There are so many sayings and lessons about this big important concept called “the truth.” If I understand correctly, “The truth shall set you free” and “The truth always comes out.” Veracity is a common virtue and I think most people can agree that “truth” is something we value, even if we don’t agree on what is “true” for us. Fortunately or unfortunately the social “truth” of our world itself has become somewhat of a subjective experience, particularly over the last several years.
In a recent chat about this very topic, it occurred to me that one of the challenges of uncovering “the truth” about a given situation is that just because we land on it, doesn’t mean we are happy about it. I was relieved when I heard someone say “Just because I don’t like it doesn’t make any less true.” Wow! Did those words ever land and light up my brain.
In traveling through many changes in my life over the past 5 years or so, I have thought that very phrase many, many times over. I have also said it to others to help them understand certain decisions I’ve made that have had massive impact on people around me. I tried to help them understand I wasn’t making choices in a vacuum but they were not optional once I experienced what felt true for me.
One example of this was in the workplace. The truth of my Corporate career was that I was “good” at it, but it wasn’t “good” for me. This truth, although a clunky discovery ultimately led me in a path away from that career, and toward something that feels more genuine and comfortable. I didn’t “like” landing on the realization that if I was being honest with myself, I needed to exit the job and pursue a career in something more meaningful. But I couldn’t stay there knowing what I’d uncovered as the truth for me in that situation.
Another example of this was in the understanding that my 25 year marriage to my best friend and the father of my children needed to be concluded as we knew it. I didn’t “want” that to be true, but that didn’t make it not so.
When we are on a path of discovery, we are pulling back the curtains, turning on the lights, and looking under the hood to see what’s there. But we aren’t always warned that what we see could may not only be disturbing, but potentially unbearable. There is no “rating” to warn us when it comes to the programming of our lives. The result of allowing the “truth” to emerge can be shock, fear, frustration, disappointment and denial.
But once we have intersected our truth, we cannot unsee what we have discovered. We may want to. We may put our discovery in a box on the shelf with all the other “truths” we are not yet ready to accept or deal with. But we can’t un-see what we have seen. We can’t un-know what we know to be true at our core, once our truth has revealed itself. We can delay, hide, numb and ignore what what we have seen, but the truth that has been revealed is here to stay.
What we do with it is up to us.