I have been struggling lately with the idea of ‘speaking my truth.’ I have come to many conclusions about the way I am choosing to live my life that differ greatly from what conventional culture is doing. Venturing out into the world has become increasingly difficult, as avoiding discussion of my life choices in is next to impossible. So this leaves me in a place where I am feeling unsure. A place where I don’t really know how to respond. When I am questioned about something, like the food I eat, or try to gracefully decline the boxed cookies that have been offered, I am usually met with an inquisitive mind wanting to understand my reasoning. The problem is that I am not able to give people the full back story or even a taste of all the thought and feeling that has gone into a decision. I can only provide some reduced version of my conviction which generally doesn’t even address the heart of the issue for me. This is because usually, the heart of the issue is just that…it is part of me. I consider my acts of transition to be a spiritual practice; one that I live out on a daily basis.
It is hard work to live radically. Not only is my family different, which is becoming increasingly apparent when we venture out into the world, but we are often met with defensiveness. People often perceive our life choices as judgements on what they are doing. This reaction is often unprovoked, and seems to bubble up when I explain a bit about why I live a certain way. While my thought processes often involve judgement of ideas, I do not find any reward in comparing myself to others. In fact, the act of judging myself against others is what often leads me to feelings of fear. My life goal is to live in line with Gandhi’s ideal to ‘be the change you want to see in the world.’ My judgement of issues is solely for the purpose of living out my own truth. I do not claim to have the answers for others, never mind the fact that I just plain do not have the capacity to think through transition issues beyond the scope of myself and my family.
So I am left feeling at a loss for how to integrate with integrity. I often feel that it would be much easier to just not integrate, but this goes against my very belief in community. For a long time I have just kept quiet, not wanting to make waves with others. But more recently I have found it too difficult to carry on this way as we push further toward being outliers. I now find myself trying to navigate my way of being in the world as a radical. I never wanted to be a radical. So now that I am living as one, how do I proceed? How do I live my life in accordance with the spiritual path I’ve chosen, yet have the grace to meet the world where it is. I want to show compassion and live with (com) passion. But I am struggling to live out my passion without pushing those around me away in the process. I am working up the courage to ride the waves of my truth, but for now I’m floating in the shallow water, waiting for the day I can cut the tether.