My friend Chelsea told me recently that drunk people, small children and leggings have one thing in common: they don’t lie. The transparency there, however unsightly, lumpy and uncomfortable can be transformative. When we see things and people for what they are instead of our fiction, fantasy, or planned remodel, we are working with what is. When working with what is, everything is possible! That said, we should not underestimate the sheer terror that strikes with what spills out of drunk people, small children and leggings.
Sometimes being steeled for only the ugly when it comes to the truth is a grave miscalculation. Here’s an example: my dear friend Marsue came to visit over the holidays. During my Christmas Eve ritual of imbibing an abundance of champagne cocktails at the Hotel Del Coronado while watching the ocean and ice skaters at the outdoor rink, I asked her what her favorite nut was as I carefully picked through our spiced nut bowl looking for cashews. She sighed looking away from the riot of color of holiday fashions on parade and looked at me and said “You.” So sometimes drunk people say nice things, funny things that are true too, and it turned out her second favorite nut is a pecan.
The lack of a filter or just a thin veil of say, lycra… allows us to be seen and heard, which is a scary proposition in the giving and receiving. In that unfiltered state, truth erupts, for better, yes, awkward, yes, heartbreaking, sometimes as well as heartwarming. Truth is a tenant of relationship to self and to each other, and is the foundation for growth. Finding a way to make friends with what is gives you a sense of peace. There is little-to-no hiding, avoiding, hypothesizing, spinning, denying or obsessing, leaving room for comfort, calm, self-confidence and love.
“The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool.”- Richard Feynman
Critical-thinking skills, self -reflective thought, and a good consigliere help us to see what is true, although, it can be difficult. So keeping Feynman’s quote in mind we should make sure that we are periodically placing ourselves in the path of drunk people, small children and some leggings, along with those who truly love us. What I have found is when someone really loves me they tell the truth, they are my friend, my partner in crime, my playmate. They want what is best for me, no matter how uncomfortable it might be to tell me that the plastic elf ears I have been sporting on campus, wine tasting and in other random situations since the end of November have to get stowed somewhere for a few months or years and I have to give it a rest.
Telling lies is easy. The opposite is true for telling the truth; it’s hard. But a funny thing happens 30 seconds down that road, the opposite is true. The lies we tell grow and swell like chia seeds and me after too many pork rinds. They need maintenance, care and feeding, and are prodigious breeders not unlike tribbles or guppies in a big tank. Whereas the truth just is. It does not grow but it can deepen with age, bringing richness. Truth is an important marker on the road not a detour like the lie. It brings us back to transparency being able to have a clear mind, vision, and heart as we step into the world. The world can be muddy, and that is the nature of chaos sometimes. That does not mean I have to match crazy for crazy, mean for mean, anger for anger. Rather, I can merely hold the light.
Shining our light helps us see what is true, real and possible. There are scary things out in the world and more often in our heads but the truth shouldn’t be one of them. It just should be. A state of what is. Then we can assess where we want to go from there. And always, always being mindful of where those drunk people, small children and leggings are laying in wait. Be careful out there folks!