To Tell the Truth
Have you seen this show? Where two contestants can lie and one is sworn to tell the truth. This is art imitating life — for in a sense, we too, have been sworn in. Our bodies, our dreams, our subconscious - they all tell the truth even when we do not.
I’m not speaking of speaking the truth aloud - your truth is no one’s business but your own. But in that speaking with your self - there’s a price you pay every time you step over what’s true. A little secret you stuff within yourself that you need to step over the next time the matter comes up.
I’m not ashamed
I wasn’t rejected
I’m not afraid
I’m not a loser
I’m not unworthy
Interestingly, this works both ways - the person who oversteps the truth and takes on the role of victim tells herself different things.
I was hurt
I was made to feel this way
I was abandoned
It wasn’t me
I didn’t do anything
Of course, sometimes you are not ashamed or you were hurt. Only you know the difference between what is true and what is masquerading as truth. And, even then, we are so practiced at not telling the truth - for survival’s sake or the sake of being civilized - that we can’t always discern what is our truth and what is a habit that we have repeated so often, that it feels like the truth.
But that is the beauty of truth.
It has a built-in authenticator, an inimitable quality. It often smells of awkwardness and discomfort and vulnerability. But it always releases a whoosh of relief. Not just to the person telling it but to the person hearing it. It announces itself as truth to that which recognizes truth in the other.
Shoulders drop, breaths exhale, hugs are exchanged. Truth has been spoken here.
And with that, some-thing has been liberated, some-one has been set free.
Today is Rosh HaShana , the Jewish New Year - it is a time of reflection, introspection and an opportunity to be liberated from our actions of the past year by telling the truth about them. It is an opportunity to inquire into our relationships with our selves, with each other, with God, and check if there is anything more to say about them. Anything more to account for.
It is, like so many other religious and spiritual practices, an opportunity to experience freedom and liberation from the oppressive mental, emotional and physical condition of being human. It is an opportunity to enfold into our essence, to feel what is always there regardless of our state of mind, state of emotions, state of our bodies. It is an opportunity to relax into who we truly are and experience what we truly want.
And that, undoubtedly, is worth telling the truth for.