Tell the Truth. Especially to Yourself.
Please Note: This does not reflect my feelings in this moment. I do my best to not publish such posts when actually living them.
Tell the truth. Never tell a lie. Oh tell the truth, ’till the day you diiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiie. This song has been going through my head today.
I have not actually heard the song in at least 15 years. But the glory of annoying children’s songs is that they never go away.
. . .
I heard my older sister’s voice. I never thought of the irony of this until today, but when I would say something negative about myself as a pre-teen, this sister would disapprovingly ask me whether I would say such a thing about my daughter or younger sister. And since I would not, then I should never say it about myself.
. . .
I heard my philosophical, academic moral self. What is the point of the life of any person with disabilities? What is the source of the value of a hypothetical person who contributes nothing to the world in practical terms?
. . .
The truth is that I feel absolutely worthless. If I continue with the pattern of recent months, I will continue to feel this way for another week and a half.
There is nothing that anyone could tell me that would make it better. I just feel what I feel.
I would not harm myself for several different reasons, but the fact remains that I cannot justify my existence on this earth to the only person whose opinion I really care about right now. I cannot convince myself that there is any reason to live other than the fact that I simply must because it is not for me to choose.
And so I tell myself the truth. Because as miserable as I may be, I detest dishonesty.
I remind myself that perhaps this is good. This is, of course, an invitation to consider what really matters. The value of human life does not come from externals or events.
. . .
The problem is that even though it does not really matter how I feel, it still feels like it matters. All we really ever have is the current moment, and the only way we possess it is through feeling.
So here’s to not feeling. Here’s to long runs and hot showers and large glasses of freezing cold water.
Here’s to feeling something that does not matter at all.
Sometimes we can’t make things better. Sometimes we have felt all that we need to, and there is nothing to gain by continuing to feel the only thing that we can in that moment.
So here’s to healthy distractions. Here’s to telling yourself the truth and then not worrying about it.
- Saint Nicholas
Being honest with yourself is a courageous act. Picking up your feelings and tossing them away is, too.
I work with the illiterate. Well, kindergarteners…and they really don’t contribute anything to the world. In fact, their biggest thoughts are, “That’s mine.” (We’re working on it.)
The elderly man I met at Wal.green’s yesterday doesn’t contribute much either. Yet, I passed, he grabbed a bottle of champagne off of an end cap, and crooned, “Fancy a glass?” Oye. A good laugh…
It’s funny…but you never know how far your life affects others, you know?
Your sentiments on this post make me like you all the more, because people who are honest, who let things get real, are beautiful.
I think being able to tell yourself the truth in how you feel in this moment and know that it doesn’t totally define you but still exists as a part of you and picking yourself up and moving along is the pinnacle of emotional intelligence. I just read a book called “The Whole Brain Child” that pretty much says that’s the goal of integrating oneself and one’s emotions. I wish I had been better about this as a teen. I am thrilled you were able to still do some things to distract yourself whenever this was written.