I can see the headline already. Chronic people pleaser turns truth vomiter. Well, folks, I guess it’s happened. I never thought I’d see the day.
I have spent all my 25 years as a diehard people pleaser. I’ve tried to stop, done everything I could to quit, written in journals, seen a therapist, pinpointed my “type-A tendencies,” meditated, been told by the pleased to-be-pleased-people themselves, “stop pleasing so much!” Nothing ever worked.
The funny part? I don’t even know what it was exactly that “worked.” If I could take a wild guess, though, I’d say yoga…
The point is this: I’m speaking my Truth these days, at the risk of hurting feelings. And you know what? It’s totally effing unnerving. What’s more unnerving is that I’m not unnerved in the moment! It’s more in the aftermath, when I’m like holy guacamole batman, did I really just say all that? Whilst holding eye contact and keeping my composure? Did that just come out of my mouth?
I even find myself offering too much information sometimes, in the pursuit of my Truth. It’s not usually as eloquent as I’d like (hey, I’m new at this). It lacks fluidity at times, veracity coming out in choppy emissions. I find I’m more concerned with staying faithful to my Truth, like loyalty to a new lover. A little extreme and unsettling but so totally intoxicating in the very same breath.
I have noticed my tendency to obsess, after the fact. Replaying my words and searching them for stains. Was that completely true, or did I add that in to placate them because I was concerned about stepping on their toes?
The ‘ol people pleaser is not long buried, her essence still lingers. She has tips to offer, Universe forbid I ever grow insensitive (ha! As if this Cancerian crab could ever be anything but overly sensitive…). I hear her. I am finding the balance (borrowing from my Libra sisters) between savage Truth seeker and timid people pleaser. It’s a process of discovery, I’m finding. One that leaves me awed with every glimpse because I feel like the journey is taking me for a ride, rather than me riding along on the journey. It’s just begun to happen. I know I’ve put in the emotional work, the mental discipline, but in finally practicing non-attachment I suppose the Universe granted me a green light. So, off I went into the territory of inner strength and candor, unbeknownst to the me.
It gets easier (I am hopeful hearing myself say this because, as I mentioned, I myself am only at the very mouth of this experience). I mean it, though, it does get easier. Speaking the Truth, that is. Being honest. Sometimes it means saying less – an area in which I’m desperately inadequate. Hence the title of this essay.
I hope to one day retitle this Truth Poetry, or something equally as clever and skillfully directed. For now, the title holds true. The verbal diarrhea that is at times my Truth will spew forth, until I’ve learned how to dance with it. It may be as unpoetic for now as was that last sentence. At times it may sound as revolting, too. Luckily I’ve a long life ahead to learn the navigation of such Truth delivery. All I know for certain, at 25, is that the Truth must be delivered.
How do you know you’re speaking your Truth? Do you get a feeling in your gut, a sensation prickling on the surface of your skin? Or is it all internal. Can you noticeably differentiate between people pleasing, placating, and being honest to your deepest layers?
I think there’s an element of complication here (if not many). For one, the definition of “truth” might grow hazy here and there. As I’ve written about before, I see two forms of truth. “Truth” and “truth.” The latter is truth in terms of fact or fiction. The first is capitalized Truth, the essence of one’s nature, and the many appearances it may take on in one’s day-to-day life. I would associate one’s Truth with one’s Dharma, if you’re familiar.
It’s not only important to speak one’s Truth, it’s imperative. Truth cannot be caged. It is wild and gorgeous and mustn’t be contained inside your sacred vessel while words of mollification pour out in its place. It mustn’t be contained or it will only grow bitter inside of you, breeding confusion and doubt. But words must be chosen wisely. Because once they’re spoken, they fly like freed birds whose shadows will always linger in the sky.
I am learning this day by day. Life is such a beautiful lesson, the Universe such a stunning classroom, is it not? I am learning day by day. Learning, learning. I learned today that I’m much happier to be a mess in my Truth vomit than a clean vested people pleaser. I learned that Truth will always be the torch that lights the darkness. And I learned that, when in doubt, closed lips can be the faithful marriage of Truth and placation.