I’ve been having this realization lately about myself specifically, and humans in general: to know how I really feel about something, look at how I’m behaving, not what I’m saying. In many cases, I’m already taking action toward or away from a situation, even if that action might appear to be happening below the level of my conscious awareness. I could be saying the opposite, but my actions almost always tell me the truth.
This weekend, I talked to some friends about my decision whether or not to go to an upcoming event. I had lots to say about the event and could list all kinds of reasons that I wanted to attend, but it turns out that my body knew better. Before I even knew I needed to, I was crying hard and felt contracted and awful. Add to this the fact that earlier in the week I’d already (almost without thinking) tried to figure out how to get a refund. The answer became clear: my actions were speaking, and they had something to say.
My friend Sonja and I decided a few years ago that we no longer betray ourselves, which means that once we know what is true and right for us, we move toward it no matter what. So once I realized how I really felt about this event, the surface-level sentiments I’d been expressing up to that point suddenly became irrelevant. I could see the truth of how I really felt and I was not going to betray myself by ignoring it. I couldn’t unsee it.
One of my favourite phrases is “Energy doesn’t lie” and I’m learning that the same is true for most of my actions. The moves I make or don’t make tell me a lot about how I’m really feeling on the inside, regardless of what I think or express verbally. What research am I doing idly? What projects am I majorly procrastinating on? What events do I always seem to cancel at the last minute? What am I working on when I should be working? What am I avoiding? What do I keep ‘forgetting’ to do? We have a tendency to write that stuff off as laziness or character flaws, but I’m starting to realize that my idle actions have a lot to teach me about how I truly feel.