When I teach yoga, I have the habit of asking my students to let go. Let go of ego, let go of anger, let go of resentment. When life is moving along easily, it’s easy to say those words and to mean them, and I know those words to be true. Holding on to anger and resentment is like drinking poison and hoping your enemy will die, and yet even with this full knowledge, I sometimes find myself sucked into the cycle.
Recently I found myself in a situation that caused me a lot of pain. I found out that someone I loved and trusted had not only been shockingly dishonest with me, but was (and is) actively telling lies and untruths behind my back.
I strive to be honest. Over the years I have lost friends because I have spoken my truth, and not told them what they wanted to hear. And I have learned a lesson. It is better to speak your truth and risk losing a relationship than to have a relationship based on lies. This goes for friendships, business relationships, and romantic relationships. Everything. If you cannot be honest with someone, you do not need them in your life.
Speaking truthfully is powerful. Telling half-truths and avoiding open and honest communication is delusional, and weak. My goal as a yoga teacher is to empower others, and empowerment cannot happen in the absence of truth.
Friedrich Nietzsche said, “Sometimes people don’t want to hear the truth because they don’t want their illusions destroyed.” As humans, we have an amazing ability to convince ourselves that our actions are justified. In this country, millions of people have an overwhelming sense of entitlement that creates the illusion that it is okay to treat people badly because you deserve more. The truth is, that may work in the short term, but karma has patience and the wheel will always come back to you.
So I am going to let my actions speak for me. If you hear something about me and don’t know whether to believe it or not, base your decision on the truth of what you see me do and not on the illusion what you hear I do. Because like my teacher says, I’m planning to loudly preach with my actions as well as my words. And my actions will speak for themselves.