The title is not an error. We are all familiar with the game Truth or Dare. The game shows us that truth is often more difficult than the wildest of actions, and when confronted with a choice between the two, we often choose not to share our truths and dare wild action. Today, I am blogging about truth AND dare.
What if some of the very basic truths we have at the center of our lives are actually not true? Untruth, accepted as truth, can cause much pain in our lives. If we challenge the ideas that cause us pain, we may find these ideas can be discarded and replaced with ideas that helps us live happier.
These ideas usually revolve around what we perceive to be appropriate for ourselves – what we can and cannot do. For instance, I had a friend who wanted to resume ballroom dancing lessons but said she could not. I commented that if it makes her happy she should do it. I was genuinely puzzled as to why she would deny herself something that seemed to make her so happy. I asked her why she couldn’t take the classes. She said she could not afford it. We talked about the price and I showed her where a few minor budget adjustments would allow her to afford the classes. She then said she didn’t have time. I pointed out that she was a single woman who didn’t have any children and was therefore free to structure her time however she liked. I suggested she work slightly longer hours a couple days a week and leave early on ballroom night. She was ecstatic! She now had something to look forward to that she loved doing. She is a smart woman who certainly could have thought of these things herself. I believe she was also thinking on some level it would be inappropriate for her to engage in ballroom dancing, based on the fact that is was something she did when she was younger, maybe 20 years ago. Having the discussion with me gave her permission to pursue something she loved.
Isn’t that key for many women? We sometimes don’t do things because we feel we would step outside the box painted for us, either by ourselves or others. Right now, at this very moment, I give you permission to LIVE HAPPIER and pursue whatever your is in your dreams. Dare to challenge the “truth” and dare to live happier, i.e. truth AND dare.
Here’s another example: I recently overheard a woman tell her friend she didn’t feel pretty. I looked at the woman and checked her out. She looked perfectly fine to me. She was a little overweight and somewhat plain but so what? Everyone is something. I wondered what made her feel unpretty. I figured weight probably had something to do with it. Some people equate being slim with being pretty. I am not one of those people. Being African American, I come from a culture where curves are appreciated. I do recognize other cultures do not appreciate curves. Women from those cultures, such as this woman, struggle more with weight as being a source of unattractiveness.
When I looked at this woman, I saw a woman with a lot to work with. Today, fashion comes in all sizes. Beauty is for everyone! She was wearing sweats, the most unattractive thing a woman could possibly wear – next to those flowered housecoats that women used to wear years ago. She had good skin, no blemishes. She had beautiful, thick hair that was cut short. This woman had a lot to work with! A little makeup, a trip to Marshall’s or even Target for a new outfit and some hair mousse could drastically change her appearance and make her feel prettier than she has probably felt in years. This woman was living in false truth that could be resolved in less than a day and start her life on an entirely new projectory of living happier.
I imagined that perhaps it wasn’t exactly that simple. Maybe she felt unpretty because she grew up around other girls that were always praised for their beauty while she received none. Maybe someone actively told her she was not pretty. Maybe she was comparing herself to an ideal of perfection. The path to resolving any of those deeper issues still begins with the minor makeover because – and this is key – it would allow her to see the possibilities – and begin to imagine their infinity.
That is what life is really about – truth AND dare. Dare to know the truth is life holds infinite possibilities and dare to choose the one that allows you to live happier.