I was talking with on of my oldest dearest friends today. He and I have been closer than close for nearly 18 years now, having met over a cloud of cigarette smoke and cheap beer in our college dorm in January 1995. In close to two decades of friendship, we have talked about just about everything you can imagine. We have shared nearly every experience people can share. We talk in code that I’m sure drives everyone around us insane. We have yet to find a single life experience that cannot be explained by quoting Steel Magnolias, he gives me shit for being older than him, I give him shit because I’m aging better, and I am responsible for introducing him to the Beergarita and thus the subsequent demise of his liver (sorry.) We shared an apartment together for a while and we made 3am calls to our mothers to tell them that we loved them and tequila, we once shared custody of a psychotic cat, and we have enough dirt on each other to bury several generations of shame, but there is one thing on which we will never ever ever see eye to eye. Each and every day we have nearly come to blows over this very important topic and, frankly, it doesn’t seem like either of us will ever budge. It’s vicious and vile, petitions have written, flow charts created, and campaigns waged on both sides to prove definitively who is in the right (duh, ME!,) but still, the war wages on. Today, that old tired battlefield saw action yet again and I am going to state my position right here and right now for the entire world to see:
Chef Boyardee is disgusting.
There. It’s out there and I’m pretty sure, since my readers are brilliant beautiful people, that you’ll agree with me. After all, it is the only way to see things. It is the only truth there is.
Or is it?
The older I get, the more I’m becoming aware that there is more than one way to skin a cat. (Side note: who the hell thought of that disturbing idiom? I mean … wow. Okay, moving on… ) There are multiple ways of seeing things and they can all be right (except that biohazard in a can.) The thing that matters is if it’s right and true to you! (except for Jason and his beyond unforgivable food choices.) It doesn’t so much matter what you believe as long as you truly believe it. It doesn’t so much matter if someone judges what you like as long as you are okay with what you like. It doesn’t so much matter who you are as long as you are truly who you are.
I grew up calling the lowest of the low “Scumbags.” If they were disgusting and undesirable and causing trouble, they were Scumbags and I would avoid the holy hell out of them (until I was in my late teens and early 20s and then I’d date them. Oh hell, who am I kidding? If I was single, I’d still be dating them.) Anyway, Scumbag was always icky. You didn’t want to be called a scumbag. However, just like a fungus, certain truths start to grow on you. Suddenly, the term “Scumbag” doesn’t seem so bad to me at all. I might even call myself one – but it’s like that whole deal with mama. I can talk about my mama, but don’t you dare talk about my mama.Don’t you dare call me a Scumbag or I’ll make you eat a can of Chef Boyardee (a fate worse that standing in hellfire.) There’s even a song that espouses the glories of being a scumbag! The thing is this: if it’s your truth and you’re okay with it, it’s not so bad!
One of the 8 limbs of yoga is Satya: being truthful. Being truthful doesn’t just mean not lying. It means being exactly who you are, not hiding your true self from anyone, most especially not yourself. We MUST be honest about who we are. Lying about who we are, hiding who we are, portraying ourselves as anything other than what we are is not only dishonest, it’s un-yogic and it’s wildly unfair to yourself and to those around you. First of all, no one is that good of a liar. People will know you’re not being true. It’s in the way you carry yourself, the way you defend yourself when no one is attacking you, it’s in your eyes. And while folks hate being lied to, the biggest truth is that no one will respect someone who lies to herself. Just be who you are. Just be who you are. Just be who you are. Be a queen, a king, a sad sack, a sick soul, a scumbag, a sentient being, a lover, a healer, a hell-bound whiskey drinker, but be it honestly. TO THINE OWN SELF BE TRUE! I’ve tried with all my might to make this blog about my truth, my scroll of Satya, if you will. I have laid it all out here honestly and, while it hasn’t always been easy nor been openly accepted, I am better off for having done it and continuing to do it. I spent years hiding who I was. As a child, I hid my opinions. As a youth, I hid my disbelief in my family’s teachings. As a young adult, I hid my own self worth. As an adult, I started to hide the fact that I am not either a “Scumbag” OR a “Sadhana Mama,” I am BOTH / AND. It is my Satya and I am so much better for living it openly. It is my truth. It is who I am and I am more than okay with that.
Jason will continue to eat that swill in a can and I will continue to see it as dog food in a dish, but that’s okay because we’re both speaking our truth. The fact that my truth is the correct truth is of little consequence. What matters is that we have our truths, we believe them, and we’re living them. That’s what is important. That’s the Satya. That’s the yoga of it all.
Whatever your truth is, STAND IN THE LIGHT OF YOUR TRUTH. Don’t hide. Don’t cheat yourself or the world of who and what you are. So Hum. I am That. I am That. I am That. I am That I am That I am That I am That I am.