I am in awe of the words and powerful presence of Greta Thunberg. She seems an unwilling heroine of speaking truth to power. She has been thrust into the limelight because she is willing to say what needs to be said, more than all the grown-ass adults in the room. She has said many times that she is able to be so bold because she has Asperger’s. It’s her superpower. Because of Asperger’s she lacks the filters that might otherwise keep her from speaking such searing words of truth to people in power. It is quite remarkable.
For better or worse, I have lots of filters in place that “allow” (??) me to say more appropriate things, which mostly means saying nothing at all. I am often intimidated to speak the God-honest truth about what I think. I worry about what will happen to certain relationships if I say this or that. I am concerned about what people will think about me. I am often scared to say how I feel or give my opinion, for no clear reason other than that I’m afraid to say it out loud.
But in light of the incredible movement that Greta has empowered, how are these filters that we neuro-typical folks claim, helping us and not standing in the way of getting shit done because we are afraid of being honest? I have sat through far too many conversations and meetings in which I held my tongue and did not say what I thought, in the moment. But catch me in the parking lot after the meeting, rehashing it to a friend, and it seems I in fact have plenty to say – after the moment that matters has passed. What will it take for me to be honest – fiercely authentic – in the moment when it is called for, not after the fact, when it just becomes gossip and talking trash.
And can we even practice being fiercely authentic without going in fight or flight mode — so, we neither have to pick a fight to be honest, nor run away and hide after we drop a truth bomb. How can we make space in relationships for people to be honest with us — are you a safe person to be honest with? How do you respond to people’s thoughts, questions, concerns? How do you feel about Greta Thunberg’s honesty and truth-telling?
And while we practice our honesty – do we know how to use our words? Sometimes those filters are really important. When you are in line at the grocery store and they ask how you are – you don’t have to be completely honest in that moment. You get to pick what you share and with whom. Just because you don’t tell the bank teller that you got in a really complicated fight with your brother doesn’t mean you are being inauthentic.
The Meditation Mantra of the Month is Satya; truthfulness, integrity in word and action. This is the theme of the next Saturday Morning Retreat….this Saturday, 9a.m.-noon at Philo Presbyterian. $30. Want to come? We’ll chew on what the opposite of integrity feels like in your body. What does truthfulness and authenticity feel like in your body? What keeps us from saying what we actually think in the moment we think it? What will it take to say I’m sorry or I forgive you or Thank You or I love you or No or Yes or whatever it is that needs to be said? And there will be yoga, breathing practices, interesting conversations, and even snacks. All that for just $30?! I know – it’s a great deal. Come. You’ll have plenty of time in the afternoon to dig your winter clothes out of that pile in the back of your closet.
okay, that’s it for now. Peace on your head, you. – Rachel