Telling the Truth…or Not

Written by Margaret Paul, Ph.D.

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Title: Tellingrepparttar 126239 Truth…or Not Author: Margaret Paul, Ph.D. E-mail: Copyright: © 2003 by Margaret Paul Web Address: Word Count: 1513 Category: Relationships

TELLING THE TRUTH...OR NOT By Margaret Paul, Ph.D.

Having counseled individuals, couples, families and business partners forrepparttar 126240 past 35 years, I have often encountered people struggling in their relationships about whether or not to tell their truth to someone important to them.

Deciding whether or not we choose to speak our truth needs to come from our own honesty with ourselves about why we are speakingrepparttar 126241 truth. Truth can enhance or destroy a relationship, depending uponrepparttar 126242 intent.

There are times when telling your "truth" is unloving. For example, you might not be wild about what your friend is wearing, but if your friend is giving an important presentation and asks you how she (or he) looks, it would not be in anyone's highest good to give your opinion. Opinions are generally judgments and rarely contribute torepparttar 126243 good of a relationship. It is therefore very important to distinguish between opinions and truth. Too often, just because we think something is true, we assume that it is true. However, truth is a fact, not a opinion. If I am hungry, that is a fact, but how you look is my opinion.

There are times when someone might be having a hard time, and it is not fun to be around them. For example, your friend has lost a beloved person to death, and your friend is in mourning. It is not fun for you to be aroundrepparttar 126244 grief and stress, yet telling your friend that it doesn't feel good to be around him or her would not be loving or supportive of your friend. It is very important, when telling our truth, to distinguish between being loving to ourselves and others - having our own highest good andrepparttar 126245 other's highest good at heart - and making another responsible for our feelings. Telling another that, "I'm upset because you're tense and it doesn't feel good to be around you," may indicate a lack of empathy and makingrepparttar 126246 other responsible for your feelings.

Therefore,repparttar 126247 important thing in tellingrepparttar 126248 truth is to be honest with yourself about your own intent in telling your truth. Are you truly being loving to yourself and others, or are you using your truth to control another and make him or her responsible for you? Are you speaking your truth to enhancerepparttar 126249 relationship, or to getrepparttar 126250 other to change?

However, there are many times when speaking your truth is in your highest good andrepparttar 126251 highest good of others. Yet many of us have much difficulty speaking our truth to others, especially to important others such as parents, siblings, close friends, co-workers and mates. We are afraidrepparttar 126252 other person will be angry or hurt by our truth, even when we state it without judgment or blame. So we say yes when we mean no, say things are okay when they aren't, avoid difficult topics of conversation, pretend to enjoy something - food, sex, a movie,repparttar 126253 topic of conversation, repparttar 126254 way we are spending time - to avoid upsetting another. We may continue to tolerate things that are intolerable to us to avoid a conflict.

Withholding our truth can be a form of control, just as telling our truth can be a form of control. We may want to control how another feels about us and treats us. We want to make sure we don't get attacked or rejected. Often I hear my clients say, when I encourage them to tellrepparttar 126255 truth, "I can't say that. He (or she) will get mad." Yes, he or she might get hurt or mad. Yet courage may meanrepparttar 126256 willingness to speak your truth anyway and learn to deal withrepparttar 126257 other person's response. This is part of developing an inner loving Adult self - learning to not takerepparttar 126258 other person's behavior personally, learning to stay solid in our truth and allow repparttar 126259 other person to go through whatever he or she experiences in response to our truths without taking responsibility forrepparttar 126260 other's feelings.

Avoidingrepparttar 126261 other's hurt and anger is only one part ofrepparttar 126262 challenge. The other part is that we may be unwilling to knowrepparttar 126263 truth regarding whether or not that other person cares about what is important to us. If, for example, you tell your mate that you are unhappy with a particular aspect of your sex life, and your mate gets hurt or angry instead of wanting to understand, you might feel even worse. It feels awful to speak our truth and receive an uncaring response. The deeper feeling is one of gut-wrenching loneliness. It is deeply lonely to share something that is important to us and receive an uncaring response from some one important to us.


Written by Dr. Jim Manganiello

MIDLIFE IS A CROSSROADS—NOT A CRISIS Part two © Manganiello—all rights reserved 2003

In last month’s Part one of this article we learned that midlife is not a crisis; it’s a crossroads ofrepparttar soul. One road leads to what I callrepparttar 126237 “not-such-a-good-life” andrepparttar 126238 other to The Good Life.

