Got your attention? Yes that’s right. I’m having a full-on, delicious affair… with the Truth.
Not as enticing as you were hoping? Wait.. don’t go away yet. It just might be as good.
Last week I had a complete moment of truth where I could see a pattern clearly that was evolving right before my eyes. I addressed, and course-corrected. This might not sound like much, but I have realized a few ‘small’ things:
These moments of Truth are what my work has all been about. Being present is one thing, seeing it clearly is another.
Truth is not an idea that we read about. It is a felt experience. We may talk about the ‘Truth”, honesty, reality… but it is much more than that.
Truth is a deep connection with humanity/nature, a moment of complete honesty that we come to either on our own or a recognition of it with another person.
It can be profound, complete empathy. Or it can feel exposed, shameful and vulnerable. Or both. We can open to it and see it, or close to it and keep our egos safe and strong.
In my home growing up, the truth was not always seen. Coming from a strong English background meant carrying a fair amount of denial and putting your best face forward. So what happens to that part that feels angry, scared, grumpy and vulnerable? What… you don’t have one? Then you must have been free to show, express, believe and connect with that part because when you don’t, it takes the back seat but continues to drive. What you resist, persists.
I remember thinking as a small child, ‘what can we ever know for sure?’ when the world is always shifting and changing. I knew it was very little but I did come up with ‘what is happening right now’ and also ‘Love’. We had lots of the latter and we can know Love exists for sure as an experience. It is very real, and became more real after I had my own children.
I’ve become obsessed with noticing and collecting moments of truth (and, by the way, how much we lie to ourselves). You may be reminded of your own. I have seen many, many moments in my counselling office and in life. Here are some I remember:
- In 4th grade where our teacher bullied one girl relentlessly (this was early 70’s). She was quiet and withdrawn. On the playground I approached her and stated “I hate this teacher”. She began to cry and sobbed out all her pent up shame, fear, embarassment and humiliation. The bell rang and we never said another word about it, but she brightened up and we shared a look of knowing when the teacher moved in that said ‘I see you. I share your truth, and I got your back’.
- A son battles fear and tells his parents he is gay. The parents weep and hug him, having known all along. The truth sets them all free.
- The moment in therapy where a woman uncovers the false belief she had been carrying that she was somehow responsible for her sister’s death as a child. A huge burden is lifted.
- The moment in couples counselling when the wife states calmly ‘Any more abuse, and I will leave you’. The husband sees, beyond any doubt, the repercussions of years of verbal abuse and tearfully looks into her eyes and says “I’m so, so sorry.’
- When a convicted murderer meets the mother of his victim, face to face, and they share the absolute agony of his actions and the suffering he also endured as a child.
- The moment in ‘The Fog of War’, a documentary about the Vietnam war where Robert Mcnamara admits that the Vietnam war was started based on false information, a monumental mistake. A huge and tragic admission.
In all of these moments we see a clear, sometimes sad, recognition of our humanity. Humanity sees humanity. An admission of the suffering and falseness caused by the ego, and the truth is exposed. No matter the consequences, the truth will set you free.
Come out of hiding, end the falseness of the ego by recognizing what is true, right here, right now. My favourite exercise for practicing this is:
Breathe: deeply, relax into your true self.
Body: Feel your body. It’s real, and what you are feeling is real.
Love: The truth. Where you are right now, your challenges, your false thoughts, your feelings, your struggles. Don’t analyze, just notice and accept.
That is what I am in love with right now. Do you have any experiences with moments of truth? Leave them in the comments below.
One last thing if you have read this far: there is no Monday ‘Breathe to Heal’ class this week. See you next week!