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A Short Story on Truth-Telling

Few people know this, but in my twenties, I used to manage a customer service team.

Well, okay, I can’t lie to you. I – at first – was “the customer service team.” I was also the company copywriter, newsletter maker, Dietitian, and intern manager. Let’s just say, I wore a lot of hats.

As this company grew, and their product sold more and more online, the customer service calls and emails increased to hundreds per day. I needed backup. So I began to hire. I found and hired some of the most wonderful humans I could ever dream up.

We loved one another.

But this isn’t a story about loving one another. Sorry, dear reader. It’s a story about what happens when you speak your truth, and you speak from the heart.

You see, sometimes, for some reason or another, during my time at this company, irate customers would call-in or email. I guess at this point, I’ll just mention the company sold water. These customers were irate for different reasons. Their shipment might have been late. Their billing was messed up. Or, they were just having a bad day … who knows?

But what I do know is that after I got off the phone with them or after I sent a very human email to the furious individual, they would instantly become more calm. It was here that I discovered that the energy you put out there, is the energy you’re going to get back. As “woo-woo” as that may sound, it was true. In these customer service cases, my calm, grounded, let-me-be-real-with-you-here energy, would be mirrored back to me. It was amazing.

I saw – in action – that when the energy we put out there is real, raw, and authentic, that’s the kind of energy we’ll get reflected back to us.

Never once did I imagine that my coaching skills would come in handy here. Or, that this job would make me better at running my own company. But it did.

In fact, this week, with my promotion of the upcoming Single & Sane course, it came in handy. This is the first time I’ve ever really promoted anything. And can I tell you something? … It’s kinda scary. All your stuff comes up, just like in anything that’s kinda scary but for sure important to you. You fear failure, disapproval, and there’s some natural anxiety built-in. If you’ve ever put anything you’ve created out there into the world, you know that nerve-wracking feeling I’m talking about.

And in putting myself and my work more “out there,” as I expected, there have been some not-so-nice comments. Partially because it’s easier for us to write whatever we want behind a screen. It’s almost as if – with that barrier of a screen – we don’t think there’s actually a human on the other side.

There’s always a human – with feelings – on the other side.

You see, I read everything that everyone writes to me. Most of it is beautiful stuff, but sometimes, it’s not. And that’s okay. It’s part of putting your stuff out into the world. Not everyone is going to like it, or your message, and again, that’s okay.

But what I find so amazing about this whole process is that – just like in my good old customer service days – when I respond kindly, authentically, and sometimes with lots of vulnerability to someone – whether in an email or on social media – the response back is 99% of the time kind, authentic, and vulnerable too. More importantly, there’s an understanding.

There’s not always an agreement. But there’s an understanding.

And understanding one another – I believe – happens when we’re real, honest, and truth tellers.

So the next time, you’re afraid to speak your truth in any relationship in your life (it could even be your relationship with yourself), please remember that if you’re real, honest and a truth teller, you’ll most likely get some real, honestness, and truth telling back.

And sometimes it’s not always what we want to hear, but it’s what we need to hear.

More importantly, it leads to understanding, not only of one another but about ourselves and where the next best step is on our path. Which – to me –  is what this journey of life is all about.

By the way, in case you’re wondering, your path looks pretty awesome to me. Carry on, my fellow truth-teller.

Lots of love,