The moment we begin to fear the opinions of others and hesitate to tell the truth that is in us, and from motives of policy are silent when we should speak, the divine floods of light and life no longer flow into our souls.Ē Ė Elizabeth Cady Stanton
I have been mentally tackling a monstrous concept these last few days. Iím not even sure how well I can describe it to you, as the words still seem so fragmented in my mind. But I canít figure any of it out until I put it into words, and given the subject matter, this seems like the perfect place. Just how truthful should we be? When we have thoughts that are less than loving, when do we decide to keep them hidden? On the flip side of things, to what extent do we wish others to be truthful with us?
There are people that rubbed me the wrong way, people I never liked, because I observed certain behaviors and patterns that I found detestable. When those people were given the grand opportunity, by ME no less, to find out what I thought of them, I did not care. I felt relief. I thought, good, now I donít have to pretend so much, they know where I stand, now onto the next. But itís not as simple as that, you see. It was fine for them to dislike me and talk to each other about me, but once they found out the feeling was mutual, they couldnít stand to have me around. But this isnít whatís bothering me, because people like this donít matter in my life.
Whatís bothering me are the people who DO matter, people who when presented with words from my mind were hurt, because they think those few words represent everything about me. There is a difference between talking shit and writing your vent down in words. When you talk shit, there is a chance that the person you are talking to will tell someone, but hearsay covers your tracks, it blunts the sharp edges of your words. When you write directly from your mind, the objects of your temporary thoughts and opinions might as well be standing in the hallway, right around the corner of your brain.
I have written things that are callous, things I would have prettied up or candied over if I were using verbal words. To face the unbridled, raw and wild form of truth that I write on occasion, you need to have very thick skin and a bucket of salt, for every word of anotherís thoughts is to be taken with at least one grain. People internalize words about themselves, they soak them in as though they are the only truth, when in reality, words are but a nano-fraction of the trillions of thoughts and feelings any person experiences. I will not deny that at the time I write, the words I am writing are truly what I am thinking. I will explain, however, that what I think right now is subject to change in 10 minutes, let alone one year of getting to know someone and alter my opinions of him or her. I am impressed with the reactions of some who have identified themselves in my writing. Some who have pondered my words and taken my truth as a chance to recognize behavior that is alterable. Then to go one step further and alter the behavior. These are the strong, and these are the ones who seem to ďget it.Ē I donít write with the intention of hurting people, and I am more than fair when it comes to what I choose to edit in my brief updates. I write about things that IíM thinking about, things that affect ME directly, because this is MY fucking diary. It takes a very strong and very bold person to reveal the inner-workings of her mind. I am very strong, and very bold, and perhaps a little bit crazy. I am willing to put it out there, even if it doesnít keep me popular, because it is more important for me to be honest at this point in my life than it is for me to be liked by people who are so easily swayed.
So grab your salt, and read if you must. Just know that once I say it, I let it go. If it is held close and replayed in your mind, if you are hurt over and over by the same words, my fleeting thoughts, you are the only one who can let them go because you are the only one holding on.
ďThe truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it. Ignorance may deride it. But in the end, there it is.Ē Ė Winston Churchill