What is it?
What does it mean?
What does it accomplish?
One of the mantras I’ve lived my life by is “There are two sides to every story and the truth lies somewhere in the middle.”
To that end, truth is a little like reading between the lines…or compromise…or both…a way of finding balance in a situation, which in turn reduces distortion and helps us achieve balance.
Truth is an enormous word, one that encompasses everything from reality (fact), legitimacy (genuineness), and loyalty (honesty.)
For some of us, truth means beyond measure, an external gauge of something that can be validated.
For some of us, truth is quantified by integrals of integrity.
For some of us, truth means simply that there is no lie or manipulation in personal connection.
Many years ago Warren and I took in a high school student whose own truth included an escape from abuse, fear, and insecurity.
I recently stumbled across a note she sent me and felt compelled to reach out to her again.
She told me that her life is filled with God’s love, that she is so happy she discovered–during one of the darkest and most difficult times in her life–His truth and her salvation through Jesus Christ, her Lord and Savior.
She told me she feels God is testing her strength and courage through a few obstacles she’s facing in her marriage and in her life.
She quoted many scripture passages.
I shared with her that I have a little different outlook, that I don’t believe God is up in heaven wielding his power to test or punish us, rather I believe that he wraps us in love when we are suffering, he celebrates with us when we are happy, and he supports us by nudging us to notice our resources when we are in need.
“Why do you deny the truth?” she asked.
What transpired was a brief conversation about what truth means, with her telling me repeatedly that Christ is the only truth and salvation, and me politely ending the conversation by telling her I am so happy for her that she found what she needed for her own peace and comfort.
For this young woman, scripture provides both fact and validation, and her faith in those texts is the measure of her loyalty and of her ultimate truth.
My truth lies in the belief that God (Source, Spirit) is not some version of our modern-day helicopter, over-involved/codependent parent but one who gave us free will so that we may learn whatever lessons we came here to learn.
My truth is that I am honest to a fault, someone whose every emotion and thought is written across her face and someone who believes that love, not sacrifice, is what is behind life.
When we choose sacrifice, we choose it as part of our learning and growth, which stems from a place of self-love.
Though I adore a hearty debate because I believe it challenges us to look inside, to validate our truths and to reflect on them as we mature and evolve in our existence, I am not here to convince you of anything.
The recently deceased counselor Wills would often say to Warren and me, “There are arguable truths; for example, ‘It is cold in here’ is an arguable truth. Whereas ‘I am cold’ is an inarguable truth.”
What often trips us up are the nuances that define us and our language and the subjective nature that is its own sort of free will.
We are free to choose, to decide what doctrines we’ll adopt and how we will embody them.
Visionary thinker, Simon Sinek, states
“There is no decision that we can make that doesn’t come with some sort of balance or sacrifice.”
When we choose to discount another’s truth, we sacrifice compromise and our own ability for present or future learning and growth.
When we choose to acknowledge others’ truths, we honor balance, “the middle way” as Dan Millman calls it, and tap into the very essence that is life itself.
Sir Isaac Newton said
“For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.”
Though this law of physics relates to physical objects and energy, so, too, can it be applied to our energies.
When we are over-stimulated by emotions like ecstasy, we will eventually crash, our body’s way of finding balance in the form of rest and moderation.
When we are filled with great suffering, we eventually find ourselves searching for ways to reduce the stress and balance our moods.
Our bodies cannot sustain extended periods of these elevated moods without some sort of negative effect on our systems.
In the letter I wrote to all who struggle with some form of child loss, I wrote, “Where there is great pain, there is an even greater love.”
When our truths are so rigid that we can only see one side of a story, conflict, separation, and war ensue.
When we are able to stand in balance, respecting that each facet holds its own inarguable truths–viewpoints that can coexist–healing, unity, and peace prevail.
It’s your turn, Journeyer! What truths have created an imbalance or balance in your life?
Until we meet again, yours in hope, healing, and happiness,