Seeing the best in life's challenges

Whose Truth is Right?

on May 30, 2013

How does one determine the Truth?  Is there such thing as Absolute Truth?  Does that even matter?

Many people associate the idea of Truth with Right and Wrong.  The Truth is Right.  We are talking about Facts here, and Facts are Facts, and Truth is Truth.  The End.

But, as the blackboard in my local burrito place says, “We don’t live in a World of Reality, we live in a World of Perceptions. “  Google says Gerald Simmons said that.  And once you delve into what’s True in the Real World, that Truth seems to get a lot more complicated.  In a World of Gray, it depends.

Does everyone have to agree on what is True?  I am personally sure that there are Universal Truths, but I suspect many of them are beyond our complete understanding.  There are Laws of Physics, for example, but our understanding now will certainly evolve over time and become more complete.  Now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face.

So, in my every day life, how do I decide what is True?  On what do I base my own decisions and actions?  What is my guide?

If I look outside for others to tell me what is True, it becomes very confusing.  Sure, it’s easy to adopt a set of rules and stick to that, but when life becomes complicated, those rules don’t always work so well.  Because one finds that not all of the sets of rules agree.  It is true that there are common threads in the sets of rules, if you look deep enough, and I think those threads are good clues.  As a good friend of mine says, “That’s information.”

But for me, I’ve decided that my Truth can only be found within.  No one else knows me the way I do.  I’m not like anybody else, and the better I get to know myself, the more I realize that I have to do it my way.  My way does include a lot of thinking and reasoning, because I am a very logical, strong left-brain person.  But interestingly, when I took a quiz that scored you on left vs. right brain thinking, I scored high on both sides, and about even.

That’s because I also listen to my heart.  I have always been willing to consider what’s outside the box.  I’m impulsive, because I listen and act on those impulses of the heart.

So maybe it’s important to say that you don’t have to abandon your mind for your heart – you can be a strong thinker, yet still focused on and listening to your heart.  For me, it helps to be aware of these two sources of input, and to acknowledge them for what they are.  They are tools to use to know how to be.

But while my mind gives me plenty of information, my heart always tells me the Truth.  The trouble is, most of us in the world, even if we are aware of what our heart tells us, end up acting on what our mind says.  After all, it’s what’s logical, it’s what makes sense, it’s what you’re supposed to do, it’s the Right thing.  (see how we got back there?)

If you follow your Heart, you can seem Crazy.  Selfish.  Your actions don’t “Make Sense.”  Because your Truth does not agree with the Truth of Others.  Of course it doesn’t!!  You are not them!   So, tell me, who decided that everyone’s Truth has to be the Same???

What makes this all the more interesting, is that when many people do figure out their own Truth, it is such a revelation, and it feels so good, that they make the mistake of assuming that THEIR Truth is the RIGHT Truth and everybody else should adopt that SAME Truth.  They discover their own Truth, yet remain in the same Old Paradigm thinking that imposes Mine on You.

I actually think that this is the struggle that is at the root of the so-called Mid-Life Crisis.  We have all been taught that there is a Right way to live our lives, and we are creatures that want to do good and be good.  We make decisions based on this Paradigm, and we are being good people, following the generally accepted way of this World, and everything should be working out just fine, right?

But as time goes by, we live life, we gain wisdom, we self-reflect, we pay attention to how we feel, we learn what activities give us joy and which ones make us uncomfortable or just don’t feel right, and well, if we are paying attention, there is that nagging feeling that something is “off.”

Because we are trying to live some generally accepted version of what’s Right, which is supposed to be True, but we find that it doesn’t feel True for us.

At that point, we can face this situation head-on or not.  We can try to find what’s missing, or try to find activities that satisfy our desire for happiness or completeness.

People generally think of the “mid-life crisis” as a bad thing, but I actually think it is an indication of a person who is really thinking things through, who is growing and becoming, rather than someone who has given up and is willing to stagnate in place.

And this doesn’t just happen at Mid-Life – anyone who can be accused of “finding themselves” has a similar thing going on.

Change and questioning the status quo scares people.  Many will cling to “the way it is” just so they don’t have to face the uncertainty of a new way of being.  Change rattles our sense of security.  So, on top of the internal pressure of trying to sort through and find their own Truth, this person faces increased pressure from those they live close to who don’t like this idea of change.

I know people going through versions of this process.  They are well-meaning, good, nice people who are trying to live their lives as best they can.  They are thinking about changing their situations or actually making changes in their lives.  The default way of reacting to this is resistance, refusal to listen, consider or accept, and becoming hurt and insecure.    In some cases, there is a reluctance to even start a conversation, not knowing where to begin.

In my opinion, awareness of these situations is a call to cultivate the skills we need to be able to deal with changes of the Heart.  There is such a need for the ability to be open to understanding the “heart callings” of others, to be able to listen and hear another human being trying to express their true feelings, their hopes, their dreams, and their visions for themselves.   For those who truly care and spend time in self-reflection and attempt to face and reconcile their personal Truth vs. What Is, these things are difficult enough to share, because many of us don’t want to “disappoint” others by not being who they thought we were.

Heck, we’re all just trying to do the best we can.  If someone is going to get thoughtful and spend time trying to figure out what is True for them, can’t we appreciate that for what it is, and listen?

Just another chance to ask ourselves, is it more important to be Right or to Understand?

Here’s a video to watch that will make you think about how you know what is True.  And it’s a lot of fun!

Want to know the backstory?  see here:


One response to “Whose Truth is Right?

  1. Ekhava says:

    Reblogged this on Ekhava.

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