Truth or Sabotage

I work with a rental car agency that gets me good deals. When I began to use the agency I phoned in an order to the owner, who is a friend of mine. When he emailed me the confirmation, I discovered he made an error on the pickup time of the car. I called him back and he corrected it. This happened not just once, but three times. Hmmm.

I told the agent that I planned to recommend his service for participants of my residential retreats. He told me, “Great!  Just be sure to have them book online—that’s a lot easier for me than processing a phoned reservation.”

Suddenly I realized why the agent had consistently messed up my orders. He didn’t want to take phone orders. His errors were subterfuged ways of saying, “I don’t want to do this.”  When he finally told me the truth, I was happy to change the way I ordered. But he had to tell me the truth first.

We all seek to express our truth. We all must express our truth. There are two ways to express your truth:  directly or indirectly. If you do not express your truth directly, it will come out in odd, aberrant, and damaging ways. Self-sabotage or sabotage of others occurs when you don’t speak your truth directly. Honest expression of truth ends sabotage.

I had an office assistant whom I asked to pick up a laser printer cartridge on her way home from work one day, and she agreed. The next day when she came to work I asked her for the cartridge. “I couldn’t find the shop,” she told me. We found a map to the shop and she went off that day after work to find it. The following day she again returned empty-handed. “I got there after they closed,” she reported. I let her off work early that day to make it to the shop on time. The next day she told me, “I forgot to bring the company credit card.”

Finally I picked up the cartridge myself without a hitch. The truth my assistant resisted telling me was, “I don’t want to do this.”  I wish she would have told me that up front; it would have saved both of us time and trouble. When you don’t tell the truth up front, your truth comes out in weird ways that make more trouble for everyone.

We all have the ability to do anything we choose to do—IF we choose to do it. The story is told about Joe, who came home from work one day quite tired. As he was unwinding in front of his TV during the evening, Joe’s buddy phoned him and asked Joe if he would help him move his refrigerator. “I’d sure like to,” Joe answered, “but I had a tough day at work and I’m beat. Maybe another time.”

Ten minutes later Joe received a phone call from his girlfriend, who had just gotten back into town after being away on a business trip. “I’m back, honey,” she told Joe. “I just got a new Victoria’s Secret lingerie outfit. Would you like to come over and help me try it out?”

Did Joe suddenly have energy?  You bet!  He wasn’t lying to his buddy when he said he was too tired. He was too tired because he wasn’t motivated. We all find the energy and means to do what we choose to do. We find no energy to do the things we do not want to do. If we are forced to do things we do not want to do, we will find a way not to do them. That’s how powerful we are. The question is, will you express your preference honestly, or will you create veiled situations to get your point across?

You don’t have to get sick to get out of school, have an accident to get out of work, or have an affair to get out of a marriage. You can simply, clearly, directly express that you do not wish to do this. You might ruffle some feathers, but the cost will be far less than illness, accident, or a nasty divorce.

Yet there is a hidden value in direct communication. You might create a solution that surpasses simply staying unhappily or leaving dramatically.  By expressing your feelings you might be able to change schools, transfer departments at work, or deepen your intimacy, connection, and reward in marriage. Truth has ways of getting to solutions that sabotage does not.     

Ceanne Derohan wrote a classic book entitled, Right Use of Will. We are always using our will. But we may not always be using it in alignment with our good. Your will is like an automobile with its engine running and the gearshift in drive. You can steer the car onto the main highway and take the most direct route to where you want to go. Or you can drive it through many detours and byways, over bumps and through walls. Ultimately you will get to your destination, but one path is a lot more direct and fun than another.

The universe rewards authenticity. Things are supposed to go right, and they usually do. When you say yes to what you choose, and no to what you do not choose, you are living in alignment with yourself. Life asks no more—or less—of you than this. 


omitunde 9th August 2013 9:26 am

Great stories...I am getting better at speaking my truth. I avoid conflict most of the time or it is not spoken directly to me. When it is...I get emotional. I am working on this as well.

Using the phrase "that may sound true to you yet it does not feel true for me" is one I learned from my favorite author ~ Iyanla Vanzant.

Sometimes people blow up or become defensive. I feel so much clearer when I am authentic in speaking my truth. Thanks for the insight.

bluefeatheryone 9th August 2013 10:17 am

Thank you for this gentle reminder, Alan. :smitten:

Asager 9th August 2013 4:09 pm

Thank you for this post, it has shown me what a mess I have made of my life and why. I have always been the one to soothe every situation since I was little. Never wanting anyone to get hurt. Never speaking my truth,as I hated hurting anyone. But now I can see why family and ex friends can't understand me and blame me for the confusion in their lives. Like when my ex husband and my best friend were having an affair, I left him, but could'nt bring myself to dump my friend and tell her husband, as I didn't want to hurt him. so I cried for 10 years till it made me ill, then I dumped her. She couldn't understand why after 10 years I did something about it. Also my eldest son who had just started getting on with my ex and my ex finally gave him a job, at the same time all this happened. I didn't want to ruin his relationship with ex, so I kept my mouth shut. He could never understand why I left such a good bloke, and we didn't speak for years. We talk now, but we don't have that closeness we used to have. I have never liked confrontations, so always veiled problems, and now after reading

Asager 9th August 2013 4:17 pm

your great post it has shown me clearly where I went wrong. Does anyone have any suggestions as to how I can clear this up? should I just leave it or write to them and get it all out?
I also know now how keeping things in makes you sick. I have had double mastectomy from cancer a couple of years back, and recently a heart attack. I couldn't understand why I was being attacked, when all I ever wanted was to keep the peace. Now it is very clear to me. I have been on my ascension path now for 15 years, but can't get over the shame of what a mess my life turned out to be.
Thank you for showing me this

Tiff 11th August 2013 1:24 pm

Thank you so much, Alan. I had been wanting examples of what it means to be honest with myself and you did a wonderful job delivering this msg. Thanks again. :thumbs:

Petapoo 12th August 2013 5:16 pm

Perfect timing. A friend who I feel, and others feel is always 'scamming' us, asked me tonight to pick her up at the weekend whilst going out of my way to get to a party. I instantly felt I didn't want to. I Didn't get to the point and say why not clearly. Like, ' Well only last week you said you would give me petrol money and you didn't'.
Instead, I garbled an answer, making lame excuses un intelligently. I sounded so vague. This happened the other day with another friend. Both requests were not in my heart to do. I simply felt pushed and manipulated into doing someone else's agenda.
I came to bed and found this post. I hardly ever read spirit library, so feel guided to this post. Thank you for being succinct. I feel nudged to speak my truth, however uncomfortable.
I have been nudged before when I was locked out my apartment on a holiday. I sat in the dark waiting for my friend to return with the key and heard a TV on.. The voice simply said, 'DON'T BEAT AROUND THE BUSH'. This I heard three times getting louder each time.
I finally have got the message.


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Alan Cohen

Alan Cohen is a heart act to follow. One of the most popular inspirational writers and speakers in America, his books, tapes, syndicated column, and transformational seminars have touched the lives of millions of people who have found the courage to believe in themselves and follow their dreams. He is the author ofauthor of many popular inspirational books.

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