Recently a group of us were asked to share whatever “obvious truths” we saw in the world. I used this as an opportunity to review my life from this perspective, noting what I had learned over the years and now see as “obvious.” For the most part I was previously oblivious (pun fully intended) to most of these truths, so here are the truths I have learned that now seem quite obvious to me:
1. Events that I once thought were negative I now see as having a very positive side to them. In the long term, they were very good for me. Not just some of them, but all of them!
2. I do not have to put up with anything or anyone I find unpleasant; I have a choice in the matter.
3. The truth really does set you free. It is not just a motto on a building.
4. Always be current in my communications with anyone I care about; you never know when they may not be around to hear what you have to say. It used to be when someone died there was always something I wished I had said to them. Now all my friends know I love them and we are current with all matters of the heart.
5. Never pass up an opportunity to give someone a compliment. It costs so little and could make someone’s day.
6. Worry is a waste of imagination. It is fear of something that hasn’t happened and most probably will never happen anyway.
7. Forgiveness is a selfish act; failing to forgive only hurts the person holding onto the resentment. I used to hold onto resentments thinking it would be wrong to forgive, falsely thinking that forgiving them meant making what they did alright. As the recently-passed Nelson Mandela said, "Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies."
8. To believe one group can have security while others don’t is pure folly. The world is so interconnected there is no way one group can feel secure while other groups don’t, yet we persist in this folly of believing it can (see this video by Willis Harman).
9. The loudest voice telling me that I cannot achieve what I dream about is usually my own. Thanks to lots of personal development work that healed much of the trauma from my early years, I realized that I was my own worst enemy.
10. There are always choices - no matter what the circumstances, we always have choices; making no choice is a choice of its own. This was one of the toughest insights I had to accept, letting go of the idea that I never had a choice and that life was forced on me.
11. No one can empower me except myself. This flash came to me after hearing for years how employees need to be empowered. As if anyone has the power to give another person the means to become more powerful.
12. Complaining about something without taking any action to correct it is irresponsible; if a condition deserves criticism, it deserves an honest attempt to change it. There is a companion truth to this one: complaining to anyone who has no control over the problem is dumping on them.
There you have it – twelve truths I learned as I matured in my consciousness over the years, most of them learned since I turned 40.