The truth shall set you free is one of my guiding mantras. And yet I sway between being open and maintaining some privacy along with a little mystery. Don’t get it twisted now, I am not dishonest. I just discern what, when and with whom I share certain information. We all speak hard truths to ourselves, but we many not feel the need to share them with others. Not everyone has earned the right to bear witness to our stories. However, when we fail to share our authentic selves with others, we miss the opportunity to truly connect, learn, and even heal.
Recently I had to introduce myself to a group by answering 4 questions: my name, my interest in the topic, what I am most proud of in life, and something that represents my authentic self. Wanting to get the small talk and imposed introductions out of the way, I volunteered to share pretty early on. Although I answered honestly, they were surface level responses.
While I was speaking, I saw my higher self give me the side eye, shake her head and say “Girl, really?!” As others continued to introduce themselves and the level of intimacy increased in the group, I felt like a fraud. I wondered why had I failed to tell my whole truth? As I walked away from that experience, I felt that I had missed an opportunity to connect in a real and deep way. So, I went home and asked myself those 4 questions and wrote out my truest responses.
Re-Introducing the real Sonya Henry:
- My Name is Sonya and for the record, I love my name. My Daddy gave it to me. It means wisdom, one of the virtues I value most.
- I am most interested in how people cultivate joy and triumph in the face of setbacks, challenges and hardships in life.
- I am most proud of knowing when to let go and to move on- from experiences, jobs, people, locations, etc. This is never easy, but I can look back with few regrets and a deep knowing that I walked away at the perfect time- leaving with some good lessons and leaving behind the baggage.
- Something that represents my authentic self is my journal. I love to write and I find it incredibly therapeutic. The second item would be a cocktail because it’s sweet and strong with a little bite, just like me.
So Suitie, how do you balance telling your truth, but leaving just a little left for the imagination?