The Huddle #36: Truth Hurts
Every day, I ask my fourth and fifth graders how they’re feeling. They usually say things like, “Good,” “Tired!”, or “Hungry,”, but this past Wednesday, I got my favorite answer yet:
“I feel like I need to go home and play the song Truth Hurts by Lizzo on repeat!”
To which I responded, “ I IDENTIFY!”
Lately, when people have asked me how I’m doing, I’ve responded with “Okay,” or “Alright,” or even “Pretty good!”. There are days when this feels true, but most days it doesn’t. I’m going through a thing, and the truth is I’m anxious and sometimes sad, but most of the time I’m also really happy to be surrounded by such wonderful people.
While there’s nothing wrong with the usual answers, I think it’s worth noting that there’s an opportunity here, in these moments, to connect - with the person asking, as well as with myself. With an answer like “Pretty good!”, I’m forgoing that opportunity.
Don’t get me wrong, I will happily forgo when the person asking is my Uber driver. However, I’ve been trying this new thing with my kids whom I love and trust, where I’ve been a little more truthful, giving answers like, “I’m feeling a little tired, and also really grateful to be here,” or “I’m sad, and I’m also super happy to see you.” These two emotions, though they may seem contradictory, can coexist, and moreover, do not cancel each other out to equal “Okay.”
I used to think that by being vague, with myself or others, I was saving energy. But I’ve actually found it to be so draining, while tapping into the truth, I’ve realized, can be energizing. That is, once I remember how empowering it feels to have this level of self awareness.
In my yoga classes, I often invite you to not only hold the truth about how you feel, but in your other hand, to carry the knowledge that truth, like everything, is malleable. If you want to (you don’t have to; this is your life!), you can work with your current emotional state- whether that means softening its edges, (“ I am terrible”-> “I am having a really hard time right now”), or turning it over on its head (“I’m exhausted”-> “I’ve been working really hard, and I’m looking forward to my second wind”). Getting a little crafty with what we’re feeling can be helpful when we’re feeling those good vibes, too! Ever heard of manifesting? It’s not just an Oprah thing. It’s an everyone thing. We can take a sentiment and work it into a statement about how we want to feel, like “It’s really energizing to be in this yoga class right now!” or “I feel nourished and satisfied.”...“Sexually”. Just kidding. Whatever energy we want to feel more of, can be cultivated just by naming it.
So, here’s your totally optional, user-friendly instructions next time you’re asked how you’re doing.
Step 1: Identify what’s true for you
Step 2: Play with the truth - think: what does this feeling/thought/state of being want me to know?
Step 3: Enjoy the look on your Uber driver’s face when you share your very in-depth answer!
Step 4: Go home and listen to Truth Hurts by Lizzo on repeat.