Exploring Satya: Living Integrity Beyond Convenience
By Jennie Lee • October 9th, 2012 • 3097 Views
This article is part of an ongoing series on the yamas and niyamas.
Truth is liberating. It can also be complicated. And it is always powerful, so powerful that the Yoga Sutras tell us that when we are “dedicated to truth and integrity, our thoughts, words and actions gain the power to manifest.” Truth is full of consequences - positive and negative. That is why so many people avoid it, preferring the convenience of white lies, because as this sutra teaches, truth moves situations and people around in relation to it, and sometimes that much power is scary. So why is practicing truth an important element to the cultivation of a happy and harmonious life?
Quite simply, if we are not living what is true for us deep in our heart of hearts, then we are not living our life. We are living someone else’s and we are living a lie. Our inner truth is our guide to right movement on life’s path, and it is found in deep stillness, where we meet our authentic self in clarity and conviction. Only when we live in full integrity are we able to express our unique, integrated, and joyful purpose.
Integrity with ourselves takes courage because we may not always like what we discover within. It may require us to make some difficult admissions and changes. Being honest with others requires courage because they may not like what they hear and they may reject or leave us. However, being honest with others and ourselves is worth all of the above. Anyone who has lived inauthenticly, suppressing or selling out who they are for the sake of relationship or perceived peace, knows that eventually this becomes so painful that resentment obscures any initial loving intention.
When we can stand courageously in our truth, we free ourselves and we free others to express theirs. And they will. We create safe space for each other’s truth by honoring and appreciating the conflicting feelings of the moment, even if they are sometimes hard to hear, not judging but listening with our hearts.
Yoga’s teachings on Satya or integrity often ask us to examine whether telling the truth is kind, necessary, and non-harming. Kindness and mercy are required partners to truth. We cannot spew out all of our truth in a hurtful, vindictive, see-what-you’ve-done-to-me way and expect healing to take place. The essential compass for whether our...
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