Thursday, April 14, 2011

I hate to tell you

but I'm going to...

If there was ever a verbal warning that someone was going to punch you in the gut with their words that is it!  So often it is couched in the false belief that all truth is a good truth.  It also creates a false place where the lie we are forced to believe is an enforced truth.

I hate to tell you...but you have lettuce in your teeth.
Okay, that's cool.  That's fair.  Like telling someone they had toilet paper on their shoe or that their skirt was tucked into their hose.  It doesn't cause hurt and it doesn't bring hurt through telling someone something they cannot do anything about.  It also doesn't cause hurt by creating a false place of truth in a lie such as: you asked for it.  You are a dirty girl.  Good girls don't have bad things happen.  You are nothing without me.  You are worthless.

When someone tells you hurtful things clothed in their version of truth often enough you'll start to believe their lies as truths because they hurt the same way.

The real cue here is the opening I hate to tell you should really say, "Not only do I know this will hurt you but it will also be your fault because any rational person would know better and it is my job to tell you because even a hurtful truth is still the truth."  

Oh and they don't hate to tell you.  They relish telling you. They look forward to the hurt in your face while they bask in their rightness.  There is no compassion. There is no love. There is only a a desire for maintaining control and delivering hurt..  It is about power and that power is not meant to belong to you or me.

Another one that sends waves of fear and stress through me are the openers: it's for your own good, or the truth hurts and honesty is the best policy.

Now to be clear when truth needs to be told it should be told but not with the intent to cause more hurt or harm.  No one should have to be wounded more than necessary.  If I need truth, if I need honesty then please don't cloak it in cruelty.  Don't waste your breath telling me it's for my own good.  I told the truth about things that happened to me and it wasn't with the intent to cause hurt or harm to anyone.

I needed to stop being silent from fear and I had to start healing.  That wasn't going to happen if I had to be scared silent and afraid.

Too often I've heard abusers and manipulators and controllers use this weapon against those who don't know how to fight against it.  There are few things that hurt more than seeing someone enjoy hurting you with something misnamed truth.  How can something that is supposed to be benign and freeing be used for such deliberate hurting intent?

There are times that truth hurts but it is a healing hurt and it is one we need to be able to face, feel and work our way through.  Those who deliver these truths, the bearers of these honesties are not doing their task lightly or with malice.  They aren't telling me I asked for it or that I had it coming.  They are not enjoying the delivery of pain and that is the difference to me.

Feel that you need to tell me my pants are ripped on the back?  Please do!
Feel the need to tell me that my pants make me look fat and frumpy? Please don't.  You don't have the right to share that because there is hurt in your intentions.  

What is the test for truth?  For me it is simple: can you deliver it with compassion?  Does knowing it, how you are telling it, help me?  Are you enjoying delivering hurt?  Are you felling superior or better for knowing it over me?  I would suggest that if you cannot say no to all then you should be quiet.

Walking a healing path is not easy.  It is full of pitfalls, traps and places of hurt which surprise us. Doing this self work requires us to learn to be gentle with our selves.  If those around us who are there to help cannot also be gentle they ought to consider their motives and desires. 

Not everyone wants us to heal or to be happy.  There are many who would like to say you don't have a great track record in dealing with ___________ and are happy to keep reminding you of your shortfalls, past and seem to delight in denying or poking at the wounds we carry. 

Not everyone can accept our place on the journey, but it is our journey!

Don't let anyone take it away from you...


  1. Mystic Mom, this post really made me think on several levels. Of course, the first is always how others have done this to me. I think most of us have been in this place at least few times in our life, being hurt by people telling us things disguised as advice or something of a helpful nature.

    But the second level of thought is much more disturbing for me. I am forced to look at myself and examine my own intentions at times, especially when dealing with relationship issues. I do have a side to me that I am not happy with. A side that can be hurtful if feeling wronged. A side that is still very childish and reacts instead of being measured in actions. And I can see in my minds eye where I have not always had the best intentions when arguing or confronting. Something I need to be careful about, or to try to be more mindful of. A good question to ask myself before confronting is: what am I getting out of this? The feeling that comes to the surface will tell me my intentions.

    Thank you for a thought provoking post! :)

  2. Carla, thanks for coming by and I hope you find some useful thoughts in the older posts as well.

    Your second point is a challenge for me as well...and your question to ask is a very good one to keep in mind. Thank YOU for thinking of that...

    Blessings...and I'm off to your blog to read your latest post now!

  3. Thank you both for these thought provoking posts and comments. You are both 'spot on'.

  4. So true, on both counts.
    My least favourite comment to be on the receiving end was "I'm only telling you this because we love you.... " preceding some gut ripping, heart stomping, 'everyone thinks this horrible thing about you but we are the only ones who 'love' you enough to tell you the truth' piece of crap.
    On the other hand, I know that I am super sensitive to comments that *could* be construed that way, and tend to over explain myself to make it clear I am *not* saying it to others - a delicate balance that I fail miserably at so often.
    I appreciate these posts - so much to work on at present though! Keep them coming though...

  5. Interruption, thank you for being here and for commenting.

    Zoe - oh yes THAT ones gets me too! Sigh...and thanks for your encouragement. We do work through things together and learn from each other that's why I value the blessing of each comment and friend who is here.

  6. Mystic Mom, what a great post. We all need to be reminded that when we share our truth with others that we should always do it with compassion rather than with brutality. Being brutally honest with someone does hurt.

    I have someone in my life that sometimes shares things with me about my children that they think that I don't already know. The sharing is done in a manner that is meant to hurt me. I have confronted them in the past and that stops it for awhile. They say that being hurtful isn't what they intended but it is how some anger slips out at me - anger that they aren't willing to admit having. It happened again recently so I need to set boundaries again with this person.

  7. hugs for you Patricia - and thanks for coming by and commenting. Brutal honesty is most often remembered for the brutal rather than the honesty. Sharing, like this person in your life is doing, to cause harm is so hurtful and controlling on their part. When we set boundaries we take away their power to cause us hurt. Praying for you as you reset those boundaries.