Wonderful, Marvelous, and Simply Terrific!
A long time friend of mine once posted the following sentiment on Facebook:
“If you can find a reason to use words like outstanding, spectacular, terrific, and superb throughout your day, you will find yourself happier than you might have thought you were.”
And with that, it was truth time. It couldn’t not be. Without initially recognizing what was going on, the flood of tears started. Reality was I had been triggered over the moon by this simple exchange. I felt like I’d just been sucker punched in the gut. It was yet another painful reminder that even when people love me, they don’t always get it. Even when no harm is intended, words and attitudes can still hurt. Even when I’m surrounded by people, I can still be utterly alone and invisible.. A huge part of my own healing process has been learning to not dismiss, swallow, or stuff my own big feelings. It wasn’t an easy thing to do. It still isn’t! I’ve learned to recognize and honor the warning, though. For me, it’s that feeling of being inside a soda can that was just shaken up. Things could be perfectly fine one minute, and then all of the sudden…usually without warning…everything is thrown off-kilter. Anxiety builds quickly, everything feels rattled, and my thoughts become jumbled and stuck. By allowing those feelings to come to the surface and have a voice, the strangling grip of PTSD weakens. Freedom and peace are found when I give myself permission to speak my own personal truth. It might not be comfortable. It might go places I never intended. Other people might disagree, and some might even be offended. That’s OK. Truth is still truth and it still needs to be spoken.
Keeping it real
Once I realized what was really going on with this seemingly innocent exchange with my friend, I couldn’t just let it go. I knew I had to speak my truth. I also hoped what I had to say on the subject might cause someone to pause and look at things from a different perspective, if even just for a few minutes. So, I dug deep, found some courage, and wrote this in return:
Truth is truth
This exchange happened quite a long time ago. It left a mark on my soul and I still remember it like it was yesterday. It’s interesting to look back at the exchange now, though. I don’t feel the same way I did back then, but the truths are still there…on both sides…and they are just as relevant today as they were day when they were originally spoken. Truth is like that. It simply is what it is. It endures forever. It doesn’t need sugar coating. It doesn’t need an agenda. It doesn’t need politicizing (and won’t respond to or be swayed by it, either.) It is also very possible for both sides to be right at the same time.We don’t live in a black-and-white world. Things are rarely, if ever, as they seem on the surface. There really is always something to be grateful for, even when the storms are raging. Gratitude really does change everything, and it does so at a core level. There is likewise tremendous value in speaking our own truth and allowing our real selves to shine…even when we don’t have it all together, even when things are hard or scary…and even when the world doesn’t understand or might disagree. There is great value in not skating through life while hiding behind the easy crutches of humor, sarcasm, or addiction. Our stories have the power to change hearts and lives (including our own) when we share them. Finally, there is extraordinary value in listening, really listening, to what others have to say…especially when those who are speaking are different from you. Find out what makes them tick. Find out what makes them feel what they feel, do what they do, and believe what they believe. It will forever enrich both of your lives.
Now it’s your turn
What words or actions are you using as a defense mechanism? What are those things protecting? What truths are you hiding? What big feelings aren’t you expressing? How is keeping everything bottled up affecting your life, relationships, and how you see the world?