The Truth Shall Set You Free     photo credit: Mike Spaulding

I am not one to be all biblical, but some sayings just stick.

I believe in honesty. I believe in telling the truth. I believe in being true to yourself. Even when it isn’t easy.

There are times when I can no longer stand the rumblings in my stomach. (No, I don’t mean hunger).

I mean stress. I mean that stomach ache that starts deep in the pit of your stomach, and won’t go away. It is there after yoga, after a glass of wine, after a good night’s sleep. It’s constant and it invades your every mood, your every thought.

It tells me that something is wrong.

So, it’s time to figure out what is really bothering me.

I ask myself…Why am I feeling this way? And then, what can I do about it?

First it requires some self examination/reevaluation. Is it me? Am I the problem? Is it guilt, is it worry, is it unhappiness? Is it something I can fix within me? Sometimes a sympathetic ear is required, usually from my husband, or a friend or my sister.

Then, it requires a c t i o n. No doubt the hardest part.

If it is something that I have done (or in many cases, not done) then I have to change/adjust/adapt to deal with it. I have already admitted that I do not like change….so this is never easy for me.

But it is even harder if the self examination determines it is someone or something else that is making my stomach ache.

Then I have to confront. Or deal. And that is waaay harder.

For me, this usually means dealing with tears—my own--because that is what happens when something affects me deep enough to make my stomach hurt. I can easily shed tears of anger, frustration, hopelessness, worry, doubt, even happiness.

And when my stomach hurts like it is right now, tears are always shimmering just under the surface.

So what is really bothering me?

My self examination has led to me to the conclusion that this time, despite the fact that there are legitimate external sources for my stomach ache, most of it is coming from within.

I am scared.

I cannot see my future.

My wise 19 year old said the same thing to me after he graduated from high school last spring. At the time I think I told him that it was normal when making a huge life change like graduating from high school and preparing to move away for college. But now I think I know what he really meant.

What you thought you wanted, what everyone expects you to do, suddenly doesn’t feel right. I think even back then his inner voice was doubting whether he had what it was going to take to actually become a veterinarian. Not competitive by nature, not a super motivated “doer”, he heard the doubts from his inner voice. It said: hold up there bud, maybe this isn’t what is best for you.

He said it again this spring when he told me he was considering switching his major from veterinary medicine to teaching, something he could see himself doing in the future. Is it the right time in light of our current economy and job market to move into teaching? Probably not. The education world is all doom and gloom, there are budget cuts and shortages and lots of bad news.

But it feels right to him. He can see his future. That is huge in itself. I give him props for having the courage to believe in his inner voice, despite what the world, and others around him are saying.

The truth shall set you free.

I’d like to think that if you stay true to yourself, and really face what is within you, you will find your drive, motivation, and inner strength. And you will be able to believe in yourself enough to make your life happen, rather than simply let it happen.

My inner voice is telling me that I currently do not have the strength, and determination necessary for the fight I see in front of me in my work life. It is the source of my stress. It is making me unhappy.

Without facing this truth, and accepting it, I know I will not find the strength to believe in myself, or to move forward.

So, let the truth fly. And please let it set me free.