The Breakfast Club is Property of Universal Pictures.
Forrest Gump tells us that “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are gonna get.” But actually, life is like high school with someone’s finger holding down the repeat button. That is of course, if you fail to cultivate veracity.
Veracity is the sixth virtue of #TheItyProject. Veracity has to do with honesty, but not simply telling the truth – living the truth. Are you true to your word? Are you credible? Do you overpromise or under deliver? Do you say one thing and then do another? Simply put, do you contradict yourself?
Each week, I work through Sri Swami Sivananda’s Eighteen Ities with my classes and in my own personal life. In a short period of time, I have seen a difference in myself. I have made adjustments and changes, but most notably, I feel closer to knowing myself. My true self, without the BS.
To know thyself is one of the goals of yoga. When we peel away the layers of ego, expectations, pride, envy, roles, and ambition we feel vulnerable, perhaps even “uncool”. We are no longer hiding behind the stories that we tell about ourselves.
As I was researching this virtue, this particularly raw and honest scene from The Breakfast Club came to mind. In this scene, the cast of misfit characters representing the different cliques of the high school come clean about the reality of how they will behave Monday morning despite the connections they have made in detention.
Most of us have manifested this scene in our lives at some point. We have realized that we often create different realities for different situations. We have allowed friendships and relationships to suffer at the hands of cliques and ego. We have left others behind in the name of ambition and pride. We have played politics, gossiped, and spoken behind people’s backs.
Some of us leave this behavior behind with youth, yet many of us do not. In fact, we find ourselves sliding in and out of these patterns depending upon the company we keep. When we cultivate veracity, we begin to take right action as a matter of course. Rather than playing it small and letting the stories we tell about ourselves and one another dictate our realities, we live with humility and grace. We live with abiding character.