Today I am thinking about the second Yama – Satya or truth.
Truth and honesty have always been very important to me. I have always prided myself on being honest and fair with others - this was an important virtue for me.
But in searching and expressing the truth, I hurt a lot of people. I believed that I had to be honest no matter what, direct, without embellishment, and I didn't consider other people's feelings. I saw my frankness as a virtue, and lying and hypocrisy as the worst possible trait I could have...
Until the day I realized that I myself am the biggest hypocrite and liar. I thought I was being honest with everyone, but really I was lying to myself - big time!
I didn't do it on purpose, because I wasn't even aware of it. I did things I didn't like just because I told myself they were "normal", I was so proud of my love for animals - while eating them and supporting their killing and torture. I talked a lot, but my actions didn't reflect my words. I put on a mask, told myself that I was like this, and completely denied and suppressed my true nature. I told myself so many lies about who I was that I didn't even know myself anymore.
The process of admitting all the lies, removing the masks and getting to know my true self was extremely difficult and painful in the beginning. We all tell ourselves stories about who we are, we believe we are living our truth, but many times it is a life chosen and defined for us by others. When we begin to question everything we've believed to be true, it can be difficult and scary because we're leaving everything we know and going into the unknown.
Being honest with yourself and others and living your truth is not easy, it takes a lot of courage and compassion. Ahimsa, non-violence, always comes before Satya, truth. It's okay to be honest and genuine, but we also have to try not to be cruel and hurtful (to others and ourselves). Being kind and compassionate is key.
Satya means not only speaking the truth but also living your truth. Living my truth means doing my best to do unto others as I would have others do unto me, and not to do unto others what I would not have them do unto me. Living your truth means being the change I want to see in the world, speaking up whenever I see injustice happening instead of just turning away. My purpose in this life is to educate, spread awareness, change lives and speak the truth, even if it is uncomfortable at times.
Living my truth also means I need a creative and supportive work environment, I can't do work just for the money. I need to do something that does not conflict with my ethical and moral beliefs, that allows me (and others) to grow.
The Asato Maa Mantra guides us to the truth:
Om Asato Maa Sad-Gamaya
Tamaso Maa Jyotir-Gamaya
Martyor-Maa Amrtam Gamaya
It leads me from untruth to truth
From darkness (ignorance) to light (knowledge)
From death to immortality
What does living your truth mean to you? Let me know in a comment.
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