How to tell someone the truth? Start with The Work of Byron Katie.
Everyone is gathered on the phone. We can hear each other’s voices, but can’t see one another. We each see the room we’re in, or the car, the street, the coffee shop, the airport.
Here we are again, ready to look closely at troubling stories in our lives.
The class title? Relationship – Hell To Heaven.
And it sure does feel like hell sometimes.
This week, we were looking at the topic “Telling The Truth” and how that impacts or gets twisted up in relationships with others.
When do you not show what you’re really thinking? When do you withhold information? When do you speak up abruptly, or say no, or say “maybe” when you really mean “yes”?… Or vice versa? Say yes when you really mean “no”?
I used to feel like I had to hide PILES of stuff about myself: “Be nice, smile, be helpful, act polite, don’t get too high-maintenance or PIA (pain in the ass). Be appealing. Be attractive.”
(Note: if you scream “RELAX AND OPEN YOUR HEART!!!!” to someone who is afraid, do you think they’ll relax and open their heart? This includes screaming it to yourself.)
I used to notice from time to time I judged some other people as too nicey-nice, too fakey, untrustworthy, false, saccharin, superficial, gooey.
What’s more is, I ALSO noticed when someone was too sharp, edgy, mean, critical, negative, cold, bossy, pushy, constantly making contact and asking mega questions, or rude….it made me really nervous, or irritated.
Such strong beliefs about how people should behave, in order for me to be comfortable!
Even if you think its SOOOOOOO TRUE that someone should stop being so high-maintenance or suspiciously passive…
….Who would you be if you couldn’t lock in on that story? (Question # 4)
Without believing they need to stop being like that, or something’s “wrong” with it … I might rest so much more comfortably.
I might notice I’m worried about hurting their feelings… But I can still say “I love you deeply and I don’t want to do what you’re asking right now.”
I might say “I’ll cook and eat with you tomorrow evening, but today I’m not really into a sit-down meal.”
I wouldn’t have SHOULDS and SHOULDN’Ts hanging over the scene from past teachings – past ideas about what is wrong or right.
I might say “hey when you tease too much about my driving, I start to feel a little hurt because I’m worried you think I’m a bad driver. Is that actually true?”
I could check things out, I could say no with lots of love in my heart….
.…not because I should have love in my heart, but because I trust the presence of the answer “no” I’m feeling, and when that happens, I also feel love.
I can be with you even when you say (or look like) you’re disappointed about me saying “no”.
Turning the thoughts around about how I think people ought to be, I find I am the one who needs to relax and wait and pause before trying to create a big boundary with someone…..
….or, I am the one who could notice when someone asks or says something, all I need to do is respond. I don’t have to have a hissy fit because they are too fake-acting. Maybe they’re scared?
Every way of being is OK, I can be with others and their requests or contact or words or the way they act….without panicking and overriding my own values.
I can handle it all, I can delight in it all.
Who would you be if you lived the turnaround that everyone’s behavior is acceptable?
I’d be so much more excited about every interaction. I’d move towards or away, but there wouldn’t be such fury about any of my actions.
Everything more fluid.
It doesn’t mean I have to LOVE everyone’s behavior. But it wouldn’t be so dang important.
That’s relationship heaven.
“As long as you perceive that anyone is holding you back, you have not taken full responsibility for your own liberation. Liberation means that you stand free of making demands on others and life to make you happy. When you discover yourself to be nothing but Freedom, you stop setting up conditions and requirements that need to be satisfied in order for you to be happy.” ~ Adyashanti
editing and pictures by JaneW