I used to have a therapist. A legit one. I shared this, remember? That was right before I hired you.
Anyway, my previous therapist asked me one time, “What would you say are your son’s personal truths?” I reacted with confusion…partly because I had never thought of it and partly because he was only four. Do four-year-olds have personal truths? I think I might have even asked him that question. Don’t laugh. He didn’t. He actually asked a follow-up question–“What are your personal truths?” Again, I reacted with confusion…partly because I had never thought of that either and partly because I was in a dark place at the time. Did I even have any personal truths? I know I didn’t ask THAT question out loud. But it turns out, yes. Yes, four-year-olds have personal truths. Yes, I had personal truths. I have them now. You did. You do. We all do.
What are they?
When I thought about my young son during this session, I decided that his truths would probably center around what he felt were his talents, what he liked, and with whom he spent his time. Then, I thought maybe that would work for me, too. So here’s what I came up with…
I’d like to remind you, now, that this is a judgement-free zone. I’m getting really real with you, so, again, don’t laugh.
After some mental ping-pong of random ideas, I settled on these—I thought my four-year-old son would say: I am a good builder. I am creative. I am a good helper. For myself: I am patient. I am open-minded. I am honest.
Mental break. Insert think bubble. My post- broken-marriage, narcissist- surviver self is on overload right now. Gahhhhhh! Y’all, this is hard! It hurts my heart thinking about where I was 6 years ago. So much growth has occurred, so much change has happened, and so much shifting has pushed me to this place. THIS place. I can look back and be sad. And that’s ok. I’m ok with that sadness because I’m not stuck there anymore. But, maaaan…it makes my eyes water admitting that I struggled to find my sons personal truths. And mine. Six years after that therapy session, I could give you a handful of truths for myself, my husband, AND all four of my kids. Deep ones. High-five worthy.
Ok, snap out of it! Break’s over! Let’s leave the water cooler and get back to the business at hand. (P.S. if y’all didn’t just read that in Snoop Dogg’s voice, we can’t be friends, lol)
I equate Personal Truths to who you are. Like, legitimately who you are. In your core. Buckle up…this may take a couple curves and I don’t wanna throw you. Pay attention. By the way, did I mention that I like the awkwardness of having different views and the uncomfortable conversations that arise from them? No? Oh. Well, you’re in for a treat!
Miss, Mrs., & Ms. Three different identities. I’m a true believer that people don’t change. True believer. Soapbox status. Red-face, teary eyes, Italian hands, hype status. I know some of you are reading this and nearing that status in disagreement. Let me explain my thinking…not in an attempt to convince you to take my beliefs as your own but to possibly begin a discussion.
You are who you are. Way down deep in your core. Your core values are what they are. Honest. Greedy. Compassionate. Selfish. Empathetic. Jealous. Kind. Judgemental. Generous. Bitter. Your inner workings are set. Your natural self.
Don’t get me wrong, your situation can change. And your reaction to situations can change. As you grow, you may react to the same situation differently. You MAY…or you may not. It depends on your core. Who are you in your core? What are your personal truths?
Do you care about others over yourself? Do you base your happiness on what others think or see? Do you think that good always wins? Do you harbor feelings of jealousy or resentment towards others for having certain things? Do you fill your bucket by filling others? Do you like to see others fail? Do you always have to be first or top or best?
There are so many questions you could ask yourself in the pursuit of finding your core. You should ask yourself…but you have to get real. Be honest. I mean, if you’re not honest with yourself when you’re by yourself, what’s the point? But don’t worry—if you’re not, someone will figure you out and point fingers or dole out accusations. Go back and read the last post about accusations because you’ll need to brush up on some strategies for making amends. [winks]
Seriously, though, if you’re going to walk around this planet and interact with people, live your day-to-day life, have an impact on others and the world…why wouldn’t you dig deep and figure out what your personal truths are? Who are YOU in your core?
Let me go back right quick. I stated that people don’t change. And I know you sucked your teeth. But, hear me out. Your core values are set. Hold on—I BELIEVE your core values are set. I BELIEVE you are who you are. Period. Think about it.
You may be generous, open-minded, and passionate. Apply that to life and you would be a giver, a servant, a lover, and you would want to share the benefits of giving and doing for others with everyone.
You may be passionate, greedy, and honest. Apply that to life and you would unapologetically look out for yourself, tell no lies, and probably focus on issues that benefitted you.
You may be empathetic, greedy, and honest. Apply that to life and you would be brutally honest when it benefitted you. You would know when you hurt people with your honesty but you would be unbothered.
You may be empathetic, compassionate, and generous. Apply that to life and you would be kind and giving; you would feel everything (both good and bad); you would share advice and probably burn out from filling everyone’s buckets every day.
Your core is a mix of qualities. Sometimes the combination of qualities can have a posture effect on you and others…sometimes it can end up having negative effects. The situation would determine that. The people involved would determine that.
Life changes. Situations change. Life affects you. Situations affect you. But I don’t believe they change you. I believe you are who you are…and you respond to life and situations based on who you are. Based on your core self.
Being a kindergarten teacher, I happen to be a self-proclaimed expert on giving directions and then modeling my expectations. So, I’ll go first…again [eye roll]. Six years and an extra lifetime of life experiences ago, I said I AM PATIENT, OPEN-MINDED, AND HONEST. These are all still true. Always have been. I think my parents hung their hat on the honesty part at some point of my teenage years because I couldn’t lie when asked a direct question…what did you do this weekend while we were gone—ehh not much…versus did you have a party—hesitant-trying-to-lie-but-can’t yes. [sigh]
While those statements are true and I pride myself on them, I feel like they’re not deep enough. Like, just below surface level. When I dig deep—or better, when I’m pushed to dig deep—I settle on other ideas.
I AM EMPATHETIC. I AM PASSIONATE. I AM A FIXER. I AM A MENTOR. I AM A FIGHTER. I AM A REALIST. I AM HONEST. I AM SELFLESS. I AM A GIVER.
It took me a long time to get to a place where I could confidently and honestly say these things about myself. I had to experience and process years of low self-esteem, countless experiences where I suffered the consequences of poor decisions, loads of hurt, a broken spirit. Being on the other side of that life, I look back with sadness and pride. My story isn’t very different from most of yours. Hurt is hurt. Loss is loss. Tears are tears. And joy is joy. Triumph is triumph. We’re allowed to give ourselves some mental high-fives, y’all!
Now, since the conversation is one-sided in this blogging world, I can’t ask you to have a go and share your ideas. But I’m going to anyway. What are your personal truths? Who are you? Who are you, really? Way down deep. In our core. Dig through the hurt. Push aside what others have accused you of being—true or not. Dust off the self-confidence that’s hiding in there somewhere. Fix those broken wings. Dig deep, y’all. You might be surprised at what’s hiding down there.