The power of an honest moment
Being completely authentic with no agenda
Uncensored in allowing spontaneous thought to come forward
Never ceases to shock the hell out of me.
THE TRUTH, even the ugly TRUTH can set us free!
The day before my move to Nashville, I was heading to speak to a group in Columbus, Indiana when I ran into a traffic jam on I465 East. I was in the far left lane so I began to make my way into the far right lane so I could reroute getting off the interstate as soon as possible. With the next exit in view just a quarter mile or so away, I made a rash decision to bypass the traffic by driving on the shoulder. No sooner had I pulled onto the shoulder when a policeman in the right hand lane threw on his lights and pulled up on my tail. I stopped immediately and began to shake my head giggling at myself for such a dumbass move as I dug in my purse for my license. The policeman requested my license which I handed to him through the open window; and then I heard myself say out loud: I am sorry for being such an asshole. He replied without hesitation: Well, I am glad that you know you were being an asshole. Where are you going in such a hurry? I explained that I am a speaker heading to an event in Columbus so we briefly discussed the themes I cover before he sent me on my way reminding me to slow down and drive safely.
There was no forethought when the words: Sorry for being such an asshole came out of my mouth. It was a truthful expression of how I was feeling so the words flew out of my mouth spontaneously before I could censor them into a polite version attempting to show respect for his authority so he might have mercy on little ol’ me. It was a purely honest moment and the power of this must have touched the policeman who had every right to give me a ticket for breaking the law. It shocked the hell out of me not just what I said but that we had a wonderful exchange human to human before he gave me a verbal warning sending me on my way.
Of course, I had to weave this experience into my talk because I do find myself and my life to be entertaining to say the least. There was a Columbus policeman sitting on a stool in the back of the room working security for the event and he burst out laughing from the depths of his belly which echoed thunderously throughout the hall as I shared this story.
Okay, I can’t promise that telling a policeman: Sorry for being such an asshole will get you out of a ticket, but I can attest to how freeing it is to speak our truth – how we are feeling in any given moment, even when it aint pretty or polite. As a speaker, I love to acknowledge that as a child and adolescent I used to get in trouble for the things that came out of my mouth and now, I get paid for it. Authenticity, being who we truly are without apology, resonates with others and gives them permission to let their life speak freely: thoughts, words and actions. Aint life grand!
The invitation is from the wisdom of Ralph Waldo Emerson: Be who you are and go all the way…This is a lifelong expedition as we aren’t finished until our last breath.