“I used to try to be Good. I thought no one wanted me as I was, so Good was my go-to. But Good got me nowhere. Not like Truth. Truth, she tore me to shreds, devoured me whole and spit me out shaking and new. Truth keeps a box of matches in my pocket. While Good made me afraid of transformative fire, Truth keeps me real, even if it makes everyone in the room uncomfortable. And Truth, unlike Good, doesn’t let me bow down to bullshit or undeserving soapboxes. Truth doesn’t let me give in to bullies, misguided and fear-based criticism or cowards. Truth is a queen and a humanitarian, while Good, she’s a silent, scared little sheep. Good showed me how to hide my wings, my words and angel vision. Truth taught me to be brave. Truth taught me now to respect myself. Truth allows me to hold impenetrable space for any story, but first and foremost, for my own. And Truth, well, she changes everything, and friend, she’s coming for you, too.”
— Tanya Markul
After reading the above quote, a friend commented on facebook: “I needed this, today. I’m tired of being good and doing what is expected.”
I’ve been thinking a lot about this, since then. There are times when I look at people like Alecia Moore and Glennon Doyle and Liz Gilbert and I have such an intense longing to be doing something in the world. Something great and meaningful and earth-shattering and life-changing, only I don’t know what and can’t quite figure out how to get there. But recently it occurred to me:
What if “there” is here? What if the thing I’m supposed to be doing is bringing my whole self into the room, wherever I go? What if what I’m supposed to be doing is loving myself fiercely and allowing others to see me as I truly am? What if THAT is my work on earth? What if, by doing so, I touch and help and better love and serve the world around me—not by becoming a celebrity like P!nk or writing a bestseller like Glennon or Liz, but just by bringing my own light into the darkness, every single day?
One of my favorite songs is White Owl, by Josh Garrels. In it, he sings:
“Like a wolf at midnight howls, you use your voice in darkest hours
To break the silence and the power, holding back the others from their glory.”
What if truth telling, bringing my whole, honest, uncensored, unfiltered, unhidden self to work, to the grocery, to the playground, to my blog… what if that is how I use my voice? What if doing the “next right thing” that the deepest part of me says I ought to do, rather than doing what is expected of me by others, is how I break the silence?
John Steinbeck once said: “once you’re done being perfect, you can be good.” But what if we take that one step further? What if, once we’re done being good, we can be FREE?