By Jill Tremlett Large
1. The true or actual state of a matter
2. Conformity with fact or reality
3. A verified or indisputable fact, proposition, principle or the like
“Somewhere within these facts lies the truth.” This statement was part of the instructions the judge delivered from the bench to the jury, at the conclusion of the trial we 12 had listened to over the course of the last three days. He was the epitome of Southern Gentleman all the way down to his bow tie, and he smiled a little as he drawled those words; a neutral player in the justice game.
I envisioned being in a forest, weaving through the trees to find the pathway. I imagined the other jurors in the same forest, same trees, finding their own path to the truth. We all had the same facts, yet we each heard what was said differently, held some words as more important than others, and disregarded some things entirely.
We all have our own filters of perception, born from life experience and our interpretation of it.
A few years ago it dawned on me that the stories I tell myself about the world around me and who I am in it may or may not be accurate. I decided that as each belief came into my awareness I’d take an objective look and decide whether it was valid or not. Over time it has been an inspiring and life-changing process to re-write the stories that no longer serve my best interest. Re-writing these stories, beliefs, or “truths” is a practice anyone can take up, anytime they want.
Glennon Doyle calls herself a “fearless truth teller” and what she teaches is that there is a delicious freedom in honestly and frankly revealing our failings and flaws. It’s not always safe to tell the truth – to others, or even – sometimes – to ourselves. Over time though, as I’ve practiced my own version of fearless truth telling, I’ve found that my flaws and failings are what make me most human and that confessing them can be both hilariously entertaining (just ask my office-mates) and an enormous relief.
I chose “Truth” as the title of this message, but it’s also about perception vs. reality vs. actuality. Freedom. Choice. And so much more. As you read it, you’ll discern your own message from the words on the screen. The truth as you see it. Your truth.
Deborah Johnson talks about Truth, Perception, and setting ourselves free in her TedX talk.
“Your problem is how you are going to spend this one odd and precious life you have been issued. Whether you’re going to spend it trying to look good and creating the illusion that you have power over people and circumstances, or whether you are going to taste it, enjoy it and find out the truth about who you are.”
“It really is about living your truth—that’s all it is.”
“The only time you are really insecure or not sure of yourself is when you are not being your authentic self.”
“What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life? The world would split open.”
“The truth is the kindest thing we can give folks in the end.”
Harriet Beecher Stowe