Learning to Trust the Feeling of My Truth
In yogic philosophy, there are 8 Limbs of Yoga. The first limb consists of the 5 “Yamas”, which loosely translates to “The 5 Primary Yogic Values, Principals & Observances”, in relation to the world around us & our interaction with it. The second of the Yamas is called “Satya” or “Truthfulness”. In diving further into this particular subject with my yoga instructor, and having had 3 majorly vulnerable & honest discussions with friends recently – a couple of realizations, and essentially breakthroughs, have been made within the context of my life, and how I had been living it so far.
From as far back as I can remember, I have been a people pleaser. You could chalk it up to the Libra in me – trying to juggle, balance & manage the personalities around me, ensuring everyone was ‘happy’. Or maybe it was the way that I was raised. Learnt behaviours. Could be many things. I don’t know. What I do know is I have recently had some intensely eye opening experiences surrounding my actual need or desire to ensure everyone around me is taken care of, but me. Which, to me, goes hand in hand with ‘truthfulness’, or more specifically, not speaking my truth. All of which is not only fucking exhausting, but also damaging to my true self.
If I’m being totally honest and sitting in reflection, I actually used to enjoy being a people pleaser. For me, it would mean being ‘included’, being ‘seen’, being 'loved'. I suppose it started with wanting love & attention from my brothers when I was little. If I could keep them appeased and happy, they would in turn invite me to hang out with them, take me places, spend time with me. So I would stuff any type of feeling I had around the experience, and go along with what they wanted. I can think of many occurrences that I felt completely out of integrity with myself. One particular memory flashes before my eyes - Being invited to go along with one of my brothers to the bar at 15 years old, watching him get into a fight, and having to hold him up bloody and battered walking home from the bar a 2am. I didn’t know at the time what that feeling bubbling up inside me was, I just knew it didn’t feel good. BUT, I was with him, in his glorified presence, so I buried the nasty feeling I had and continued to hurt myself to be seen. I didn’t want to risk saying anything in these types of situations by fear that they would leave me and I would be alone. But I was still all alone in the feeling. What a horrible thing to feel that when you’re only little, and you look up to & love these people in your life. That you may actually die if they leave you.
This behaviour continued onto to high school and into my twenties & thirties with friends. When no one else was up for it, Kat Black was. Whether it be going out for dinners to spend money I didn’t have, placing myself in super compromising positions with men to be seen and ‘loved’, drinking and partying until all hours of the night, and often times for continuous days – I was your ‘go to’ girl. In all of that, each time I did something to please someone else and I was out of total integrity with myself, a little piece of me broke away, until there was no more left to give. At that time, I started to spew venom when I drank and it was aimed at everyone around me, including myself. And I still didn’t realize what was going on. AND I still ended up alone. People continued to leave even when I was burying my truth, so what am I afraid of now?? Meaningful relationships come from gut wrenching, brutal truth & honesty. That’s what I’m learning now, and that’s the way I want to live.
In order to start to rebuilt a new way of speaking my truth, I must allow for the old foundation to crumble. And that’s been really fucking painful and extremely vulnerable. What’s made this come to the forefront of my awareness is some really intense conversations with 3 very meaningful people in my life this past week – All surrounding what historically would have been me swallowing and burying truth, planting the seed of resentment, and watching it grow into the most vicious weed. And what actually happened, which is not often the case, is those 3 people that I became my utmost exposed to stayed in. They didn’t leave me, or call me a liar or fucking crazy, or that I’m overeacting. They validated my experience, my truth, my pain and my inner most feelings. I cried and I released and started to build the muscle of staying quiet no longer. How I allow people to treat me is totally, 100% on me. And that can be quite difficult for not only my head to wrap itself around, but for others in my life as well. Those who grew up with that old “Kat Black - go to” version of myself.
You may be asking yourself if you’ve done similar actions in the past – not voicing how you are feeling and what doesn’t sit right with you. Maybe you’ve been burned by a loved one and are now too afraid to speak up when a similar situation occurs. Here’s another prime example for me - In my very first ‘adult’ relationship in my twenties, I was cheated on. And again another time in my early thirties. I knew it before it even happened. There was a shift in the energy of the person I was with. And so I spoke up. I knew something wasn’t right so I confronted my partners. And what did they say to me? They told me I was crazy, overreacting and completely denied what was happening, causing me to question what I felt to be true deep down in my soul. Minimizing my experience and my truth. So I stopped trusting myself, my energy & my intuition - such a sad thing to look back on. For years and years I buried it all. And yes, my partners at the time these things were happening were just as unconscious as I was. They didn’t want to admit they were going against their integrity, so they placed the blame on someone other than themselves. And I have no ill will against them, I made it out the other side, and now I have these experiences to look back on as a barometer to know how I will NEVER, EVER again doubt myself and my intuition.
Trusting myself is key – How I am feeling is valid & important and worth voicing. And communication and language is key. I don’t throw words at someone who I feel has hurt me or has unclear intentions, guns blazing. I ask when they have time to connect and talk about what’s going on for me. There is a healthy, honest & respectful way to communicate, and there is a hurtful, resentful, blameful way to communicate. Everyone walking on this planet has a different experience. Everyone has been hurt in different ways and has experienced different levels of trauma. Me not saying anything when an action or words trigger me feeds into the hurt I built up inside. Alternatively, me reacting and attacking the person who hurt me may trigger them and in turn, hurt them as well. There is a delicate balance and I believe it includes being vulnerable, respectful, compassionate, explorative, honest and curious. I’m not sure I expect it to get easier, and why would I want that? Any of the work I’ve done that I feel has been the most rewarding has been the most difficult so far to face. So I will continue to stop, listen, take a deep breath, and voice how I’m feeling so help me fucking god. And it’s going to be messy and scary and uber vulnerable, AND I’m up for it. - K