How is it that, we can so quickly forget about everything we have learned and read, when we dive into the see of guilt and regret? Why do we choose to blame and punish ourselves for our bad decisions, without realising that those decisions are not there to tell us what failure we are, but just to remind us we can do better?
Having afternoon drinks yesterday, with a client of mine, who is rapidly becoming one of my very close friends and confidants, we have stumbled on something very emotional in our conversation.
We spoke about 'The truth'. I was insisting that the truth will set me free, and he was advising me to keep it nicely hidden in a well locked box.
It really got me thinking, and sadly came to the conclusion that he was absolutely right, and as controversial it is to admit, the truth will not actually set me free. My truth is just mine.
The truth is allusive and subjective and never absolute. The truth is our personal interpretation of it. The more we believe in our truth and disagree with others who see it differently, the more it tells us about who we actually are.
“We do not see the world as it is. We see the world as we are.” This Anaïs Nin's quote holds all the truth I needed to hear, to make me realise that I might be wrong about my truth, as well as the believe, it will set me free.
It reminded me of book I read not long ago, 'Being wrong' by Kathryn Schulz.
We grow up thinking that people who get stuff wrong are irresponsible and lazy, and the way to succeed is to never make mistakes. The possibility of being wrong really scares us, as that ultimately means there is something wrong with us. Our internal sense of rightness makes us feel safe and that is why we do everything possible to always be right. We make an array of bad assumptions, just to keep that rightness. But trusting too much that feeling can be potentially very harming to us. We often forget that making mistakes is fundamental to our growth as humans. We strive to live a life, free from regret. We try and trick ourselves into believing that we have no regrets, where what we should do is learn how to live with it, and accept that our bad decisions are the reason we get wiser and more responsible.
So, this is exactly what I was doing. Trying to convince myself that if I say 'The truth' my regrets about my bad decisions will vanish. I was enforcing that believe. just to persuade myself I am right.
But, after our conversation, I more clearly see the need to admit I was wrong, rather than telling 'The truth'. I am more willing to escape that tiny, scary place of rightness,
and see that some of our regrets are not as ugly as we think, and sometime our truth should forever be locked away.
Make your own decisions....and don't forget to smile!