‘I mostly see myself through the eyes of the other,’ she says hesitantly. ‘I try to feel as much as possible what someone else thinks about something and I formulate my answer based on that.’
She looks at me with big guilty eyes; she probably already fills in for me that I think this is a very bad state of affairs. Only when I smile at her and nod to her in a friendly way, she can visibly relax. The expected disapproval has given way to reassurance.
Attention to the other
People who work with the Truth life lesson mainly seek their truth there, instead of relying on their own truth; the truth they formulate on the basis of their own thoughts, feelings, and findings. It’s not so much that they don’t trust themselves (which is part of the previous life lesson Trust ), but they skip themselves in the search for truth. They take everything from someone else, but nothing from themselves.
It does not occur to them that they are skipping themselves, their attention is often completed on the other. They are very good at looking at a situation from the other person’s perspective. What something does to them personally is a step that is skipped.
Avoiding the confrontation
When you have been working with this life lesson for a while, there will gradually be more aware of your own truth. Yet this is then not shared with the outside world; it is often experienced as difficult to be really honest. Confrontations are avoided: in the first instance with oneself, in the second instance with the other.
Lies are invented, excuses are made up, everything so as not to have to stand for one’s own truth. It could be that someone gets stuck in the lying and twisting so much that an entire fantasy world is created. As a client of mine recently said: ‘At a certain point I no longer knew who I had told what, but the disturbing thing was that I didn’t even know anymore.’
Thinking that working overtime
Acknowledging that this process is underway and taking responsibility for it is a very important step to take in this life lesson. When we are not completely honest with ourselves, and energy-guzzling process of rationalization starts. This mainly consists of a lot of thoughts, which must confirm the choice/truth.
This is against better (inner) knowing and feeling. Thinking is going to work overtime; like a hamster on its treadmill, it keeps running around hoping that the truth chosen will eventually be accepted by the Self. But because it does not correspond to its own (covered) truth, thought will never be able to convince the Self. Despite all mindfulness courses, the thinking process will not be calmed.
Acknowledging one’s own truth
Only when the real own truth is recognized and responsibility is taken for it, will the mind be able to calm down again. But especially for people who work with this life lesson, it is a terrifying process. It feels much safer to acknowledge the truth of another. Disagreeing with the other person in a conversation feels threatening.
As with all life lessons, the most difficult step is that of awareness and recognition. Only when the blind spot is held against the light is it possible to get started. What you are then asked to do is look at yourself and how you do this. See how to avoid confrontation; look at yourself and how your attention is complete with the other person and you do not keep track of what it is doing to you.
Experience how you create illusions about your decisions. Catch yourself in lies and half-truths. You are asked to be honest. And yes, that can be very painful at times. Especially when shame and guilt take the place of ignorance. The ego is often not amused when the personality is so honestly looked at. Yet that is the road that may be walked; take full honesty and responsibility for your own thoughts, feelings, and behavior.
Take yourself seriously
Standing up for what something does to you and what you think about it – every time – is what you are asked to do. If you do this often enough, you will find that it will become easier and easier. More and more often you take yourself seriously and take your place as a fellow player in the game called life. This takes quite a bit of courage; every time you catch yourself thinking ‘never mind’, this is an invitation to get on with it. Because every ‘never mind’ (or ‘I don’t feel like it right now) indicates that it is your move. You have come to earth in this lifetime to show yourself completely; to yourself and to your fellow man.
When you have finally mastered this life lesson, you will find that you not only know yourself very well, but you also take up all the space for your truth, your feelings, and ways of thinking. You are able to stay true to yourself in conversations and confront them where necessary. When you finally realize that many others can exist besides your truth and that this does not threaten your truth, then I can congratulate you: you have fully mastered this life lesson.