How many times in your life have you said you’d do something and then didn’t? I’m not just talking about the things you told someone else you would do for them.
I’m talking about every change you’ve wanted to make in your life.
Every time you said yes when you didn’t totally mean it.
Every time you said no and didn’t totally mean it.
Every time you said you were fine when you actually felt scared or sad or confused.
Every time you said you’d wake up early to work out, eat well, and care for your body the way you know it deserves and didn’t.
Every job you took that was out of alignment with your heart.
Every time you held back from telling your partner or lover you were hurt or upset because you didn’t want to make waves.
Each of those instances was a promise you made to yourself and then broke. And here’s the kicker: Even if you never told anybody else about those promises you broke, they still know. Not consciously probably, but on a felt, visceral level they sense the parts of you that are not trustworthy.
Your internal incongruence radiates out to your partner, your family, to loved ones, colleagues/clients, and community. They sense your untrustworthiness and they hold you at arm’s length (or further).
The solution is simple, but it’s not easy: A deep commitment to mastery of self. It requires seeking out support from teachers, mentors, and your community. It requires vulnerability: True strength. It requires getting uncomfortable. Really uncomfortable, oftentimes.
But what’s worse? Living a life that’s a lie? One where you hold your heart at bay from yourself and everyone else you love? Suppressing your voice and robbing the world of the biggest, most brilliant, and loving version of you? Or owning your deepest truths and speaking them out loud, even when your community disagrees?
When you’re living from your heart some people will seem to hate you for your choices. They’ll put you down, call you names, threaten you, try to talk you out of it, be disappointed in you, leave you, talk trash behind your back… Your practice is to love them AND yourself, every step of the way.
There will also be those who see in you the exact thing they yearn for within themselves. They’ve been waiting for the permission that you can give them to love, live, and feel.
You have the power to save lives. Literally. There are others who’ve felt as lost, isolated, or overwhelmed as you have. Some of them are going to kill themselves because they don’t know what to do with their pain and it hurts so, so bad. You can show them that they’re not alone and that there is a path through the pain.
There are others who are living but who are not living. If nothing changes for them they’ll die already dead. Though their bodies will still be functioning, their souls will have already thrown in the towel. You can show them another way of living.
There are others who are already well on the path of an open heart. They need you too, to support them when they’re feeling down, and to resonate with their joy when they’re feeling open and connected.
These people are all around you. They’re friends, family, and co-workers.
And as much as others need you to be trustworthy, strong, and vulnerable, so do you. Your heart and soul are calling for you to stop playing small and let the world truly see you. Your shame, joy, anger, sadness… These are feelings we experience when we’re truly alive, and inside you’re starving to be truly, fully alive.
Speak and live your truth, regardless of how the world around you responds. (Or how you imagine they’ll respond, the reality is usually far different than the thought.)
This doesn’t mean you do anything you want with no regard for others. Far from it. It means you show up to every moment rooted like an oak tree in your knowing of self, unapologetic for your heart’s deepest desires. You drop all the walls surrounding your heart and you lead with your love, knowing that doing so opens you up to seemingly unbearable pain AND profound joy.
It means you speak your desires with honesty and clarity. You claim what you want while simultaneously releasing all expectation of ever getting that thing.
It means you cut the crap with your fluffy, wishy washy language, your talking in circles, and your narcissistic addiction to your own thoughts. You speak the few simple words that really want to be spoken, take a deep, full breath, and let the power of your truth be fully felt by those around you.
It means you do this all with a deep sensitivity to those around you. It means you cultivate the skill and presence to penetrate through the fear and anger that will inevitably arise around you. You begin to radiate a trustworthiness which allows others to let their walls down and trust their deepest hearts. They’re modeled permission to live life that much more fully.
You become a sacred warrior. As Trogyam Trungpa puts it: “Many people try to find a spiritual path where they do not have to face themselves but where they can still liberate themselves–liberate themselves from themselves, in fact. In truth, this is impossible. We cannot do that. We have to be honest with ourselves. We have to see our gut, our real shit, our most undesirable parts. We have to see that. That is the foundation of warriorship and the basis of conquering fear. We have to face our fear; we have to look at it, study it, work with it, and practice meditation with it.”
Every broken promise to yourself is a choice you’ve made.
You have another kind of choice to make. Right now and in every single moment beyond. When you’re crystal clear on who you are as a man, what kind of life you’d like to live, and what your purpose is in the world, you begin to live a different kind of life. You come to every relationship, transaction, kiss, word spoken, and lovemaking session fully in integrity and with your heart wide open.
It’s here that the people in your life can feel you. Your partner, your children, your clients or co-workers… They feel it all, whether they know it or not: Your fear, your doubt, your insecurity, but most important of all, the deep love that lies at the core of it all. It’s when YOU have owned every aspect of your being from darkest dark to brightest light that you become trustworthy.
Acknowledge this and you’ll not only set yourself free, you’ll set the whole world free.