The Truth About You
Written By: Mark Smith
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Thankfully nature has equipped us with an elaborate defense system to keep us from being confronted with too much negative or overwhelming information about our lives. Ignorance is bliss. As Jack Nicholson said in 'A Few Good Men' "You can't handle the truth." We are much more comfortable pretending...pretending that there isn't a serious problem in our marriage, pretending that we really can afford new car, pretending that we are a great parent, pretending we aren't to blame for all the fights in our marriage, pretending that we really don't drink that much, etc. Pretending is much more fun and much less painful than reality. Reality sucks! It is scary. Some really bad things can happen if what is true really is true. Most of us protect ourselves against uncomfortable truths like ostriches protect themselves from danger - by sticking our heads in the sand.
All of us are so amazingly flawed. It is is sign of mental health to be aware of the full extent of all that is ugly, unsuccessful, damaging, addictive, petty, reactive, weak, little, obnoxious and defective about you while still accepting and loving yourself. That person can take corrective feedback from anyone and be very thankful for it. They have no reason to be defensive. They can be wrong. They know that it is perfectly acceptable to be at fault. Most of us will fight tooth and nail to deny truths about us. We put massive amounts of energy into fighting off any additional negative information about ourselves. We eliminate people from our lives who touch on too much truth about us. We run from those people. People who expose ugly truths about us are our best teachers. They may not mean it for our good, but if the pain of warfare with that person exposes a truth about us, they are our best friend.
Blind spots are as dangerous in life as they are in driving. What you don't see it coming can flatten you or you can harm others. Self-awareness eliminates dangerous blind spots. What is the truth about your relationship? You have your truth and he or she has a different version of the truth about your relationship. Which one is closer to the real truth? How good are you at hearing criticism? Is your spouse good at hearing you out? Can they admit when they are wrong and apologize sincerely and humbly? We all have a little voice that is trying to talk to us, warn us, enlighten us, scare the crap out of us and protect us. But we do our best to shut that voice up. We don't want to hear anything that would make us uncomfortable. We are the emperor with no clothes. We strut around as if we were all that. Most of the people around us can see that we are buck naked, but that would be rude of them to point that out so they let us continue on. Your friend will tell you that your zipper is done even if that is a bit awkward.
Good therapy is about exploring blind spots. It is about embracing the truth about our self-sabotaging traits. It is inviting painful and brutal truths into our awareness. It is about having ears to hear the observations of our spouses. Effective supervision is about exploring and eliminating blind spots. A good marriage is about piercing the myths about ourselves that get in the way of true intimacy. Would you like to know the truth about you? Examine whatever is causing you pain. You set your life up. In that pain is a message of truth about you. Explore it, examine it, put it under a microscope. The more you can learn now, the less damage will come your way later. Ask the universe to set you straight. Ask your spouse and your family and your friends to pull no punches. The truth ulimately really can set you free.
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