How do you avoid the Truth?
I’m currently on day 8 of a month-long food elimination cleanse.
With no sugar, chocolate, fruit, nuts, grains, dairy, and caffeine, this past week has been a ride to say the least. While I’ve felt deeply nourished by slowing down and taking life one moment at a time, I’ve also experienced moments of immense agitation and frustration. By giving these feelings an outlet through release writing, body movement, and making sound - literally giving my feelings a voice - I’ve learned so much about what’s true for me right now.
I say “learned,” and yet the truth that’s emerged isn’t surprising. I’ve heard it in my thoughts and feelings before, but without the soothing effects (er, dare I say numbing effects!) of my creature comforts, my inner truth has become louder and undeniable.
Have you had this experience before? It’s easy to go through the motions thinking everything is “fine” (Feelings Inside Not Expressed) then get stopped in your tracks by illness, a travel delay, or obstacle that forces you to slow down enough to feel the feelings you tend to repress on an everyday basis. Perhaps you burst into tears without warning or lose your temper at someone unexpectedly. When these (completely normal!) things happen, emotions are bringing your attention to a truth that lies beneath them.
Women often feel this emotional agitation before and during our menstrual cycles. The wall between you and your truth feels extremely thin, and the emotions that you’ve repressed lately suddenly come rushing out.
Repressing everyday emotions to avoid conflict is a habit for most of us. I used to reach for a piece of chocolate instead of responding to a text or email with my truth, embracing that phrase “eat my feelings.” When I do this, I’m actually afraid I’ll disappoint someone else, so I avoid those emotions, escape into the pleasure of chocolate, and cause a little damage to myself in the process. After many years of personal growth and development - with these last few years focusing specifically on communication, boundaries, and embodiment - I still have to work at speaking up honestly instead of speaking to please.
Another way of avoiding the truth is following my mind off on a future fantasy trip in which it tells me, “Look! When this happens, then everything will turn out fine.” Future tripping is my mind’s version of chocolate cravings. I convince myself that whatever I’m doing now will work out (“it’s just one piece of chocolate, I’ll deal with it later!”) but in the long term, it’s not just one piece of chocolate. It’s many bars, as well as a habit of avoiding truth that’s not supportive to my health and well-being.
In other words: it’s not about the chocolate. Chocolate is just one of many ways I’ve noticed I avoid facing challenging emotions or actions, but you can replace it with any habit of avoidance that you repeat despite knowing it doesn’t feel good in the long run - social media, even cleaning your house! Yes, even positive behaviors become obstacles to our well-being when we use them as barriers to feeling things or taking action.
The major downside to avoiding your feelings and fears is that by doing so, you also avoid your light. You can’t show up in your life as your full self if you’re hiding the truth (or hiding from the truth). For example, if a friend isn’t feeling well, wouldn’t you rather she cancel your dinner plans than show up as the sick, dimmed down version of herself and pretend she’s happy to be there? No! The people in your life feel the same way about you.
I’m sharing these observations with you not to call myself out, make myself wrong, or judge the tendencies my psyche has created to protect me, but rather as an invitation for Compassionate Self-Honesty.
Going on this cleanse is a way to connect with the soul my body temple is currently housing and nourish both from the inside out. It’s one tried and true way I know to free myself from the physical and emotional habits that ultimately don’t make me feel free.
There are many ways to connect with your inner life, your truth, again. You don’t have to do a cleanse like I am or travel thousands of miles to a retreat (though that can be helpful sometimes). Most importantly, you don’t have to beat yourself up for what you are or aren’t doing, a practice that’s super counter-productive in the search for truth.
Compassionate Self-Honesty means: you notice. You act as a benevolent neutral observer of yourself without judgment. Practicing Compassionate Self-Honesty is as simple as spending 15 minutes in a nourishing space to reflect and sit with what’s true for you without needing to avoid it, erase it, analyze it, or change it. No numbing. No future tripping. Simply sit and notice what’s there. What’s true for you today? How do you feel? What do you need? Once you’ve taken a few minutes to check in, feel empowered to take action that’s aligned with that truth in loving service to yourself, even if your truth today is: chocolate doesn’t make me feel so good right now.
If that’s what feels true for you, align with it and give yourself a break. By doing so, you set yourself free.
In my one-on-one Mentorship sessions, we focus on Compassionate Self-Honesty as a path to freedom, looking deeper into the places where you may be keeping your light hidden.
To support you with this practice, I invite you to try the Compassionate Self-Honesty exercise I offer to students immersed in one-on-one Mentorship. You can receive for free here.
If this practice resonates with you and you're seeking support in aligning with your truth and making empowering shifts in your life, I invite you to schedule a complementary Mentorship Discovery Session here.
Now I ask: what’s true for you today? How have you been avoiding it? How can you align with it? How can you show yourself more compassion? What would feel like freedom?