You Gotta Know When To Fold 'Em
Or, if you can't say something nice...
I am a big fan of memoir as a genre. Though I’ve never written exclusively in that vein, my experiences absolutely stand at the center of everything I write. One of the truisms of memoir that is memorable and moving for those that read it is that it doesn’t settle scores. Which doesn’t mean that the writer doesn’t get to have a perspective or an opinion about right or wrong, heroes and villains, in the stories they tell. As Anne Lamott, a favorite memoirist of mine, famously said:
You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.
At the same time, honesty and integrity aren’t inherently the same thing. It isn’t possible to be in your integrity without being honest, but it is absolutely possible to be honest without integrity.
Honesty with integrity is vulnerable.
Honesty with integrity demands accountability and testing.
Honesty with integrity always deepens connection and growth— someway, somehow.
But I am reminded, as I sit here trying to write about honesty and integrity at this particular moment in my own life, of another favorite saying by Ms. Anne:
You can safely assume you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.
So, I’m going to step away from the battlefield for today. I need to marinate on all of this a little longer before what I am carrying on my heart can be both honest and integrous. I’ll get there, promise. And you all will be the first ones to know.
Sometimes it’s easier to see the cracks and missing pieces in other people’s stories than our own, so feel free to send me any questions about truths you’re wrestling with at the moment. It might actually help me, by extension, clarify my own thinking.
I wish you all good grace in managing your own truth and integrity. Be back with you again on Friday, hopefully, a little clearer.
Much love, Asha
Thank you for supporting my work, dear ones. I am incredibly grateful for each and every one of you. Please continue to help this project, and me, grow by sharing with your networks, liking (click the heart!), commenting, and subscribing in the box below if you haven’t yet. XO, Asha