One thing I’ve learnt this year is that my purpose on this blue planet, is to tell stories. Mine, other people’s, animal’s, plant’s etc. Everything is eligible. Now to do this well, there is one thing I simply have to do and that’s tell the truth.
Where is this going? Well, if you read this blog regularly, you may have noticed that my emotions have been somewhat tumultuous since I did The Journey process, which was pioneered by an American called Brandon Bays. The whole thing has been a hundred times harder than I had ever imagined.
At the moment, my misery seems to be building on an almost daily basis, so yesterday I did what I always do in times of crisis and Googled the issue of ‘What to do when The Journey process makes you feel as if you are being tortured.’
Nothing. Not a sausage. It is all very sugar-coated. There is a lot of talk of ‘healing’ and ‘transformation’. In her videos, Brandon with her whispery voice and Hollywood smile, cries in such a delicate way, you never ever see a streak of mascara.
Why is nobody telling it like it is? Why are there no words out there about what it is really like to flounder in a vat of your own shit? It’s all about finding your ‘truth’ so why in the hell isn’t anybody telling it?
People have alluded to the ‘ dark night of the soul’ and pushing through the pain, but the details are scant.
In my job as a journalist, I often find that interviewees want to shy away from these details. I always try and drill down into the truth of the matter. How ugly did it get? How cruel were you exactly? Can you describe the self-loathing you felt?
An interviewee’s natural instinct is often to shy away from these probing questions with blanket statements. That’s their prerogative, but let me tell you, if you want your story to resonate, you have to tell the truth. It’s the difference between being tomorrow’s fish and chip wrapper and touching someone in such a profound way, it changes them.
There is a lovely lady in my ballet class whose son has Type 1 diabetes. She and her husband do a lot of work for a charity that raises money to fund research into the disease. It helps that her husband is a playwright and really knows how to tell a story.
I am deeply moved when I read his words about what it is really like to care for a young child with this condition. I have a mental image of my friend, his beautiful wife, on her knees by their son’s cot, sobbing into the mattress. I shed my own tears when I am shown the sheer bloody awfulness of it. I am really touched by their raw honesty and of course, I have donated to the cause. Result.
If you do not share the truth, the dirty, messy and often downright embarrassing truth, then you may as well not bother.
There is sunlight above the clouds.