Satya is truthfulness to ourselves and others in thought, word and deed. We cannot ‘see’ or let in what we judge, which makes Ahimsa and Satya a powerful pairing. Gently working with defense mechanisms, delusion or magical thinking are included in this observance.
Denial of reality leads to emotional shut down and suffering. We develop courage through the experience of being directly with life as it is. We’re able to ‘stand’ the truth by not attaching judgments to it. If the only way someone can feel good about themselves is through their success and that of their children, they can’t help but put pressure on themselves and those they love. Detaching our self worth from our accomplishments, by knowing we’re a good person regardless of our status in life, helps us relax and see clearly.
When you notice the urge to keep a secret or not show up authentically, it’s a great opportunity to pay attention. Why do you not want people to know about problems you’re having in your family? What is it you don’t want them to know? How does it make you feel when they find out? Like a failure as a parent? Less than perfect? Many people have these kinds of thoughts.
Listen to that inner voice that tells you when things aren’t right. Be open. Honest. Find a way to address things directly even if it’s uncomfortable.
Years ago I attended a workshop with Pandit Dabral on the yamas and niyamas. I asked him about how to apply this philosophy in daily life and gave an example of not telling the complete truth to someone then beating myself up for it. His answer was to first find out why I didn’t tell the whole truth. Work with that first. Then make a resolve to do it different next time – either by going back and telling them the whole truth or resolving to do better next time. Don’t condemn yourself. Understand yourself and work very lovingly with yourself. That is the way we refine ourselves.