the painful truth: sometimes the most loving gift

It always amazes me when the universe presents me with answers to questions I’m struggling with by bringing a person or piece of information into my life, at the exact moment when I need it.

Don’t worry I’m not getting all existential on you. But I do smile at those moments and think of the amazing Deepak Chopra and his thoughts on synchronicity.

As he describes it, synchronicity is often associated with coincidence, which is characterized by unexplainable or improbable events. Rather than dismiss these events as pure coincidence, or ignore them entirely, he asks us to ask ourselves, What is the message here? What is the significance?

Recently I had to have a difficult conversation with someone I love.

A question was asked.

A truthful answer was given.

And now I don’t know what the future holds for that relationship.

And I questioned if I had done the right thing by answering truthfully.

Hours later, while still feeling despondent about the conversation, I came across an article on LinkedIn by Fred Kofman, an executive coach, philosopher, and the author of Conscious Business. The article, titled, Happiness is Not the Most Important Thing at Work was a perfect example of synchronicity.

It was the universe gifting me with the exact information I needed, exactly at a time I needed it. [Thank you universe.] And I knew I had done the right thing.

Kofman’s post centers on the idea that throughout history we’ve been told that happiness is the single most important thing in life. He challenges that thinking by suggesting that for some people truth is the most important thing.

The real AHA! moment for me was reading about his suggested “Happy Thought Experiment”. In this experiment, he asks us to imagine that he is standing in front of us, arms extended, palms up, a red pill in one hand, a blue pill in the other:

photo credit: LinkedIn - Fred Kofman, Happiness is Not the Most Important Thing at Work

photo credit: LinkedIn – Fred Kofman, Happiness is Not the Most Important Thing at Work

“This is your last chance, (your name here). After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill; your troubles end here. You fall asleep and dream happy dreams for the rest of your life. You take the red pill; you stay awake and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes. Remember, all I am offering you is the truth; nothing more.”

Taking the blue pill would put you into a blissful state, you would feel completely happy, but you wouldn’t actually know that you’re dreaming, that none of it is real. The red pill, on the other hand, may never provide that euphoric life, but you would know the truth and would experience the highs and lows and everything in between.

So, which would you choose?

For me, without a doubt, it’s the red pill. As much as the old adage holds, “Ignorance is bliss”, I inevitably always ask, yes – but at what cost? Would I rather be happy and clueless or aware and unhappy?

The answer is an easy one for me. I don’t want to live in a happy fairy tale. Fairy tales aren’t real. I want to live the truth. Even when the truth sucks. Because when the sucky parts end, you get to experience what real happiness feels like. And that is so worth it.

picture-quotes-speak-the-truthAs a red pill taker, the truth was the right thing for me.

My hope for the one who chose the blue pill is that they will eventually come to realize that the [painful] truth is the kindest and most loving gift in the long run.

And I’m sorry.

xoxo nancy

6 thoughts on “the painful truth: sometimes the most loving gift

  1. Nancy, My hats off to you for choosing to speak the truth. I do not understand why some people would rather hear what tickles thier ears than to hear the truth. Sometimes though that is my down fall because I tell it like it is. I dispise people who sugar coat or ignor an obvious problem. That is one reason why I have chosen not to become a first line supervisor but remain a Lead Designer. Great post! Patrick

    • Thanks so much Patrick. It’s not easy to tell the truth when you know the truth will hurt, but it’s definitely the right thing to do. I’d rather someone slap me with a truth than caress me with a lie. Red pill / blue pill… It’s clear which side I’m on. Thanks for taking the time to comment – and best of luck in your new role.

  2. I agree and think you did the right thing, it is important to tell the truth, especially when it someone asks you something directly.
    The red pill / blue pill analogy is good…borrowed pretty heavily from The Matrix mind you…not that this is a problem…I have always suspected that film is real! 😉

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