I’ve been working on several books for some time now. This week I have been struck by some of my own words. In the preface to my autobiography I penned the following:
“So I will begin at the beginning. I will be as honest as I can. Please keep in mind that this is solely my perspective. Those involved in the unfolding as I present it; may have a completely different take on the same story. I only own my experience and mean no intentional harm to anyone mentioned. It merely “is was it is” as witnessed and how it affected only me.
First and foremost to the lover of my soul, who accepts me just the way I am and challenges me to be more like Him each day
To my sons & daughters my absolute best accomplishment in life.
May this give you insight just where and when you may need it
To My Roger
Who helped set me free to be
The person I am now
I love you all”
Within this short paragraph I found a plethora of truisms I’ve been ruminating on. One of the aspirations for my autobiography is to offer insights from my journey to future generations. “If I can have a positive impact on but one life, my words may bear fruit” has been my motivation. Ironically, I didn’t expect that person to be me, even prior to the completion of the book!
First, “ I will be as honest as I can.”
Honesty is a precious character trait everyone should covet and all desire from others. Yet truth is tricky and left unchecked, lack thereof can literally change the course of your life. Little white lies are commonplace. Embellishing the facts to appear more fluffy or conveniently omitting information is justified with “it’s not really” lying. We are inundated with false advertising, political rhetoric and photo-shopping. We are a doubt-filled society which trusts no one. The most tragic is self-deception. Living to please another, believing erroneous thoughts repeated innumerably by others/ourselves and mass conformity are examples of dishonesty. Denying who we truly are is the biggest lie of all. Documenting my life and reviewing journal entries for my book was eye opening. Familiar patterns surfaced and brutal self-honesty was painfully paramount. I believe that the concept of “you have to love yourself before you love another” is equally accurate regarding honesty. If one can be self-deceptive, then it seeps out and permeates all other relationships. Thus one must be honest first with one self then and only then can genuine relationships develop based on trust. Trust is a fragile quality which is easily crushed and often irreparable. Those closest to us often become our “guinea pigs” within the social lab of character development.
Second, “Please keep in mind that this is solely my perspective. Those involved in the unfolding as I present it, may have a completely different take on the same story.”
As I was growing up certain events and/or responses in my family significantly affected my self concept and directed my memes. Bob Marley’s song “I Can See Clearly” reminds me of the liberation acquired when the self deceptive scales fell from my eyes and I viewed the mirror, warts and all, eventually forgiving and loving myself. Perspective plays an integral part in life. What I believed to be rejection from my parents, for example, was in all actuality the greatest form of love. How interesting is it that 7 people can witness the same event, hear the same words and have 7 different views about it? Those individual perspectives may possibly/probably collide at some point, which is currently unfolding within my Weeble nation. When you have 7 children, each one will have their own “road to hoe” as Roger always says. While all may go through the same experiences, their perspectives; based on age, self concept, personality, significant influences etc. will dictate their current responses. If I found it phenomenal to recognize these concepts in my own life journey; imagine the bittersweetness of witnessing it within my children. While I can offer wisdom, when requested, each is solely responsible for their decisions and each have their own personal discovery timetables.
Third, “I only own my experience and mean no intentional harm to anyone mentioned”
Personal responsibility is the foundation of integrity. It is often a frightening, humbling and sorrow filled process. Take Lance Armstrong for example. All of his allocates were based, supposedly, on deception. First there were his adamant denials of charges against him. Then accusations towards others. Then an admittance, of sorts, in which he justified his behavior as acceptable since others have been/are doing the same thing. Large percentages of folks would rather keep status, riches or power over being their genuine selves or God-forbid admitting deceptions. “Doing the right thing is no longer the norm in this country. Walking the gray line is the common denominator of sheeple people. The fall out of sham living are often relational causalities, financial devastation, shame and regret. We find it easier to point out errors in others neglecting to acknowledge the 3 fingers pointing back at us. It’s as if the webs of deception have become so thick it blinds us from self reality. When I realized I am the creator of my journey….my decisions, my assumptions, my gross errors, my limiting beliefs, and owned my experience; it was like coming through the birth canal. Blinding pain that takes your breath away but ends with a fresh breath and new life. You see, when you seek peace and happiness ,you don’t expect an inner cleansing which reveals its presence within you all along. For example, years ago I had to own my Dad experience. As memories would come up, I’d let them wash over me, I wouldn’t run away or distract them. I’d feel what that little girl was feeling. I’d tell my Dad how I felt. I’d grieve, crying rivers of cleansing tears. Then my adult self would engage and recognize I really was loved; I simply misinterpreted the signs. I realized how those erroneous thoughts about my Father shaped much of my early adult life. I had more understanding of myself. “I made that decision because I believed this” and suddenly it didn’t hurt as much. This was a key to unlock a shackled part of me. No longer did I have to keep a limiting belief. Being honest with myself and owning every aspect was liberating! We have been convinced that “the truth hurts” and yeah buddy, it does but own the pain, receive the peace.
And last, “To my sons & daughters my absolute best accomplishment in life. May this give you insight just where and when you may need it”
Seven beautiful children, experiencing unique journeys yet all entwined. As we travel along our separate ways we remain as one. As we become honest with ourselves life is more genuine and our relationships can deepen based on trust. As we come through this present electrifying storm which shocked us, I just hope they realize that peace and rainbows await on the other side.