Sunday, August 10, 2008

Being Truthful

From Spirituality and Health magazine:

"It might be frightening to totally come out of hiding, because who knows what's going to happen now? Am I going to keep my relationship? Am I going to keep my job? Are my friends going to like me? There will be certain areas where it feels very risky, like there's a quite a lot at stake. But there must be an absolute willingness to be totally truthful with yourself and with everybody." --Adyashanti

This quote can be examined in light of the John Edwards affair, and I certainly think there is room for him to ask these questions of himself. But the answers are his burdens to bear, not mine.

However, in light of my decision to become a sober member of society, I had to ask myself these very difficult questions. Now, looking back, I realize that I was in hiding, I was not only hiding things from other people, like my smoking and how much I was drinking on a Wednesday night, but hiding parts of myself too. I was afraid that if people knew that I was insecure or couldn't dance, or that I wasn't all that funny really, or that I wasn't the grand conversationalist, that they might not want to be around me. And I was hiding things from myself too, like the fact that I have real feelings that are sad, angry, disgusted (with myself), disappointed (in myself). Alcoholism is a cave in which you can hide what you really are and what you really feel.

When I read the words of Adyshanti, I knew exactly what he meant. It was scary to get upset about something and have to really feel the emotion of sadness or anger. It was scary to be around my friends just as I am. It was hard to get on the dance floor in all my gawkiness when my husband's band played. IT WAS VERY, VERY SCARY.

But now I (and maybe John Edwards today too) can look at my face in the mirror and not look away. I may not be the best dancer or the funniest person or the most confident person in the world, but at least I've come out of the cave.


Liza said...

i love you, ma. thanks for writing this and for being willing to give your admiring readers (and your children) a glimpse inside your head.

mamie said...

My very clear head, I might add! I love you too! Thanks for standing by me.

Eliezer Sobel said...

Thanks for that scary Adyashanti quote! I just wrote about this idea of being " publicly truthful" on my blog, as I am headed out to do a book tour and am terrified of just being myself out there.

Here's the link, if you're interested:

Eliezer Sobel

mamie said...

Eliezer, A few weeks ago I recounted a story about meeting with a new author about to go on tour. You can read about it on Mystic Lit. You are up to it!