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Are You Okay Right Now? November 23, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Magick & Mystery, Mindfulness.

To be the hero of your life means to be who YOU are.  That requires honesty, both with yourself and with others.  It takes courage to share “your truth” with the world, knowing that it will not always be well received.

But “your truth” is what you are here to share.

Everyone has been made for some particular work, and the desire for that work has been put in every heart. ~ Rumi

We do not become heroes by tip-toeing around the tough issues.  We do not become heroes by telling “nice white lies” to protect the perceived fragility of others.

Telling victims of domestic violence what they want to hear does not assist them in the long run.  The cycle of violence in their lives has eroded their self-esteem.  Their Egos are in a “fragile state” indeed.

But underneath the layers of bruised and battered Ego the pearl of their ageless Eternal Spirit holds out hope, peace, love, and joy . . . as long as they are brave enough to Dive Deep and search out its wisdom.

One day, a young woman and her grandmother appeared in my office to talk about the violence that had filled the young woman’s life.  We’ll call her Jan.

Jan tearfully recounted the physical and psychological abuse that she had sustained at the hands of her “loving” boyfriend.

Although he was now in jail, she remained paralyzed by fear and anxiety (at the level of Ego).

Her mind wandered to the past and revisited the pain.  Her mind wandered to the future and worried about what would happen when he was released.

She could not eat.  She could not sleep.

She could not move through her daily life without feeling that he would jump out at her from around the next corner.

I suspect she had PTSD ~ Post Traumatic Stress Disorder ~ stress from PAST EVENTS permeated her being and robbed her of the joy she could be feeling in the Present Moment.

As tears rolled down her cheeks, as she wailed that she did not know what to do, as she sobbed in hopelessness, words rolled unbidden from my mouth ~ out before I could call them back.

Honest words.  Brutally honest words.  True words.

“Stop.”  She blinked.

“Look around.”  She complied.

“Are you okay right now?”  She nodded.  Her grandmother nodded in time.

“Then you are okay.”

Harsh words indeed to deliver to someone who had already gone through so much.

After she and her grandmother left, I went home and kept thinking about those BRUTALLY honest words I had shared with her.

While they might have been what she needed to hear (and in that sense were kind and compassionate), they were not NICE words designed to protect her fragile state of being.  They were a call to arms.

Wake up.  Look around.  The only one here that’s hurting you is YOU! 

I worried as I lay in bed that night that my HONEST appraisal of her situation might hurt and hinder her, rather than help.  That thought kept me awake for hours.

Finally, desperate for sleep, I asked the Universe, God, the Collective Conscience to let me know if I had done the “right” thing by being BRUTALLY HONEST.

The next morning, my office mate, who ran a different program, looked up at me as I entered the office, and asked, “Did you meet with a young woman named Jan and her grandmother yesterday?”

I nodded, holding my breath.

Jill looked at me with an odd expression on her face, “I don’t know if this will make any sense to you, it doesn’t to me, but Jan called about some mental health programs I’m running and asked me to relay a message to you.”

I nodded again, still holding my breath.

“She said . . . Tell her she told me exactly what I needed to hear.”

I smiled and breathed.

Jill continued, “I asked her to be more specific, but she said you’d know what she meant.  Do you?”

I nodded and offered silent thanks to the Universe for answering my request so quickly . . . telling me exactly what I needed to hear.

Sometimes the words that flow from our mouths are authored by another, a higher power, a power filled with love and compassion for mankind, a power that understands that harsh words often bring about the most lasting and beneficial change to those facing challenges in their lives here on Earth.  I suspect that that is what happened that day.

The Universe whispered those seemingly harsh words to me, so that I would tell Jan exactly what she needed to hear.

If I had been guided solely by Jan’s apparent sensibilities and the fragile state of her Ego (filled as it was with paralyzing fear), I might have gathered her in my arms and let her cry.  I might have agreed with her when she said there was no way that she could overcome the anxiety that filled her days and nights.  I might have commiserated, sympathized, or empathized with her plight, highlighting and exacerbating her role as not only a victim of domestic violence, but a victim of life as well.

Instead, the Universe reminded her, through me, that if she is okay right now, then she is okay.

Those harsh-sounding words were exactly what she needed to hear.

My willingness to throw open the blinds that obscured her vision allowed light into her world for the first time in months.

Brutal honesty washed away her fear and reminded her to let go of the past and stop worrying about the future.  It reminded her that we can only live right here, right now.  And, if we are okay right now, then we are okay.

We do not know what others need.  We do not have sufficient perspective on their lives.  But that need not stop up from sharing “our truth” with them.

Maybe our honesty, even our brutal honesty, is the Universe reaching out to them, through us, telling them . . . exactly what they need to hear.

No rules.  Just write!

