to Virginia, I watched this. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-KysuBl2m_w
And things get REALLY real in Dr. Myss’s video around minute 10 when she goes on to say: “Liars don’t heal.”
I realized a couple things, and I share them in the hopes that they may be helpful for you, too:
- I can practice making honest choices by starting small, and starting small really does make a big difference.
- What do I want for dinner?
- What kind of work out do I really want to do?
- What book do I really want to read or show to watch?
- To review: Honesty, integrity, authenticity can be practiced. (Not so unfamiliar to what I describe in the Sincerity chapter of my book! J ).
- Doing an honesty inventory on myself was helpful.
- How honest (or not) was I being with myself?
- My husband?
- My friends?
- My mentors?
- There weren’t outright lies, but seemingly small things I was sacrificing my integrity for that were taking a toll on me.
- And, lastly, was I passing on my suffering or my wisdom?
One of the lies I told myself was that I didn’t miss writing every day. But I do. And so, this is my re-pledge to you to get back on the writing train and be in touch with you more often again.
I also lied to myself about how important my personal yoga, meditation, and breathwork practices were, making excuses for how it was ok to skip them because of the busyness of the move. And my mood – and my husband! – paid the price.
See, dishonesty comes in many forms. It’s not just these black and white lies we learned about as kids. And our bodies can FEEL IT.
As a person who wants to continue to grow, evolve, and learn – as I know you are – you’re faced with the challenge, I think, to look deeper. Explore the subtleties of honesty and integrity within yourself and see what you find.