Hello dear ones,
I spent the last three weeks telling you about how I’m liar-liar-pants-on-fire--or rather, how I wasn’t one for 40 days. The most common response I’ve gotten about these last three posts from students, friends, and readers has been how much people appreciated the fact that I went public about my daily fibs.
“When I saw your post my first thought was, Nah, I don’t lie. But then I read it and thought, Oh, actually, yeah I do. And then I thought, ‘I can’t believe she’s talking about that.’”
“I loved what you had to say today, but notice that I’m not jumping up to tell everybody all my bad habits. Nope, I’ll just leave that to you.”
I tell you this not to toot my own horn, but to bring up something larger, more complicated, and potentially more important. The resounding refrain was that it is meaningful to people to hear me talk about my flaws in a concrete, outright way. It is apparently pretty refreshing to hear me describe the particular ways that I am effing things up.
We might have a problem with untruthfulness, but we definitely have a problem with vulnerability. We are afraid of our flaws.
I know you don’t buy into the perfect, edited versions of other people’s lives that social media shows us, where every eyelash is precisely curled and we’re all on perpetual beach vacation. But isn’t this pretty much what we do in daily life? Most of the time we run around presenting the badly photoshopped version of ourselves to the world, the self that is hoarding all our issues and problems, holding them close so no one else can see.
This isn’t an RSVP to the pity party. On the contrary, this is about the life that’s waiting for you when you start showing up as your imperfect, unedited self. It is terrifying as hell to live truthfully as your whole, deeply wounded, figuring-it-out-as-you-go-along self. But it is also wildly empowering.
Show up as the liar who’s learning to speak truth, or the jaded artist who wants to be less cynical, or the intense type-A perfectionist who is trying to loosen up. Own the fact that you have a hard time getting out of bed sometimes. Say out loud that you’re struggling to pay rent, or quit drinking, or heal your broken heart.
Tell the truth about who you are right now, today. That is a radical act.