This Is Your Truth

I believe that, nine times out of ten, people usually know what they want out of a scenario.

I believe that everyone has a little voice at the back of their mind, and this voice is usually the first one to react to something new. Sometimes it will react with excitement, in that brief moment of time before fear and the cycle of over-thinking kicks in. This voice is the one that reaches for your dream, the one that knows where you want to go and what will make you happy in the long run, but we so often bury it with doubt and fear and self-consciousness, just as soon as it has its chance to speak.

Sometimes this voice will react with distaste. Sometimes this voice is the one that begs you to get out of a scenario, please, because whatever is happening is killing your soul or your happiness or your dreams. Sometimes we listen to this voice when this happens, and sometimes we proceed to bury it beneath so-called ‘logic’.

We have this strange tendency to keep trying to bury the voice.

And sometimes, what the voice demands does come across as a little bit unrealistic. For example, when the voice is demanding that you quit your job immediately but there are still bills to be paid, then it might make sense to teach the voice a thing or two about patience. But, overall, I think that the voice is incredibly important.

Overall, I believe that this voice is where your truth lives. This voice is your satya.

And there might be many reasons why you would want to ignore the voice. Fear is a very strong one; fear is a great motivator. Sometimes, what the voice demands of us requires immense change, change that we do not know if we are capable of. The voice might put us at risk for rejection, disappointment, or failure, and all of this can be incredibly difficult to live with. The voice imagines beautiful, wondrous situations for us, and then our fear barges in to ask what we will do if those situations don’t become reality. And, more times than not, we don’t really have an answer.

But here’s the thing about fear – it’s sort of necessary if we’re going to lead any sort of fulfilling life. When our world is about to change, then fear is going to creep up on us, but if we don’t face it and keep going anyway, then our world stays the same. We never learn anything new. We never grow as individuals. Our situation in life never changes – and, sure, facing your fear isn’t a guarantee that your situation would change, but not doing it is a guarantee that it won’t.

You can give into fear, and nobody will claim that that isn’t a very human thing to do. But, end of day, the only way that you are going to lead a fulfilling life is by taking a chance and listening to the voice.

Connected to fear, expectation might be another huge reason why you would not want to listen to the voice. Maybe these are your own expectations – about how the world should be, or about how you should be. Maybe these are the expectations of others, being enforced on you. Maybe you silence the voice because you believe that the voice is telling you to do something that isn’t normal, that isn’t accepted. Similar to this idea of fear, you don’t want to be rejected. You don’t want to be told that you are wrong for who you are, and this can mean anything from dressing the way that you want, to being openly LGBT.

These expectations might try to tell you who you should be, but this voice exists for a reason. And this voice won’t go away, no matter how much you try to silence it.

If you avoid this voice for too long, then you simply become resentful. If you ignore this voice, then you begin to wonder how differently your life could have been had you listened to it from the beginning. You become regretful at best, convincing yourself that it is now too late to change anything, and at worst, you become resentful toward those others who actually gave in and listened to what the voice had to say. You call them “stupid” or “weird”, because they had the right circumstances or the courage to do what you never allowed yourself to.

And as I mentioned before, your voice won’t be correct one hundred percent of the time. Sometimes, you need to find a balance between your truth and the world’s logic. Sometimes, you need to stick with that dead-end, soul-crushing job, all while actively seeking out the job that the voice is pushing you toward. Sometimes, the voice does make things incredibly difficult, and sometimes you might curse the voice for putting you in these situations. But the thing about the voice is, even when you’re frustrated with it and you wish that you could do something else, you don’t truly mean it. When you give into the voice, then you know that you could not do anything else and still be satisfied. You know that this is your one and only option to ever truly grow and develop and be happy – if not today, then at least tomorrow.

Because this voice is more purely you than anything that your fears and doubts and expectations might say. All you need to do is sit yourself down, try to quiet everything else down, and really, truly listen.

This article is part of a series about the yamas. To read more, click here:

Ahimsa

Asteya

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Keeping Truth in Mind

In Yoga philosophy, there are five Yamas – or rules for living your life in an ethical way. One of these five Yamas is known as Satya, which is the Sanskrit word for truth. Essentially, Satya suggests that in order for one to live a virtuous life, they must be honest, avoiding creating any falsehood or deception.

Now, I will not pretend to be any sort of genius when it comes to Yoga philosophy or Hinduism. But when I first heard about Satya, I found it a very interesting theory – because, the way I see it, creating falsehood and deception is just a part of my and most everyone’s regular life.

Think about it – how often in a day do you lie? And I’m not necessarily talking about big lies, or anything that might actually hurt another person. I’m talking about the little lies. I’m talking about getting out of your evening plans by telling them that “something came up”, when the truth is that you’re tired and just don’t really feel like going. I’m talking about responding to your friend’s question of “are you okay?” with nothing more than a simple, “yeah, I’m fine” when you really aren’t. I’m talking about little, seemingly meaningless lies that society tells us that we should tell, but when you really think about it, what point do they really serve? How are they really helping us?

Honestly, if you told your friend that you were tired and thus wanted to cancel your plans, how upset do you think they’d be? We all get tired. We all understand that feeling. We tell ourselves that that lie is merely protecting them from getting offended, but why should they get offended by our honesty, so long as we are being polite about it? If they do get offended, then that is only because they are not used to hearing honesty, but the more we tell it to them, the more accustomed they will get. And as far as telling someone that we’re fine when we’re not, as much as I understand that there are times where we just don’t feel like going into detail about what’s bothering us, we shouldn’t be the only ones shouldering our own burdens. We should feel comfortable admitting when we aren’t okay. We should be able to talk about our problems.

But we do not tend to think about these things. We lie because society tells us that there are times when we should lie, and we do not question that.

And yet, when I really think about it, I find that I respect people who are more honest than people who aren’t. One of my biggest social pet peeves is watching someone leave a group of people, and then hearing that group dissect and mock every little thing that person did. To me, that is cruel, and those people are bullies – if they have an issue with something that person is doing, then I would respect them more if they said it directly to the person, so that they have the opportunity to either defend themselves or discuss it. But again, society tells us that we should not do that. Society tells us that it is better to complain about someone behind their back, because then you are avoiding a confrontation. And confrontations are intimidating.

Honesty is difficult. Honesty is terrifying, because it offers the threat of confrontation, of discussion, of judgement. But honesty is also brave, and by its very nature, it is also much more true.

The biggest lie that I would frequently tell in the past was that I was comfortable. I would do things, not because I wanted to, but because other people wanted me to. Because it made them happy, because it reflected their idea of how I should be. I told myself, again and again, that this was fine, that I was only being selfless and kind and caring by doing this, but I wasn’t. I was allowing people to think that they were more important than I was, that what I wanted didn’t matter. I wasn’t valuing my own comfort or my own truth, and I suffered because of that for a long time. And I did that because society told me that it was better to lie than to deprive another from what they wanted.

But no more.

Now, when I am uncomfortable, I say so. I speak up loud for all to hear; I have my voice heard because my voice matters. Because my truth is a valid truth, and it is one that everyone deserves to hear.

Now, as difficult as it is and as much as others might not understand, I keep Satya in mind.