The other day I mentioned that meditation is a fantastic way of detaching from the opinions (often called truths) of those around us: family, church, work, media, health care, and peers.
At a family reunion on the weekend, I saw my oldest brother for the first time in years. He escaped the “opinions” of his parents by moving across the country thirty years ago. We laugh at that, but it’s true.
In the church I grew up in, we were born sinners.
In my sister’s workplace, you’re not really working unless you answer email until 11pm. You’re not really working unless you’re overworking.
The media tells me that loving self-esteem at my age means injecting my forehead, whitening my teeth and hoovering the fat from my thighs and rear end.
Easy enough to laugh at these provided you aren’t buying any of the above.
But many, many people are.
And lots of us buy milder versions: we colour our hair, we donate to causes we don’t believe in because we’re afraid the cashier will think we’re shmucks, we pour attention into ridiculous things – grammar, hyper-antibiotic cleanliness, the car, the labels on my clothes, what our spouses say and do in public, the front lawn, our toenails, the kids’ extra-curricular activities, the dog’s food. And on and on and on.
Why? Well, it’s possible these are expressions of who I truly am. It’s possible.
More often, I suspect they’re camouflage designed to make sure the world finds me desirable.
Only I know the difference. (The hair colour is camouflage for the most part.)
So what does meditating do? It gives me quality time with myself. It helps me peel away the layers of not me.
It brings me closer to the certainty of my truth in my gut, rather than my spouse’s truth, Oprah’s truth, my doctor’s truth, the newspaper’s truth, science’s truth, etc.
It may be the only time during my day when my truth is the focus.
In order to be sane, stable, and deeply happy, we have to detach from outside opinions/truths/perspectives and find our own.
Have you done that? Are there layers and layers to discover? Is it easy or difficult? Are there consequences when you find your own truth? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Thanks for the conversation,