I took one of those quizzes like you do that spins a little circle around and then somehow reads the very depths of your soul and comes up with an answer to an intriguing question in thirty seconds or less.
The question was “What is your word for 2016?” I took it, shrugging and laughing. I had already chosen MY WORD for the year, but sure, why not? So I hit the button and off it spun and then–there was my word.
Sure. Okay. Whatever.
My word/phrase is so much better. I moved on and didn’t think about it again. Until yesterday. And today.
And it has become apparent how much this word is already playing into my journey, just seven days into the New Year.
It has also become apparent how much people work not to be transparent. It’s not NOT telling the truth, it’s just keeping the truth under wraps. So yes, not being truthful.
Oh, for the love.
Perhaps it’s the stage of life I’m in, but I’m really tired of all the cloak and dagger, undercover, in the back room, under the table, under the cover of darkness stuff that goes on.
It’s everywhere. And I’m just as guilty as the next person.
We work to keep from being transparent. It starts with our insecurities and worries and fears. We mustn’t, we can’t, let anyone see them. We aren’t even comfortable telling folks we care because what if they don’t reciprocate or what if we get hurt or what if we go out on a limb and then…..nothing…..
Yes. There will be pain.
But what if there isn’t? What if those feelings are returned? A thousandfold?
We aren’t comfortable telling someone about the mistakes we made. Mistakes of commission or omission–we are terrified of saying “Hey, look, I was trying my best, but it just didn’t work out, and here’s what happened, and I’m sorry, and I will work to do better and to make amends,” because what if the people we share this with are only seeking to condemn and point fingers and get revenge for all that has happened…..
Yes. It could end up badly.
But what if it doesn’t? What if there’s forgiveness? Grace?
We aren’t comfortable being truthful because we worry that others might shudder when they see our flaws, our wrinkles, the ugly bits of us that we think are best left untouched and hidden away forever. We are so scared of someone seeing the real us, because they might recoil in horror.
It would be devastating.
But what if they don’t? What if there’s acceptance? What if we find a kindred spirit?
The truth is one of the scariest things out there. It can take our stories from merely entertaining to provoking and hard and inspiring and broken and powerful and life-changing and something really beautiful. It can take a relationship that is good and make it the best. It can turn a mistake into a learning opportunity and a space to heal and make something even stronger.
The truth can destroy doubts and questions and anxieties and loneliness and pain and worry with a single blow.
Taylor Swift (y’all know I think she’s a philosopher) wrote: “You don’t know what you don’t know.”
She’s right. We don’t. But when we have the courage to speak the truth, we know that we are putting our whole selves out there–the good, the bad, and the ugly–and we are opening the door for the possibility of healing, acceptance, grace, and love.
I’m all about opening some doors, y’all. Let’s open some together. Y’all in?
Truth. Huh. Who knew that little thirty second quiz could pack such a powerful punch?
Love to all.