Not Yet

Mar 02, 2024

Missteps, feelings, truth-telling — sometimes we’re not yet ready to deal with it all. But life, like the weather, has seasons

March is a bit tricky...a seductress of sorts. She knows what you want, but she isn’t quite committing yet. Here in the glorious Catskill Mountains, the winters are long, dark, cold and cozy. The shift from season to season is real and there’s no way to avoid it 

I nap, read, sip my tea...and think...a lot. 

We relinquish to the beat of winter’s drum — we feel differently, we eat differently, we move in the world differently. And while her cadence can be restorative, we jump up at the first sign of spring as if to release a collective scream, “She’s here! She’s here!”

But spring doesn’t come so easily in these we exhale, sit back and we wait despite her lure and tentative promises.

Yes, the light is changing, the days stretching. The birds are already all aflutter singing and scurrying about. Mother Earth’s creatures are enlivened as if celebrating her impending arrival. The energy is hard to deny. I feel it. I want to lean into it too.

And yet, the frigid breeze in the air that encircles me and sends shivers down my spine as I walk to work one morning, reminds me that I must be patient.

Not yet, it whispers.

I sink back into winter’s embrace. I resonate deeply with her pace too. She restores my spirit in a very private and intuitive way. It’s kind of like attending the School of Life. I ask, what is this year’s lesson? 

I’ve been mulling over the notion of truth-telling a lot lately. Seems easy enough, right? Well...actually, it’s not. We don’t realize how much we package ourselves to please others — how much we say things to make other people feel better when it’s not totally how we feel.

Much of our daily interaction and communication is simply derived out of wanting to avoid conflict, not truth. Simple little niceties as we like to call them, slip from our lips. Now, don’t get me wrong — there’s nothing wrong with avoiding conflict. In fact, I’m a peacemaker by nature, but that doesn’t mean a pacifier.

Our truth is the greatest gift we can give to ourselves and others.

I’m abundantly aware that the Universe has been providing me with scenarios to practice this new level of ‘truth-telling’ in my life. I nod as I see it and sigh. OK. OK. I’ll do my best.

The first of Don Miguel Ruiz’s The Four Agreements, is “Be impeccable with your word.” 

Our words hold great power — they can cut or caress. They create our reality.

Sure, we think we are being truthful as we move through our days, but are we really?

You can simply stop and ask yourself, Is this true, before saying anything.

Let me share with you an encounter in my personal life that called me to task on just this. I was recently contacted by someone who wanted to get together with me to apologize for their behavior. Truth be told, the event that called for an apology had brought up a lot of emotions for me.

Yes, another learning curve. 

Now, if I’ve learned anything thus far in life, it’s that our encounters are more about us than the other.

Why did this trigger me?

What’s beneath these feelings?

What do I want to do with it?

It wasn’t about changing anyone else — it was deciding what it meant to me — and then what I wanted to do with it. Oftentimes when we reach an impasse with an individual, it’s simply a clear sign to walk away, set a boundary or renegotiate the terms of the relationship.

My peace-making tendencies kicked in initially. I was going to respond right away, make a plan to get together, accept the apology and make it better for this person...none of which I really wanted to do.

So, my besties (as besties do) called BS and told me to pause and consider what I wanted, how I really felt and how I could find a compassionate yet firm and truthful way to respond while honoring myself.

Let’s just say that was easier said than done (especially since this was new territory for me).

One friend suggested writing it out for myself.

My kneejerk reaction was to start out by saying...

  • Thank you for reaching out...which wasn’t true.
  • I want to acknowledge the courage it took to apologize...also not true.
  • Let’s find a way back...DEFINITELY not true.

The old me always took the path of least resistance. I don’t like conflict and chaos. I can see the good in everyone. My heart has a great capacity to stretch and love. 

But the bottom line is that not wanting someone in your life doesn’t make you a bad person. I can forgive you and no longer want you in my personal world. When my body tells me that I’m ignoring her, I know that self-sacrificing my truth ultimately serves no one.

So, I opted to take a different path. First, I refrained from jumping in and responding immediately. I paused and got real about what I felt and what I wanted to say. Then I set up a time to meet this person face-to-face.

I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I’m a little nervous about it, but telling the truth is like stretching a new muscle.

I deserve that.

You deserve that.

And we’ll all be better for that.

Something tells me that being impeccable with my word, consciously considering everything I say and do in a new light — will help me avoid the unnecessary drama and suffering us human beings can cause for ourselves and one another.

Think about how much precious time and energy we waste worrying about things we don’t control. We can’t change people any more than we can change the weather or the timing of the seasons.

Give yourself permission to fall into your own ‘not yet’ — I’m not yet there, but I’m working on it.

March is reminding me that I still have my inner work cut out for me so I will be patient with myself, my learning curves and impending spring. Life is glorious in all her seasons and comes bearing her own her wisdom and you will never go wrong, dear souls. 

—Lea Haas, Owner, The Garden Cafe Woodstock


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