Yesterday I was reading about happiness, and one of the subjects was truthfulness. It brought up an important point that I had not really deeply thought about. I consider myself a pretty truthful person but I also try not to hurt too many feelings either. I had never thought about the fact that when you say you don’t care about something and you really do, you are being untruthful not only to the person you are saying it to, but you are being untruthful to yourself. And that does not lead to happiness.
For example, your friend asks, where do you want to go to eat? You answer, I don’t care. If you truly have no preference at that time, great. If in the back of your mind you are thinking, I really want to try out that Mexican place, or I hate that joint, but you keep all these thoughts to yourself you are actually being untruthful, to your friend and yourself.
Why does this matter and how can it change your happiness level? Because what makes you happy should be part of your everyday agenda, and what doesn’t make you happy should be left out if at all possible. If you mentioned the Mexican place, and your friend agreed, you could have had a memorable experience, lived in the moment, and soaked up the rays of a good time. If you didn’t mention that you did not like a certain place and your friend picked it, going there will probably make you miserable, whiny, and depressed. ( You could still turn this situation around by ignoring the part you didn’t like, and finding a way to turn your attitude into gratitude by just being with your friend but it would be easier and more fun somewhere else).
This sounds like a petty thing to worry about, but it is the beginning of being honest with yourself. It is an easy way to practice truthfulness with yourself and your feelings; something most women have neglected for many years. Nurturing children and husbands and elderly parents, we tend to forget about ourselves and what makes us happy. And if we do do something true to ourselves, we feel guilty of being selfish.
Try following through with what you really think, not what you think others want you to think, and see how it feels. It is very scary at first. Try it once a day, it gets easier. It can even make you smile. For a woman who has been catering to everyone else it is quite an accomplishment. The more you practice being truthful to yourself and following what brings joy to your life, the more content, loving, peaceful you become.