It seems like every time I turn on the TV or log onto my computer, the headlines are screaming about celebrity or politician BETRAYALS and CONFESSIONS -- something hidden that's come to light to shock and awe us. And what a mess those secrets cause! They can rip lives apart.
I have a confession to make, too: I read them all, sometimes because I want to, but most times by osmosis. I'm up to date on Jesse James, Tiger, Ricky Martin, John Edwards and all the rest. I really can't help it -- we've got to wade through these banners to get to the actual news.
And, to be completely honest, I do take the occasional gander at PerezHilton.com for a little snarky to balance my Zen.
As a yoga teacher, I see lessons everywhere, and nowhere more obviously these past couple of weeks than the celebrity scandals. After all, do yoga long enough and it becomes a truth serum, a way of seeing your consequences that makes it clear how pointless and destructive it is to live as a liar.
Ricky Martin seemingly figured it out this week, when he came out of the closet, albeit to a mostly unruffled public saying, "Tell us something we don't know!"
His decision, he said, was made in large part because his desire to live honestly overrode the fear of alienating his fans or losing the status he worked so hard to build in the music world. He did it for himself, and for his sons to have a role model who claimed his truth, not a father living as someone he's not.
Then there's the nearly polar opposite outing by the press of the marriage and family-pulverizing lies of Tiger and Jesse. "Why?", everyone is asking. It all seems so pointless.
In yoga speak, we'd call this "karma". But karma may not be what you think.
It's not just a bat-out-of-hell coming back at you after doing something terrible, it can also be the good stuff that happens when you've done something with integrity, even though it's hard.
Karma is a boomerang, which means that whatever you do will reappear in your life as the result of it, for better or for worse.
And there is no hiding from The Boomerang, not even inside yourself, since the experts say (http://www.bottomlinesecrets.com/article.html?article_id=48975) that people who hide affairs may develop more stress-related illnesses than those who don't.
Now, I'm not asking you to agree or disagree with any of these people, criticize them or judge their characters. The true meaning of Karma is simply that for every action, there is a consequence, depending on the action, and the people's perceptions who are affected by it.
If we can remove value statements from our assessment of ourselves, we're more likely to look at our behavior with clarity, not with defensiveness. No one likes to be wrong, so remove the idea of right or wrong -- and you're left with only one question:
"Is this choice working to help me reach my ultimate goals...or not?"
We all want calm, peace, to be ourselves, and to be successful doing what we love. Happiness, and the deep satisfaction of being whole cannot, and will not ever be achieved through secrets, rationalizations and lies...yet we all do these things, to some extent, and try to convince ourselves what somehow, we're different; our situation is different, and we will be the only one to escape the boomerang's sting.
Not gonna happen.
I doubt that Tiger Woods' main purpose was to become known as a guy who cheated on his wife multiple times, not only by his public, but by his family. I'm pretty sure being known as a great golfer was higher on his list. Yet now the boomerang's back, and he will forever be known for both. It's a karma box of his own making, and now he's living in it.
Ricky Martin's post about his homosexuality, as hard as it may have been to write, has the opposite flavor -- of relief, and freedom. He fashioned his box into a room, with doorways that he can now move into and out of independently. He's reaping the benefits of harmonizing with his nature, and his family will too.
As someone whose career consists of offering roads to freedom to people, in any form I can envision, I would like to invite you this very day to step into your own skin even more fully.
I'm not saying to be radically transparent and spill every single secret -- like the fact that you hated your Aunt Sally's Christmas sweater she knitted you. Strike a balance of compassion in your quest for honesty.
This might mean that you might begin saying no to things that don't serve your highest goals. Don't agree to babysit your friend's children when you know it's keeping you from other important work you have to do. Do tell your husband his affinity for wearing the same socks three days in a row has got to stop.
Or, it might be something more earth-shaking you have to share, and then commit to transforming it. People might not like you or support you after you reveal it. But will YOU like you if you don't? That, for me, is the ultimate test of whether or not things need to change.
What parts of yourself have you been unable or unwilling to own that you know you need to in order to find happiness? Where have your secrets been putting distance between you and those you love? Have you let your ego, cravings, addictions and selfishness get in the way of what's really important in your life?
Then change it, right now.
Can you reveal your truth, and reorient your ultimate goals to support your new karma--that of honesty, integrity, and walking through the fires of discomfort to arrive at a place that's more aligned with who you are? When you do, your tribe will surround you. The real you.
If Jesse James had sat Sandra down one night, and confessed everything to her, there might have been a sliver of hope, of partnership left to build upon. But he didn't. He kept lying, and it caught up with him in the most painful way.
In the yogic view, your only karmic options are to tell the truth or live a lie. It's a bitch, kind of like karma itself, but an effective one when it comes to our realization that nothing ever stays hidden...it only becomes the good, the bad, or the ugly, depending on what you're putting out there.
So, which one are you going to choose...knowing that the boomerang is unerringly, definitely headed your way.
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