One of the cool things about moving is the opportunity to go through all of your stuff. That’s exactly what I went through the last couple of months as my husband and I transitioned our lives from Los Angeles, California to Austin, Texas. Piece by piece, I sifted through every item I owned and decided what was important enough to bring with me on our 1,500 mile trek and what was no longer needed.
Similarly to this refining of physical items, I’ve sort of been on a soul-searching quest lately, honing in on things that matter and letting everything else fall away. So I was intrigued when I came across a book my mom gave to me years ago, The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. I remember having read it, and being inspired by it so I decided to pick it back up and gave it another read.
The very first lesson in the book is to “be impeccable with your word.” This simple statement really hit home for me. It’s not that I’m a liar or anything. But I do struggle with sharing my true thoughts when I’m in a situation where I feel like the other person might not agree or become indignant.
For example, yesterday I was doing my grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s and as I walked past the sample counter the man behind the counter asked if I’d like to try the macaroni and cheese. I declined and said thanks anyway. Then the man proceeded to tell me how this was extra special because they put chunks of bacon into it. I must have been making a face because he stopped short and said “…or maybe you’ll try it another time.” And for some reason, I have no idea why, I said “yea maybe later.”
What? In my head I was actually thinking, “No, not later. Not ever! I’m vegan and I don’t eat animals!”
So why did I feel the need to say what I did? I could have said nothing. I could have said what I was actually thinking, but in a nice way.
Learning to speak my truth in situations like these, no matter how insignificant or unimportant as they may seem, has been brought to the forefront of my mind. The fact that I’m still thinking about it gives it importance. I’m learning to recognize my intense need to please others, or at the very least, to avoid offending anyone.
The truth is, sometimes it can be a little scary – and lonely – being vegan. My family is not vegan. I don’t have many friends who are vegan. But is that a legitimate excuse for not saying how I really feel about the issues? Is that a reason to not share my opinions. Does that make my opinions matter less?
I realize that I’ve been so nervous about how my friends on facebook, for example, will react if I post vegan-related articles or insights. These are the insecurities and frustrations I deal with on a daily basis. This is a reason that I’m grateful to have this blog and to VeganYogaLife facebook page, where I feel comfortable sharing my vegan perspective.
That’s why reading that simple line, “be impeccable with your word” had such a profound effect on me. I don’t want to shield my friends and family from such a huge part of who I am. I want to tell the world that I’m vegan and that I LOVE being vegan!
Learning to speak my truth has been an ongoing process and I’m clearly still learning everyday. I’m taking baby steps and constantly reminding myself to be impeccable with my word.
Do you struggle with speaking your truth? Share your thoughts in the comments below.