I know the title of this article is deceiving.
You may have thought you’d click to read a piece by some gal who rants about how difficult it is to compost, change all her shower heads to low flow and walk the five miles to and from work every day (despite the hemorrhaging blisters on her feet) in order to cut her carbon footprint in half; but that’s not what this is about exactly—although it does share the same intention.
It’s about the hardship of being real, raw, authentic, honest and true to who you are.
Last week, I had a long overdue phone call with one of my dearest friends. She told me she wrote a saying on her mirror that she reads every day: “If it was easy, everyone would do it.”
Immediately, the thought popped into my head, “if it was easy to be honest, everyone would be.”
I’ve always had a hard time lying, but an even harder time telling the truth.
I remember the first time I made a conscious decision to tell the truth, I was six years old. We were in Mexico on one of our sailing trips. We went out shopping for the day and I picked up a toy from a bin at a kiosk; I accidentally broke it. I was devastated and I thought, “I could hide it under the other toys and never tell anyone, or I could show my mom and pay for what I did.”
I walked up to her, shaking, I burst into tears and held out the toy. I remember she smiled, thankful for my honesty and gave it to the clerk who threw it away.
I knew then, that I had the courage to always be honest throughout my life, even if it wasn’t met with the same understanding and forgiveness my mother and the clerk offered me that day.
It hasn’t been easy.
I’ve lost friendships because of my honesty. I’ve survived the torture of telling my ex-husband I couldn’t be married anymore. I’ve weathered the agony of telling myself the truth about my own behavior, looking my ugliness dead in the eyes, and dragging through the tedious work of holding myself accountable for my actions.
I chose the road less traveled because I didn’t have a choice. I came here to be myself, not to be anyone else. The path of authenticity is off the beaten trail, because if it was easy to be ourselves, everyone would be on it.
It takes the strength of a warrior to be authentic, because there’s a loneliness that prevails from owning who we really are. There’s nothing to hide behind, no pomp and circumstance or silver lining. There are no distractions. It’s terrifying at times.
The truth is simple, but it’s not easy.
Telling the truth is like lifting up your skirt or pulling down your pants and allowing the whole world to examine what’s underneath. It’s excruciating because we have to stand still. It’s easier to put down our skirt or pull up our pants and run; most of us do—from ourselves, from others, from the truth.
Yesterday, I forced myself to be honest with someone. It was hard not knowing how they would react or what they would say. All I knew was I had to say what was spilling from my heart.
As I sat in the park awaiting my moment, Kermit the Frog started singing in my head, “It’s not easy being green…”
Kermit was my favorite character on Sesame Street, because I identified with him. He was honest, simple, quiet, loving and kind. He spoke from his heart. Even before I knew the colors of the chakras, I always thought the heart was green, “the color of the leaves and the trees… the color of spring,” as Kermit says.
Green is not flashy, it blends with everything else that’s simple and true.
Sometimes, I think just like Kermit, it might be nice to be a different color, but I’m not, so I’ll keep walking the path I’ve chosen even though at times it is hard to be myself. However, I know it would be harder to pretend to be anyone other than who I am, Green.
“When green is all there is to be, It could make you wonder why, but why wonder why wonder, I am green, and it’ll do fine. It’s beautiful, and I think it’s what I want to be.”