The road torepparttar 126239 Good Life requires that we recognize and honor our soul’s call torepparttar 126240 Heart—to our innermost identity. To respond to this call, we must getrepparttar 126241 knowledge andrepparttar 126242 tools to free ourselves from a conditioned identity that limits us to yesterday’s vision of who we are and that limits our vision of what our life can be.

If we fail to understand and properly negotiate midlife territory, we might become rigid and inflexible in an attempt to hold on tightly to what was. This can result in a narrowing and constricting of our lives as we forfeitrepparttar 126243 opportunity to claim powerful options for growth that emerge during midlife.

We also can fail to properly negotiate midlife territory if we impulsively react torepparttar 126244 chaos and confusion it brings by making changes that we don't understand or that we’re not prepared for. We might, for example, prematurely change jobs, leave a relationship, make risky investments, or embrace some glitzy philosophy in a not too well thought out gesture to make change. Too often this reactive approach leaves us washed up on a psychological shore that is empty of any depth or meaning.

Our surface identity seeks to find and cling to some sense of certainty that could keep it secure and safe. We could say that when it travels, our surface identity likes to have an itinerary clearly and precisely mapped out. It does not like surprises. It even avoidsrepparttar 126245 scenic routes so that it can stay onrepparttar 126246 main road where everything is predictable.

Midlife can be a time when our old maps for life do not fitrepparttar 126247 territory that we find ourselves in.

As Dante put it in his Inferno,

Midway this way of life we're bound upon, I woke to find myself in a dark wood, Whererepparttar 126248 right road was wholly lost and gone.

Circumstances that can make us intensely aware of midlife turmoil are both internal and external. The external ones include realities such asrepparttar 126249 physical evidence of our aging,repparttar 126250 death of our parents, our children leavingrepparttar 126251 nest andrepparttar 126252 closer view of our own death onrepparttar 126253 visible horizon. These situations are depressing in that they tend to put us face to face with an existence that contradictsrepparttar 126254 stance of our youthful heroism, a heroism that always imagined that we could have our own way in this life.

Our heroic ego also finds itself assaulted fromrepparttar 126255 inside. The solid ground that our self-image seemed to stand on begins to crack. We find ourselves experiencing a discrepancy between who we thought we were and who we actually are now. To make matters worse, whilerepparttar 126256 person we thought we were seems to be dissolving,repparttar 126257 person we hoped we weren't begins to show up more and more. This clash of images can leave us feeling sad, depressed, stressed out and very alone. We might feel a sense of profound loss that we cannot really explain to ourselves.

The forces that accompany midlife can push us deeply into our fear. But if we can open whatrepparttar 126258 great spiritual traditions callrepparttar 126259 Eye ofrepparttar 126260 Heart, we can seerepparttar 126261 real nature of our fear. Behind our fear is an immense sadness that is an expression of a tender Heart. This tender heart can become an important source of compassion and concern for others as well as of awe and wonder aboutrepparttar 126262 mystery of life. When we connect with our tender Heart, we no longer have to be embarrassed about who we are.

There is an art and science to making a midlife transformation. First we need to recognize thatrepparttar 126263 turmoil we feel represents life working on us rather than evidence that we are weird, sick or other than we should be. This turmoil is reallyrepparttar 126264 call ofrepparttar 126265 Heart to create a life that’s an adventure of love, courage and wisdom. Then we need reliable knowledge andrepparttar 126266 tools to put that knowledge to work.

As we give up our limited ideas of who we are and what we "should" be, we can then become sensitive to a kind of inner guidance. Our psyche, at first, frightens us by shaking up our world entirely. It then stimulates us by pointing to some of life's most interesting possibilities. It gets out attention by making us see that our skin is too small for who we really are. Seeing this, we can begin to revision our lives as a creative adventure that is pulled by our dreams and visions and not merely pushed from behind by our past conditioned fears.

After many years of study and work inrepparttar 126267 best ofrepparttar 126268 western and eastern psychological, spiritual and well-being traditions, I createdrepparttar 126269 Good Life Process™, a life enhancement practice that brings together ancient wisdom and cutting edge knowledge. The Process is a powerful tool for negotiating midlife change and for creating a life that can be well lived, loved and understood.

© Manganiello—all rights reserved 2003

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