Saturday, December 13, 2008

Is 2008 the "Year of the Truth Coming Out"?

For the last ten years, I have been coming to terms with many things in my life. First of all, I came out of the closet. If a person can do this, they can most certainly do anything else that life can dish out! Also, September 11th really changed my life—for the good and for the bad, though, thanks to a marvelous life coach, I am, as Gloria Estefan would say, finally “comin’ out of the dark” and seeing the light. It took the last seven years, but things seem to matter to me now and I feel on track in my life...actually, it’s more than “on track.” I’m filled with more love and a stronger sense of responsibility to myself, to my friends, my community and the world. I’m not sure what happened with that, but it just happened and I’m happier than I have ever been before. Surely this is more than just maturity, right? It feels like this was all supposed to happen to get me from point A to point D. I'm still somewhere around B-and-a-half, but it's thrilling, nonetheless!

One of the major things that seems to be happening in our country and, from what I can gather, around the world is that more people are seeing themselves broke when they never in a million years thought it would happen to them. We all know the sources behind the demise of the current economy. I’m not sure the average person really planned for this. They took out loans, applied for a gazillion credit cards, had to have the Escalade parked in the driveway, had to have the 32-foot flat screen T.V. in their magazine perfect uninspired living rooms decorated courtesy the neighborhood Pottery Barn (Whatever happened to Pottery Barn? Uh hum…my sentiment exactly!)—just like their peers—all the while wondering how they were going to pay for it in a good economy, never mind the crisis that we are now in.

Now, hear me out, ye fearful, I’ve spent the last ten years cleaning up my messes, living like a college student in my 30s to make things better, and you know what? It wasn’t that bad! I’ll take ten years of the dollar store and getting in touch with who I am--building up my confidence rather than my shoe rack any day. The truth is we all have exactly what we’re supposed to have if we open our eyes and pay attention to the things that really matter around us.

I’m christening this ‘The Year of the Truth Coming Out,” because it is: The truth about O.J., the truth about greedy folks in the auto and financial industries, and the truth about ourselves. This week in my professional life, I accepted the truth that I do have many personal strengths. With much more impact, however, I, hesitantly and luckily, had to face (not just quietly admit to myself and do nothing at all to alleviate the problem) some of my shortcomings. These are the shortcomings that I have shelved all along because I was terrified of moving beyond them. It has been the kind of fear that sprouts from knowing that if I take a leap of faith, and cross the chalk line on the sidewalk, I might be successful and have everything that I’ve always thought I wanted. I’m pretty sure that I still want those things, but more often than not, my head has been so cluttered by the fear, doubt reigns there. It makes me accept less of myself, in turn causing me to force something on my very nature that does not allow me to be fully present in my life.

Though my professional intervention this week was stressful and difficult, it was also compassionate and filled with ideas to trigger a new way of thinking. The world, too, needs a new way of thinking, and there is much work that needs to be done by all of us to make that happen. I’m beginning to see signs of that, and much like the emotional damage that 9/11 seemed to leave me with, I am now “coming out of the dark” of the cynicism I’ve harbored for people for much of my life. It would seem that people, by virtue of their fear, are rethinking their lives.

It’s the holiday season, and they make us all get gushy about what we have to be grateful for in our lives. The biggest blessing I have in my life is my voice (not my singing voice, though I have a good one of those, too!), but the one that has suddenly been able to help people around me get through some tough times. For years, I needed others guiding me through the forest of the proverbial “tigers and lions and bears,” but, oh my—how they’ve all lost much of their bark and the fear of their bites seem so remote to me. I’m grateful that I can now pay it forward and contribute to others becoming emotionally healthy and happy as well.

Today, I found a marvelous article on Fox News’ Web site by life coach Nancy Colasurdo on this very subject. It should truly be required reading for people who are enrolled in that “curriculum” they despairingly call “life.” I wasn’t sure where her story was going at first, but by the end, she had me in tears…and I mean the GOOD kind! (Note: Do not read without a box of tissues handy.) Thanks, Nancy!

1 comment:

William F. Renzulli said...

What a wonderful place to be. Some people can spend a lifetime trying to get there, and many never do. I can readily identify with your journey.

I know that recommending books is often a hit or miss thing, but if you have never read it, find a copy of "Letters to a young poet", by Rilke.
I think it will speak to you

Merry Christmas from Paducah, KY