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*Warning: adult language ahead!
“The truth is rarely pure and never simple.” ~ Oscar Wilde.
Contrary to popular belief, the truth doesn’t hurt.
Stop hating on truth.
Truth is freedom; truth is change; truth is self-awareness.
Truth can be ugly as fuck; it can be raw, uncomfortable, and beyond complicated, but it’s not what hurts you. Shattering our illusions of what the truth is—or the many excuses we use as safety blankets to avoid it—is what hurts us.
I’ve come to believe there are quite a few universal truths that connect us all in this shared human experience. Truths that, when accepted and embraced, can actually help us cut out most of the bullshit we spend our lives dwelling on.
That said, truth is also a goddamn time saver. I often think about how much time I would save if I just stopped resisting truth.
We are extremely creative in keeping ourselves stuck in our comfort zones and bemoaning our fate when things don’t go the way we would like them to.
The truth has a beautiful way of pushing us forward; it might not always be a gentle push, more like a shove, but it’s always for our greater good.
If we aren’t moving forward, we’re stagnant, and if we’re stagnant, we aren’t growing, and if we aren’t growing, what’s the fucking point?
1. Nobody is too busy.
I’ll type it again for dramatic effect: nobody is too busy.
Yes, our adult lives are an assault of responsibilities and chores.
In today’s modern world, we are all being inundated with tasks and to-dos, and it can be heavy (no doubt) but one universal truth I have come to understand is that nobody is too busy to connect with us or spend time with us.
The truth is we just don’t feature high enough on their priority list—and we all have that list.
I’ve been both on the receiving and giving end of this. I, too, have typed messages, “I am just so busy right now, I just don’t have time,” or, “Hey, I feel like I am making all the effort here.”
How does this help us, though, once we have eased the sting our ego takes or felt uncomfortable trying to avoid people we know we don’t have a strong connection with?
We accept. There is great power in acceptance.
We stop making excuses for people who aren’t making us a priority. And that might hurt—like a bitch—but it frees us from holding on to connections that are either lacking or simply not good for us.
On the flip side of that, maybe—just maybe—we start communicating with a little more truth and stop perpetuating the “too busy” narrative.
Life is too short to be putting time and energy into connections that don’t serve us or have us serving them.
2. Everyone has their own best interests at heart, and you will be let down.
We are all to some extent “selfish.”
“Selfish” is a loaded word because we have to put ourselves first. It’s vital in being of any real benefit to anyone else, but like everything, we need balance.
No matter how genuine, kindhearted, or caring a person is, they are always going to be more aware of their own needs than they are of yours.
Isn’t it a little freeing to know that—to understand it, to accept it?
Often, our expectations of someone else are just too fucking high and too fucking unrealistic, and we need a reality check. One way to know if we are doing this is how often we feel let down by the people closest to us.
If we are in a cycle of always being let down, the problem may not be them showing up for us. It may be that we need to rethink what we are expecting of certain connections.
Don’t surround yourself with assholes; that’s a given. But recognize when someone is meeting you at the level they are meeting themselves—oftentimes, it’s far less than how we are meeting ourselves.
It works in reverse too; some connections are an opportunity for us to step up our own game if we can see the opportunity, and that’s the trick, isn’t it? Pure, unadulterated self-awareness at play.
3. Motivation is fleeting; habit is steadfast.
Motivation feels fantastic.
When we watch an inspiring speech, or read a bestseller, that good old dopamine comes flowing. We are suddenly energized to conquer our worlds.
“Let’s do this!” our hearts and minds cry with mighty gusto.
The reality? The high of motivation never lasts. It is by its very nature fleeting, and before we know it, we are back to our “old self,” craving another dopamine fix.
Motivation has a formidable opponent: habit.
The universal truth is that no amount of motivation is going to have us achieving our goals if our habits aren’t aligned in the same direction.
We have to spend time rewiring our brains (which is geared to protect us, even if the habits are resoundingly shit) to form new habits.
Kick it out of its conformed way of doing things, and slowly—somewhat painstakingly and forced—you’ll start seeing the changes you yearn for.
4. Your actions define you—not your thoughts.
Oh, this one is like a swift kick to the gut. Illusion shattered.
I spend most of my life living in my own little world of thoughts. (Pandemics don’t help this particular condition.)
In my head, I am all the things I want to be. In the real world, I am about 50 percent of the way there. Our characters are defined by our actions, not our thoughts.
Not to say that thoughts aren’t infinitely powerful; they are, but when they aren’t congruent with action, it leads to discontent and misery.
Intentions and thoughts only take us part of the way; actions take us the rest of the way, right over the finish line.
Live the truth you have in your head, but be it, embody it, action it.
5. The external is not going to save you or bring you happiness.
This one is a doozy.
Many of us are trapped in the mentality that the perfect relationship, the dream job, or the “right” conditions are going to suddenly and magically save us from ourselves or bring us happiness.
They won’t. The external is the ultimate illusion.
How many examples do we need to see people who have it all, and it means bupkis to their happiness and well-being.
I can name about three people off the top of my head who I would consider having it all, and they are so disconnected from themselves that they are well entrenched in their misery. They’re comfortable, but miserable.
Happiness comes from within.
It comes from feeding yourself knowledge; it comes from taking care of your mental and physical health; it comes from how much you value yourself; it comes from being of benefit to the world, not just yourself.
It’s a cliché because it’s truth.
Sort out your shit inside, and watch how your world will match it externally.
Learn to detach from things that don’t bring you true fulfillment and attach to the things that do. It is as simple as that—don’t overcomplicate it.
6. Toxic people are projectors.
When you can see toxicity for what it is, you will never take an insult to heart again.
Toxicity from people comes from the overflow of negativity they have within themselves, and they are skilled at projecting it onto others—because you know the saying, misery loves company.
We are all guilty of this in some way. When we are constantly negative, insecure, sarcastic, critical, or judging, we project what we are.
I am not even going to touch on narcissism (there are enough books on the deeply twisted humans who live in our society to cover that topic). I’m talking about all of us, as flawed humans, making our way through this life.
When our inner worlds are healthy and nurtured, we become projectors of good, and that shit is contagious. Good begets good.
And you’ll be surprised at how showing up authentically and loving yourself can sometimes influence people who need it—and that’s a real dopamine rush.
7. Thoughts create heaven or hell under the exact same circumstances.
Have you ever heard of the 80/20 rule?
A problem presents itself and you have 20 percent allotted time to wallow, wail, or feel overwhelmed. The other 80 percent of your time should be focused on solutions.
Mind over matter, kids—every time.
One of the main contributors to shitty circumstances is what we think about them.
Please don’t suppress the bad emotions when it comes to problems, but making a home for yourself there isn’t going to solve anything. Have your pity party about it, and then move the fuck on.
Focus on the solution while you process the pain.
Make space for the pain, but know that’s it’s temporary. Any emotion is temporary. A problem is temporary, but how you think about it, how you react to it, that’s always in your control.
And that’s how we should always approach truth: what can we control? And what do we need to let go of?