Honesty

“Don’t bend; don’t water it down; don’t try to make it logical; don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly.”
― Franz Kafka

Everyone has lied, myself included. Humans have the strange tendency to cushion the truth, avoid confrontation or straight up say something different than how they feel. I haven’t met very many people, if any, who  let others in on their uncensored voice of reason.

Here are a few things I’ve learned this past year about honesty:

  • The people who feel the need to proclaim they are honest are the biggest liars of all. If you do the best you can to be truthful, you shouldn’t have to prove it.
  • Instead of waiting around for an answer to be resolved, communicate! If someone can’t handle your voice, they aren’t worth your time. Even if you don’t like what you hear, a weight will be lifted when you know.
  • And here’s the other side of it: be upfront with people and don’t make them wait. If you’re feeling something, express it. If it back fires, at least you’ll know.
  • Everyone exaggerates, but try and avoid extremes. The closer you remain to what you remember, the more others can relate.
  • If you’ve lied to someone it pays to make it right. If you get caught in a lie, trust is forever severed. If you go ahead and rectify the situation the relationship may be bruised, but at least the trust associated with coming forth will be there.
  • There’s a reason it’s been said: actions speak louder than words. Someone will get the vibe regardless of what you say, so say it!
  • Lying to oneself is the worst choice of all. The mind is a powerful thing. Like all beings, there’s a reason we have instinct and desire. Don’t convince yourself of an untruth. Listen as best you can to your inner guide.

I know people will keep lying long after this blog is posted, but let’s all do the best we can to be true to ourselves. Each experience is unique to the individual. The further one gets from authenticity, the more shallow a life becomes. Accept your flaws, tell yourself you’re beautiful(because you are) and strive to make each day better than the last. Let’s set a foundation for change, growth and the road to gratitude. Trim the bullshit and fly towards freedom!

I love and appreciate you all! I hope to never take your support for granted.

The most honest of women! She sees right through you…

Human Nature and the Rise of Apprehension

“There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance. We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create. Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life.”

― John Lennon

As a writer, I am an avid people watcher. Human nature never fails to astound and intrigue me. I absorb the characters at my disposal and most times, they never even know I’m watching them. For example, the other day I was in Barnes and Noble editing when a woman at a table a few seats away says this: “My father died with his boots on eight months after my mother.” The way her voice quavered as she said it sent chills up my arms. So much so, that I opened up a new word document and began a short story entitled My Father Died with His Boots On. But I digress. The point is that we all have a story. We all have a voice and the desire to be heard.

I’ve been noticing more and more that people have patterns. There is something innate in the human psyche which causes us to cling to the comfort of routine and familiarity. As a society, we are scared to listen; scared to stop and think about something that makes us uncomfortable. We have these set ideas of who we are, when in reality, we barely know ourselves.

Another thing I’ve noticed is the amount of judgment and criticism people place on others. We ridicule the guy who scratches his ass in public, the heavy set woman laboring down the aisles of the supermarket. The truth is, these people are about as aware of themselves as you or I are, which I hate to say, is not very aware. Think about the last time you said something you wish you could take back. When those syllables freed themselves from your mind, were you thinking about it? Were you saying to yourself: I’m absolutely certain I want to say this right now? Or were you just acting without premeditation, the way humans tend to do?

On the news yesterday, everyone was going crazy about this supposed storm. Before each commercial break there was an announcement: We are tracking the eye of the storm! Be prepared for the storm! Well guess what? It barely rained. Why does the media feel the need to sensationalize paranoia? Why do we crave the feelings associated with worry and fear? When did rejoicing in the freedom of the unknown become so passé? Let us start living our lives instead of avoiding them!

So how do we break the boundaries of what has become a culture driven by fear, judgment and restraint? My solution is to do something that scares us every day. Maybe then we will learn to accept and embrace one another. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Climb that mountain! Stare at that spider! Fall in love! Never settle people. Don’t let fear keep you from achieving your goals and celebrating the life experience. Each day is a new beginning, each moment, a chance to find freedom.

If You Hadn’t Died

If you hadn’t died, then I wouldn’t have flown home for the funeral. Maybe I would have met my husband that weekend. Or maybe I would’ve been in a car accident and joined you up there in the light of the unknown. It’s also possible it could have been a regular weekend: gym on Saturday then drinks with the girls at night. Sunday would have been spent running errands or at the farmer’s market.

If you hadn’t died, I wouldn’t have seen you like that, cold and limp with just the right amount of make up to make you look alive. No one questioned it of course. I wouldn’t have gotten mascara stains on your children’s shirts, fought with my dad about the last time we saw you.

If you hadn’t died I wouldn’t have sifted through our memories, a lifetime of memories. I wouldn’t have laughed and cried and shook and panicked. I wouldn’t have thought: How will I get out of bed tomorrow knowing she’s not here?  Who will I call when I need the advice of someone who knows me, the only person who did?

If you hadn’t died, when would I have seen you? Would we have waited until Thanksgiving or done one of those spontaneous weekend trips to Atlantic City or the Vineyard? Would you have tried to set me up with the bartender? Yelled at me for drinking too much although you yourself would have been hammered?  Would we have split the bill or would you have covered it, telling me to get the next one?

If you hadn’t died would you have divorced Karl when you found out about his affair or would you have stayed together for the kids? Would you have moved to Albuquerque like you’ve always wanted or started ballroom dancing in an attempt to distract yourself from your aching heart? Would you have blamed yourself? Became insecure and detached?

When your kids grew into teens would you have been one of those laid back mothers who trusts them enough to avoid curfews and ultimatums or would you have intimidated them, used fear as a form of control? Would you have comforted Tess after her first heart break? Patted Sam’s back when he got cut from basketball tryouts?

If you hadn’t died would you have woken up the next morning and breathed in the fresh air? Would you have opened your heart and soul to the beauty of the present and immersed yourself in being the best you could be? Would you have kissed the sun and dipped your feet in the ocean?

I’ll never know because you did.

He says

“You can keep it if you want…my last name. You don’t need to change it.” He says.

“Wow. Thanks for the consolation prize. How generous. I’ll be a Walker again as soon as the paperwork is in.” I say.

“Jess please. I’m just trying to…” He says.

Our wedding portrait dangles in my peripheral.

 “Don’t. It’s not worth…” I say. 

“Yeah okay I guess you just…” He says.

“Yes, yes I do.”

I sling my bag over my arm and make my way towards the door.

“Bye.”

Bye he says, like he never knew me at all.