What are you aiming for?
The goal is quite simple, isn’t it? People want more happiness, less pain, more enjoyment and fulfillment, and less of the mundane. Many people struggle to realize and feel solid about their own contentment and enthusiasm for life. I started The Truism Center to help people live more meaningful lives. Arrival means finality and loving life isn’t about that. Once you arrive you stop traveling. If you’re weary, that’s ok, take a rest. When you’re ready I’d like to share some ideas on what it looks like to live a Truism Centered life. Take an easier path and start working on yourself.
Sometimes we find ourselves diligently avoiding who we do not want to be. It’s like our radio is tuned in to signals that originate very far away. Every so often you have thoughts that other people are happier and healthier than you. Their Instagram posts, their job, family life, friends, significant-other appear to bring more satisfaction than what you experience.
I’m tuned in to everyone else but me
You live your life keenly aware of other’s expectations. At times, their opinion of you ranks higher than you honoring your own feelings. The radio signal of your own thoughts and feelings is suppressed. You say yes to things you later wish you would not have, and no to things that you wish you could have said yes to. You’ve tried in the past to be more selfish and stand up for yourself but it seems to backfire. It invites criticism that you cannot handle from others or an internal dialog that you prefer to ignore.
A Truism Centered life is all about recognizing quickly the things that are obviously true and developing the skills to keep yourself centered and balanced. A truism is something that is obviously true. It is so widely accepted that it would be idiotic to argue against it. These are things like; the sky is blue, the earth is a sphere, patience is a virtue, you win some you lose some, and the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. What if you could develop some truisms that could become obviously true about you and your life? I’m talking about some positive ones.
I’m staring back at me in the mirror
Developing a Truism Centered Life starts by taking a look at the things that you believe are obviously true about you, your circumstances, your mental health, your relationship with yourself and others. You begin to evaluate them against what is true until they become a truism. Something obvious and straightforward. You create these new truisms for yourself so that you don’t waver on any longer. They become habitual and easy to access.
Let’s say that you believe you are supposed to enjoy dinner at your in-laws’ house. However, the drive, expectations of what to wear, bring as a side dish to pass, the amount of time and energy invested in this event feels daunting. Nevertheless, you put a smile on your face, muster up the energy to try and be present but never admit to your spouse that you do not want to spend every Sunday afternoon with your in-laws. You know it will crush their spirits and it will invite criticism and hurt from your mother in law and you’ll end up the “bad guy” for bucking the status quo.
I am honest about the way I feel
In this example, you may start to develop a truism that it is ok to advocate for yourself and challenge the status quo or compromise with your spouse about the amount of time spent with the in-laws. You deserve that, it’s obvious, you shouldn’t have to worry about being demonized for your own thoughts and feelings. As this resolve becomes stronger, the new truism starts to feel more natural.
This starts with the work of cognitive-behavioral therapy. This process helps you tune into your thoughts and feelings to develop congruence. You tune the radio into the signals that you are producing and respond to those versus reacting to external stimuli. You tune to the radio station of you. You start to be able to say yes to the things that you want to say yes to and no to the things that you don’t really want to do. You feel resolved and confident to face conflict and difficult decisions. You don’t live to avoid pain because you trust that you will be able to handle it. You have the wherewithal to live your life anticipating the good that is still there and is yet to come. I often tell my clients that we need to discern the difference between being responsible for someone else’s feelings and being responsible to that person in the context of the relationship.
Life is an adventure that I’m excited about
This kind of centered, focused life is not about developing rigidity but a resolve around uncertainty and the skills and fortitude to know how to get back to balance. I’ll never forget the words of my supervisor when I was an intern. She would say that “people need to learn how to hold their own hand”. Our thoughts and emotions are like a pendulum sometimes. We can swing back and forth. The skills to hold our own hand, travel back towards the center are important.
When you look in the mirror you may begin to challenge yourself to see where your boundaries are being crossed or even where you may be crossing someone else’s boundaries. You start to address the ways in which you are codependent or anxiously attached to people in your life. In doing the work to address these things you start to feel more solid about yourself and secure in who you are. That feeling like the rug is going to be pulled from underneath you at any moment starts to fade and you feel strong and in love, with the life, you’re in.
For more information about The Truism Center or book an appointment with one of our counselors please visit our website and book a consultation with our coordinator.