Truth is a tenet that I live by.
I write books and blogs splurging out my inner most truths – whether they be painful, trivial or funny – since I believe in doing so I will learn from them. And I’ve discovered that if I share that learning, then others get to empathise and learn their own lessons too.
At the moment though, the truth is that I’m having a hard time with life. To my amazement, I find that I am feeling an anxiety so deep, that it has permeated my being to the core and constantly tortures me; despite everything I have done for so long – learning and being in order to live a cleaner, clearer internal life. An internal life that will give me the best grounding for my external life – the world I live and work in and the people I interact with.
Yet here I am, feeling constant anxiety, coiled like a poisonous snake sleeping in my solar plexus. As a coach, my belief is that there are lessons in this protracted, painful scenario that I obviously need to learn; but hitherto I have struggled with what these are exactly, having been so caught up in the drama of the recent life events that seem to have triggered them.
Since truth is one of the most fundamental rules for living this life of mine, then of naturally I have constantly shared and aired it and made it my modus operandi. This means that I get to dump all the junk of life and of a life time’s conditioning, and as a result have consistently honest interactions with everyone around me.
But the truth about my truth is that I don’t… Not all the time anyway. And certainly not where it counts, because I believe that the anxious situation I find myself in now, (in several areas of my life) is a direct result of the fact that I have not shared that truth.
Instead I kept a lid on my truth and there were a number of reasons for this. Sometimes it has felt too difficult to share. Sometimes I felt that it was unnecessary and not something there was time for. That it just wasn’t wanted. Or that to share it would lose me something that I wanted to keep. At other times that it was pointless because I wouldn’t be listened to and in fact I would be undermined for it and told that I was talking nonsense. Maybe although the person I wanted to tell my truth to, was important to me, I was of no consequence to them. Sometimes I was too tired to make the effort or take the consequences. Instead I got into a habit of getting angry and frustrated and either keeping all this to myself or moaning about it to anyone but the people concerned.
I’ve been silently doing this for nearly a year now and it’s built up to a pressure cooker of pain, without a proper release, waiting to explode…
As a result – different things have happened in different areas of my life. In one I walked silently away – on the surface, whilst screaming inside. In another I have allowed my silence to become a scape goat for other people’s noise and folly. In both cases the common thread was that I allowed it to happen in the first place and then I allowed it to continue.
Fundamentally I failed to live my truth and now I am literally suffering the consequences.
Finally – now, going through the pain of this, I am living my lesson. I already knew all this, but I just wasn’t prepared to speak my truth. I was scared and so I bottled out of it instead.
But facing up to it has be a lot less painful than the tumultuous anxiety I’m living through right now.
The problem is that it may just be too late – the damage is done and history has been forged into a certain rigid steel shape which can’t be bent or altered back.
So – what’s done is done – it’s time to move on, reflect and not make the same mistakes again.
Now of course, having learnt, I speak my truth, yes – where others have sought to blame me, I have spoken, splurged it and shared it until the point at which I’m sick of it and I just want to be silent again.
And whilst I have my truths to air – others do too. Their versions of it. Their reasons for it, just like I do, and they’re different. Damn! Now I have to argue, now I have to justify. That’s not what I want. That is one of the many reasons I kept a lid on it in the first place. Damn!
Perceiving myself to be a ridiculously balanced and understanding person, I acknowledge other people’s points of view. I can see that there could be a variety of individual truths. Sometimes I can be swayed to the other side and at others I have to hold my own council. And sometimes there is no alternative but to agree to disagree. But oh so often lately, I have found this a pointless exercise in a particular relationship, so I have just acquiesced and kept quiet. And this silence has bled into other areas of my life.
So eventually life threw a brick at me to stop me in my tracks, because where I had kept quiet, my silence was taken for complicity and culpability. So that made me a target for blame. But that was where the brick stopped for me – I may have been quiet, but I refused to take the blame for something I could not control, in complicit silence and meekness. Even thought a battle line had been drawn and I was expected to surrender.
As I could be heard above the noise of the battle, I was forced to fire shots back and shout. This shouting and pouting has not been easy and it has caused a lot of shock waves – not least for myself. So I made my volleys, said my piece – laying out all my long truths in this war of attrition. But the other side has the bigger guns, so then I had no alternative but to sit back and wait for an answer. Unfortunately it’s an answer which is a very long time in coming back and upon which, I place a great deal of anxious importance.
And whilst all that was coming to a head, fate suddenly opened a door that allowed me to take a step back to the other situation – the one I had walked silently away from. I couldn’t quite believe it – I was getting a second chance to resolve with words, the scenario I had failed to solve with silence. And I hadn’t even asked for it, instead it was just offered to me. Suddenly I had hope. One good thing would surely lead to another.
But my cherished invitation didn’t turn into reconciliation. It never happened; instead the silence intensified – broken by random Morse code communications that served to reach forward and then retreat. It was so frustrating. All I wanted to do was to listen and then in turn to talk. So I tried to be patient and ironically silent, to get to this goal. However anxious people want certainty. We like structure and arrangements to help us to feel safe. And I got the opposite. Whether this was the truth of the situation or not – it felt like my time to talk was never going to happen.
So one anxious situation fed another. My mind now had two things to worry away at. Sleep stopped favouring me, my appetite left me, and I couldn’t sit still.
So I had to seize control somehow and put an end to all this – again. But this time, not silently. If I wasn’t allowed to meet and speak, then I couldn’t be prevented from writing. So that’s what I did – I finally let my truth out, putting pen to paper and then sending my words on their way. Maybe they will hit the mark and maybe they will just fly away, scattered into the ether, but now I have let them out and let them go.
And that’s it. I’ve done everything I can do for now. In one situation I have shouted and in another I taken to the pen. Maybe it’s a case of shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted, but at least no more horses are going to escape.
So this is what I want to happen now:
That the blame is withdrawn universally, and we work honestly and courageously as a team to ensure that nothing like this ever happens again.
That my words are heard and heal a breach. That in doing so a greater, deeper connection is made. One that lasts a life time – and leads to partnership, love and commitment.
I would like these things to come to pass with those people and places I face now, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Maybe, once the lessons are learnt, we get to go on and put them into practice elsewhere and in doing so, somehow do more universal good.
And that, today, is what I have to say.
In sharing it I’ve decided to turn the enemy of my anxious thoughts into the friends of my purest truth.
May that truth in turn serve the greatest good; beyond all expectations, egos and emotions.
Newly Noisy Truth Teller and Sooth Sayer
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Featured on the BBC as well as local and national media (including Psychologies Magazine and The Lady), the book was also honoured as a Finalist in the 2015 International Book Awards.
‘Peachey Letters – Love Letters to Life’ takes the best posts from this blog, adds new content and wraps it all together in a sweet bookish structure.
It’s an easy yet satisfying read, which sees love in everything we do in life – from the big themes to the tiny, trivial minutiae of it too.
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My external plaudits include the following – being:
* The Director of LifeWork Consultancy & Coaching;
* The Author of Peachey Letters – Love Letters to Life and Co-Author of The F-Factor.
* A 2015 International Book Awards Finalist, in the Women’s Issues Category;
* The Winner of a Women Inspiring Women Award in 2013;
* Being shortlisted for Women’s Coach in the APCTC Awards 2014, also nominated in 2012 & 2013; and
* Being nominated for a Networking Mummies National Recognition Award in 2015.