Over the past weeks, we’ve discussed the painful effects of untruth in many forms. We’ve discussed: Fairytale Logic that results from denial, Pretend Love that results from being what we’re not, and Abandoning Ourself as a result of believing that’s “what we’re supposed to do” when we’re in love.
The detrimental results of these untruths include: low self-esteem, unfulfilling relationships, heartbreak, family problems, and more. It would seem that truth-telling would be a better and healthier solution. So why does it seem so difficult? This is the first of a three-part series available on the following Sundays. We’ll explore why it can seem so hard to tell the truth, and why it’s vital that we strive for truthfulness anyway.
Let’s talk about the concept of truth for a moment.
It’s been my experience, that although tall tales may be perceived as more interesting by the teller, it’s the mundane truth that is actually far more intriguing, coveted, rare, and at LEAST equally as interesting. If the truth wasn’t interesting, we wouldn’t seek it by reading others’ diaries, tapping phone conversations, and hiring private investigators. Our universal desire for truth is eternal, because truth is what creates a solid foundation within our reality. When we know what’s true, we may make our choices accordingly.
It’s not easy to know, speak, and be our truth. To find and know our truth requires curiosity and courage. It also requires keen awareness—the crystal clear ability to see and know ourself and the world, as it IS. That means not putting our desires and fears onto situations, which causes us to see the situation through those lenses. If we cannot see or experience life as it is, beyond our desires and fears, we are ensnared in the world of the ego, a trap of false beliefs in our mind.
Let’s refer to a little story we may remember.
Once upon a time in Alice and Wonderland, the clocks didn’t work. Visitors could always come for tea at the long, crumpet-filled table bookended by the Cheshire Cat and the Mad Hatter, because they thought it was always tea time.
To TELL the truth, we must KNOW THE TRUTH (while accounting for uncertainty).
Right now, do we know what time it is? If someone asked us, and we looked at our watch and responded, “It’s 4:30 p.m.,” we probably answered as best as we know. However, this may or may not be true. Let’s say our watch stopped, and it is actually be 5:30 p.m. We can only tell the truth that we know. This is helpful to reflect upon before we speak, and also, as we listen to others speak. We can only say what we know (or wish to present), and it may not actually be true.
Although we cannot control others or their desire to be truthful, we can hone our own truthfulness. To help us more closely tell the truth, we can to check in with ourself, and the possibility of uncertainty. Instead of assuming that we know everything just by reading the face of our watch, for example, we might ask ourself, “What is the most truthful way for me to respond?” In this instance, a closer truth might sound something like this, “My watch reads 4:30 p.m.”
Another fine way to ferret out truth is presented by Byron Katie in her book, I Need Your Love. She suggests that we regularly ask ourself internally of our beliefs, “Is this really true?” The answer(s) we discover may reveal a deeper truth.
To tell the truth, we must KNOW WHO WE ARE.
My loving friend, Natasha, regularly asks me if I would like to join her in the activities that she enjoys. I know this means a lot to her, as she enjoys my company. I also enjoy her company—however, some of the activities she enjoys are mind-numbing to me. I know this about myself. The truth of me is, if I were to spend an entire day doing something I dislike, even if it is with someone I enjoy, I would end the day feeling drained and less joyful. With this in mind, I seek to share time with Natasha doing activities that we BOTH enjoy. This choice is a “win-win,” since both of us can stay true to ourself, while enjoying some activities solo or with someone else, while also enjoying what we enjoy together. Neither of us feel obligated to spend time together, doing what the other person wants.
To stay true to me as I consider new invitations, I ask myself, “Is this activity truly best for me?” In the instance with Natasha, the answer was no. So, I shared my truth with her by replying, “Thank you so much for the invitation! I’m not up for shopping, but I miss you. Let me know if you’re up for hiking or biking sometime soon.”
To tell the truth, we must KNOW WHAT WE WANT.
I want, more than anything, to be able to give and receive goodness at 100% and share a message of empowerment. Since I am not willing to compromise this, I can avoid making choices that oppose my truth. For example, I was offered a job that would take my time, energy, and focus away from sharing my message of empowerment. Although it was a fine offer, it did not match my truth. As interesting as the offer was, it was not in alignment with what I want. Anything that does not bring me closer to what I want, actually takes me away from what I want. So in that instance, I said, “Thank you so very much for the beautiful offer. I truly appreciate the honor of this opportunity, however, I need to focus on my current business. I hope that our paths will cross in the future and opportunities will present themselves to work together in the area of empowerment.”
There is a relationship between truth and willpower.
When we know who we are and what we want, we allow ourself the opportunity to courageously stand for that. When we make choices, even seemingly small ones—in our truth, we grow and build willpower.
Truth and Justice may also be related.
Maybe our culture’s apparent lack of truthfulness is rooted not as much in the nature of humans being, but rather, in that we can’t tell our truth, because we do not know it. As Ghandi said, “Error does not become truth by reason of multiplied propagation. Truth does not become error because nobody sees it. Truth stands, even if there is no public support. Truth is self-sustained.” Yet we fight, we argue, about seemingly small things, simply for the sake of winning without meaning. If instead, we would learn our truth and manage ourself, we could create lives with meaning. When we know who we are and what we want, we can dedicate ourself to protecting and serving that truth.
What say ye?
Do you know your truth? Can you speak your truth? How do you stay truthful to you? Please share your thoughts and feelings so that we may grow together.
Always with Love,