When Susan posted up some accountability in Here I Am, it conjured up a lot of ideas for me about why people chose to write and where fear from judgement comes from. Susan went on to address it in another post here. She brought up something that I really had not considered, as did Jennifer in her post Unresisted Thoughts Post 9... Loyalty where loyalty is undeserved and Judgement.
Do we hold back some of the sordid details of our experience only for fear of judgement? Where do privacy and respect for others come into play? Both Susan and Jennifer defined why those different parts influence what they share and what parts of it they want to examine or have examined, in order to share the truth.
It led me back down the road to where my path of truth started. Truth lit the way for me to recover. Not only to stop being an addict and recover from the addiction, but to recover what I was hiding from in the addiction. I did not plan it that way. I had no idea what would become of my life, my capabilities, or my future and recovery, simply by telling the truth.
I started seeking the truth while I was still very active in addiction. I had found myself incredibly alone and I was sinking with every single untruth that I was allowing into my life. I had long lived my life manipulating and lying. I always had some justification as to why my lies, that were totally self serving, were really to protect someone else. I had become quite capable of manging which friends I told what, who were the best gossipers, secret keepers, drama lovers and how they all played their perfect part in me getting whatever I needed out of our relationship. I called it "friendship."
Well as some of you have experienced, there is a whole new level of that in the company of addicts. You tell yourself you are not a "junkie" or a "tweaker" and you rationalize why your drug use is different. You tell yourself that your co-addicts, dealers, hook ups, are your friends. They wouldn't burn you, steal from you, short you on your bag, etc. At first you have high expectations that you will not be taken advantage of and you will not become the stereotypical druggie. You still believe you are okay. By the time it becomes unmanageable, it is too late to recognize they were wolves in sheep's clothing, or perhaps now, you are a wolf yourself, still telling yourself you are a sheep.
When I realized that I had no "friends" and started recognizing all of the manipulation and lies, I was so disgusted. Disgusted that I had been that way. Disgusted that I believed it. When I got out of jail and was 7 days clean, I knew I would never ever relapse, because I never ever wanted to withdraw again, and I could not risk losing my kids forever. It was okay when no one knew, and I could manipulate the way people saw my life. Now the cat was out of the bag. I had a completely clean slate. I had no life, no friends, no home. When I realized that I had one chance to create those things for myself, I had only one condition. I would only do it in truth. I never again wanted to manipulate someone. I never again wanted a friendship to be based on something that I nurtured in my imagination, and made it to appear real. I never wanted to be liked for what I wore, what I drove, where I lived. Its a good thing, because I didn't have those things to be liked for.
I had walked hand in hand with fear my whole life. The fear of "what if's"... what if she finds out, what if he thinks I meant this, what if she assumes I am this... etc, etc, etc. Well a wonderful thing happened. When there was only truth, there was no fear. By design, if you are always real and always tell the truth, there are no more what if's. People can still make their own assumptions or misinterpret, but that is their own untruth. Meaningful people, people with whom you have meaningful relationships with, will always wait for and want the truth. The ones that don't, will prove to be toxic, even if only in small doses. If you are only living and speaking in truth, then it is what it is, and it only takes time for that discovery.
When I write in truth, there is no more fear of judgement. I do not have to have a lot of accountability per se, for other people's feelings, because I know who I am, what my intentions are, and given time, you will know that too.
Truth is also contagious. It opens doors for conversation, communication, understanding, connection, and healing. This does not mean that the truth is never painful. It is often painful. Had I learned much earlier, that I was in fact capable of handling the truth (had I not been told I was worthless, or stupid, or had my grandparents not tried to shelter me from the truth, and fix everything, which implied I was not, in fact, capable), then I would have developed coping skills for harder truths and would not have tried to cover them up with lies, manipulation, and drugs. I would not have tried to make ugly things appear as beautiful truths and called it happiness.
So why then, when I am completely capable of that in my life and my blog, do I find myself retreating back and wanting to withhold on comments on other blogs?
Well the biggest part that keeps me from commenting, is different beliefs or understandings of "God." Although I know what I believe. I do not believe it is the only thing or the the only truth. I do not want my comments to be perceived as trying to shake someone's faith or challenge their belief system. That is something that is very personal, and I believe to be respected at all times.
I also take into consideration the blog at hand. It is kind of like being a guest at someone's house. Of course it is their house, for them to live in, and they have it kept the way they like, but they still invite you in. I wear shoes in my house, but if I am asked to take them off at your house, I am going to. Although a comment is truly my little piece of space in the blog that I am visiting, I still need to respect the blog owner's space.
“We can never judge the lives of others, because each person knows only their own pain and renunciation. It's one thing to feel that you are on the right path, but it's another to think that yours is the only path.”
Sometimes I find myself in a situation, as I did when commenting on Susan's blog. I knew that what I needed to say might be a little out of context, but she has expressed her need for growth and change, and I wanted to try and contribute, based on my perception and my experiences.
Everyone deserves to walk and write in their own truth.
"We all take different paths in life, but no matter where we go, we take a little of each other everywhere." ~Tim McGraw