On Honesty, Pie, and Snooping on Your Neighbors
No, I have not started posting ads on my site, but when I saw this commercial on TV this morning, it stopped me dead in my tracks. Take thirty seconds to check it out.
I think the dialogue is so hilarious! "I brought you this pie to see if you're weird!"
Do you know why it's so funny? Because they are totally telling the truth. How often does that actually happen?
I couldn't stop thinking about this commercial, and I think it's because this is something that I'm actively working on in my life right now. I recently completed an "Integrity Cleanse" designed by author and life coach Martha Beck, and it gave me some useful tools for investigating those moments when I'm being truly authentic, and when I'm not. (If you're interested, you can learn more about the cleanse here.)
One of the primary ways I am using this information is getting past my knee-jerk, judgmental thoughts. Despite my best intentions, I still sometimes find myself reacting judgmentally to things I see and hear. But now, instead of just blurting those things out, I am giving myself a moment to look a little deeper to investigate what my reaction is really about.
For example, I saw a post on Facebook of a girl watching tv, snuggled up with a giant snake. My first thought was "People are so weird!" which makes me right, and the other people wrong. So I asked myself what I was really thinking, and the truth is more like, "I don't want a pet snake." This seems like a small thing, but by centering on myself, all I'm doing is expressing my true feelings instead of making my reaction about other people.
I'm also trying to be more honest when I don't know things. I was recently talking to a sweet friend about a book. And he said "The prose was so beautiful, it reminded me of [name of famous author I'd never heard of]." In the moment, I got a little embarrassed that I didn't know this other writer, and so I let that comment slide and changed the subject. But it didn't sit well with me, so the next time I saw this friend, I asked for the name of the author so that I could write it down and look it up later. This is more authentically me: I love learning new things, and I am friends with tons of really smart and wonderful people. By being honest about what I don't know, I open myself up to gaining something new and interesting in any conversation.
Recently it has been tons of fun when I hear new things to just say "ooh, I don't know anything about that!" I have been so surprised and fascinated to hear people discuss amazing things in great detail. I also get to know them in deeper ways, because I make space for them to share their passions with me. It also allows me to be a little more vulnerable and authentic, instead of trying to protect some image that I already know everything or that I have it all figured out (HA!). It softens the walls that I've accidentally built between myself and life, and every time I chip away at something like that, it feels like a new, more meaningful chapter begins.