My ugly truths...

by Caroline Stewart

I started working with a new Mentor recently - Janne Robinson.  She’s fantastic at cutting through my bullshit and coaxing the dark out into the light.  I started working with her because I’m so tired of the pretend.  Of me believing all of the shit lies that I tell myself.  The stuff that holds me back from happiness and living my purpose.

Last night I had the privilege of speaking at an event put on by the City of Edmonton for Mental Health Awareness Month.  It touched me deeply.  My good friend Travis and I were both speaking at the event and started reflecting on the way we present ourselves as not always being the authentic self.  More specifically, we were talking about ME and how I don’t always share my full truth.

I often gloss over the shitty feelings and the frustrations; holding back truth for fear of hurting someone or causing conflict.

The truth is, yesterday was a pretty rough day.  I finally came face-to-face with the realisation that I have been selling myself short on pretty much all fronts.  Keeping my self super small because I don’t want to hurt others’ feelings.

So, here is some of the raw, vulnerable truths that showed up.  I know they're not pretty, but they're real.  And I’m sharing because I trust that the hard truths inspire just as much as the gentle.  And because…fuck it!  These are parts of me too.

1. Time and time again I accept work that doesn't pay me what I'm worth.  I know what my experience is worth but I don't stand behind it and consistently make choices that dishonour me in this way.  Like, EVERY damn day

2. I hold back my opinions because I want you to like me.  I'm easy to get along with.  At least that's what I tell myself.  I choose comfort over conflict on a regular basis.

3. I feel extreme guilt over doing things that hurt people.  The truth is that I’m not here to make anyone comfortable, even myself.  I’m here to grow and learn.  And I’m going to make mistakes.  How can we possibly prevent others from getting hurt?  

4. I stay in things that don’t work for me WAY longer than is healthy.  Again, I don’t want to be an inconvenience.  I don’t want to be judged.

5. I downplay what’s important to me.  Take last night for example.  It was a big deal for me to speak at an event.  I invited NO ONE.  

I’ve spoken with enough people to know that we all share some of these darker truths.  And I’m tired of hiding them.  They’re not problems to be solved, but rather truth to be embraced.  By sharing openly, I know that they will have so much less power over me.  I invite you to do the same :).