Related posts:  The Gift of Synchronicity * Synchronicity & MysteryA Beacon in the DarkWay of the Peaceful Warrior * Access Your Inner Wisdom * Winks Whispers & NudgesDivine Inspiration in Unlikely Places


1. Loreen Lee - November 23, 2010

Yes. I am OK now. I have survived a diagnosis of Schizophrenia, for thirty years, which was changed to a diagnosis of PTSD after fighting the justice system and what I considered to be sexual harassment by a couple of Assistant Professors. This is the subject of my book. But I rewrite. Because visiting the past, when you are not psychologically involved with it, enables one, according to recent philosophical theory to make that past noble, by making sure all the connections and sequences are honest and true renditions of Self. That is the Ego, which we all have, and that one is not making that Self or Ego into something better than it is in order to make a better impression on the world. This is called by these philosophers Nobility. In other words it is noble to admit one’s faults, rather than to overlook them. So I rewrite, making the past more and more intelligible and comprehensive. But this is following Hegel. It is also good to follow Heidegger’s opening up of the future, with demarcations as to the possibilities. The only certainty there, within the temporal sphere, of course, is our death. But I’m back to my study, because there is always something new and wonderful for me to learn from the masters. All the best.

nrhatch - November 23, 2010

Thanks for sharing “your truth” with us.

Paula Tohline Calhoun - November 23, 2010

Here we go again! 😀 My understanding and definition of “brutal” is quite different from what you describe here. I firmly believe that you spoke the truth in love. You had (I’m guessing at your tone of voice) evident compassion for her predicament and then offered her a way out of it! Unless you grabbed her by the collar, shook her senseless, and shouted in her fact to “S – T – O – P!! Quit your bitching, moaning and complaining,you idiot!” Or some other verbal diatribe.

By listening to God, you responded in love. Perhaps by “brutal” honesty you are referring to what I call “unvarnished” honesty. Unvarnished honesty should always be delivered with love and care – so that it will be heard. I believe that brutal honesty is often not heard, or heard/taken in a totally negative, rejecting way, in much the same manner as “good advice” (solicited or un.) Without care and attention to how we say what needs to be said, then the target often turns away, regardless of your original intentions.

Terrific posts, Nancy. You got my mind away from my ailing hand for a while! More about that later. Until then, why don’t you give me some brutal honesty and yell at me to quit my complaining, and get on with living life!

With unvarnished, honest love, I remain
St. Paula

2. nrhatch - November 23, 2010

Once again, the words we use to communicate are subject to interpretation, clouding our ability to communicate effectively unless we take the time to LISTEN too! 🙂

I’ve always used “brutal honesty” to mean NOT beating around the bush. Just calling the shots as you see them ~ accurate, not nasty.

So, you’re correct, when I say “brutal honesty,” I am using it as a synonym for the “unvarnished truth,” and I strive to allow love and compassion to fill my heart as I speak, to soften the “blow.”

Personally, I see little reason to communicate at all unless we intend to be helpful (rather than hurtful) with our comments.

But, despite our best intentions, our underlying motivation is subject to interpretation by our audience.

And, while we know that we are intending to be helpful, loving, kind, compassionate, etc., our motives are oft times questioned by those who do not like what we are saying.

In response, they shoot they messenger and miss the message.

C’est la vie! Love you, St. Paula!

3. Paula Tohline Calhoun - November 23, 2010

Amen! You said it, Sister! Hermeneutics frequently sneaks up on us – even when we expect it!

BTW, the consummate wit, Alice Roosevelt Longworth (Teddy’s daughter), has frequently been quoted as saying, “If you haven’t got anything nice to say about anybody, then come over here and sit by me.”

That quote doesn’t really have much to do with what you just wrote, except it popped into my mind as I read, “Personally, I see little reason to communicate at all unless we intend to be helpful (rather than hurtful) with our comments.” Would that we would always live up to that standard of behavior – but good ol’ Alice’s can sometimes be more fun – and it can certainly at least temporarily “get your rocks off!” 😀

Left hand tired, right hand kaput. I’m going to read for a while and save any typing for later. . .Bye!

nrhatch - November 23, 2010

I laughed at Alice’s remark! It reminds me of another (related) reason to communicate . . . just to make each other LAUGH ~ which is helpful to our lives here on Earth.

Laughter helps us maintain our sanity in the midst of insanity. 😉

So sorry that your hand is troubling you today.

I’m not going to tell you to stop complaining (as you asked me to do) because you aren’t whining and I appreciate being reminded that these thoughtful comments of yours come at great discomfort to you. Feel better, kiddo!

4. Cindy - November 24, 2010

Found the comments here as profound as the post.
Thank you all.

nrhatch - November 24, 2010

The comments on these honesty posts rock!

I love reading such intelligent commentary on a topic of great interest and importance to me.

5. gita4elamats - January 14, 2013

Sorry comments are closed for this entry

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