To be honest, you gotta live honestlyAugust 10, 2010 at 9:59 PM | Posted in Soapbox in the Raw | 7 Comments
“Honestly…” My journalism professor hated when anybody prefaced their statement with that word. “Were you lying to me all the other times?” he bellowed.
I used to be a pathological liar. Up until the age of 16. My parents knew every single time I lied, so I don’t know why I continued to do it. Finally, one day my mother asked me a question and I responded promptly with a lie. She sighed heavily and looked me in my eyes and said “Why do you have to lie? I know you’re lying,” she chuckled a bit, then looked back at me, “What’s the problem with telling the truth even if it’s bad we’re you’re parents, we love you so whatever it is at least tell us the truth so we can then deal with it.” I took those words to heart. I am glad to say I am no longer a pathological liar. I value honesty.
This wonderful woman, Dunni O. often calls me fearless. I remember the first time she tweeted this word to describe me, I was taken aback. I was speechless (this happens rarely). This was a loaded honor. To be called fearless means exactly what the word says. No fear. What does that mean to really live your life with no fear? You can only be fearless if you are honest. Mostly with yourself. The natural consequence is you will be honest with others. My mother told me, once you love yourself, truly love yourself and know WHO you are, nothing, NOTHING anyone says will ever hurt you. It will just roll right off your back. It starts within. Everything else are just the effects of the relationship you have with yourself. Humans are naturally their biggest and toughest critic, so if I can say to myself “whoa buddy you’re getting a little pudgy there, better hit the treadmill,” why can’t I tell a co-worker I didn’t appreciate her rude remark or tell Joe Smith where he can go after he barbarically demands my number. I love myself more than enough to be honest with myself, so that ability translates seamlessly to the environs of my life.
My friends and family are my second toughest critics, bluntly honest and at the same time they accept me for who I am. My mother use to say she will always be tough on us because once the real world rears it’s ugly head we’ll just nonchalantly look at it and say “oh please, my mother says worse.” With loving people who let me be me and believe in all that I CAN be, I have no other choice BUT to be Dash. The lessons my parents have taught me, the overflowing wisdom my mother imparts on me and the friends who love (and hate and will not hesitate to tell me) my crazy ways, enable me to live my life honestly.
I have grown tremendously in the past year and a half. I learned what matters to me. I have learned I can only control my actions. I can control my life and how I choose to spend my time on this earth. I call the shots. “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” Just exactly whose life would I be living if not mine?
I have grown extremely close to my mother, 20,000 leagues closer from our fighting-like-cats-and-dogs former selves. Her brother passed away last year, and I asked how she felt, she sighed and said “well what can you do.” I teared up a little, because it’s true. You can only “do” so much in this life. There’s only so much you can do, so why not let what you can do be worthwhile. Make it count for something. Why not do it because YOU want to? Why not do it because you feel it’s right? Do it because it’s what you believe in and what you stand for. The superficial is not worth your soul. So I hold dearly onto what I CAN do and the people that love me for that. And if the day ever came when the whole entire world said “Hey Dash we actually hate you, buh-bye.” I wouldn’t bat an eye because the most important people in my life are in my corner. I can’t lose them, so it wouldn’t matter if I lost the world.