Down by two points, the young soccer players gathered around their coach in the moments before the start of the fourth quarter. Rallying the team’s spirit, the coach yelled out, “Do you guys think we can beat this team?” Forced grunts of “yes!” and “yeah!” reflected the weary group’s hopeful trepidation. The most ardently enthusiastic response to the coach’s plea, however, came from the center of the huddle, a resounding “NO!” The youth who spoke it vigorously let his voice be heard and his body language expressed confidence and truth. His eyes sparkled like someone who knows.
The coach’s jaw dropped, the teammates looked quizzically at the boy and each other and the parents on the sideline froze. Looking incredulous at the outspoken player who still shone bright with conviction and enthusiasm, the coach shot out “Uh, you don’t think we can win, son?” “Then why do you come to play?” snickered a teammate. The child began to realize that his response was an unwelcomed one, as he scanned the faces of those around him and he began to fidget. “We’ve got to be positive, son,” the coach stated, “Do you want to sit out the next quarter and think about that?’ The boy nodded and stepped out of the circle toward where his father, a tall athletic looking man, hovered. Together they moved away from the group, the big one and the small one, a unit. The soccer play resumed. Father and son looked at each other for a moment, then the father lit into the child with overwhelming force, “Do you think your teammates appreciated that comment?” His face was red, “What are doing saying that you can’t win the game? You’ve got to be positive! Positive! Do you hear me? Positive!” The child reeled, shrank and quieted himself to a seated position at the feet of his father.
This scenario exemplifies a process we all go through as we grow-up, the process of learning to hide our truth, the process of learning to lie. The rejection that can result from being a harbinger of truth is serious and can have serious consequences on the psyche. In the example I shared, we see that the child who spoke his truth was ostracized from a beloved authority figure, his peers, a group of adults who stood apathetically by (if, indeed, they felt any misdeed was being done), and worse, yet, by his own father. This youth may have learned that day to say “yes” even though his mind and body told him “no.” He may have learned to “play the game,” to put his truth aside, so that he would remain socially acceptable and be included.
I believe the lies that hurt us most are the ones we tell ourselves and others that compromise our sense of self, lies that deny what is real for us so that we can feel “comfortable” and/or “accepted.” Most of us have a longing to be authentic, to stand in our truth and courageously express it regardless of how it lands on the other side. It sounds so simple, but in the face of our childhood learning, most of us have some work to do before we can stand firmly in our authenticity. This “unraveling” of the perceived need to lie takes a tribe, a committed and fierce tribe that protects and defends the individual’s need to be real and to be loved. This is a roll Lionheart has played, and continues to play, in the lives of its students. Through deepening self-reflection, self-direction and self-love with the support of classmates and instructors, each person is encouraged to be more fully themselves and to “let go of the lie.” The result? People who vibrantly take a stand for the life they truly want and have the support to make it happen.
Erin Ramos is an energy healer, a teacher and a mother of two children. Erin considers healing work a means of bringing to the forefront the psychological and spiritual jewels that make each individual unique and unabashedly vital to Life. Erin studied with the Lionheart Institute of Transpersonal Healing for five years, graduating as an Energy Healing Therapist and joined the teaching staff in 2008. Erin has a private energy healing practice and specializes working with women who experience anxiety, depression and low self-esteem.