Truth is a big theme for me this year - or this decade - or this lifetime. Not that I’ve been living a big lie, but… as of late I’ve certainly realized how much of my own inner impulses I’ve learned to silence in my quest for efficiency, productivity and a sense of belonging. It’s not the first time I’ve felt called to scrutinize my behaviors or feelings… But… This time feels really different and I could see how it might try to take my hand and yank me right into a mid-life crisis if I try to glide past those inner heart tugs rather than try to understand and honor them.
I’ve been learning about truth, how it feels in my body, and how fluid it really can be when shared - or not shared - with others. Just looking around and listening to the conversations, it’s hard to deny how often two or more of us can be looking at the same scenario or thing and believe entirely different things. Beliefs, experiences and values affect what feels true for each of us, bringing us together with those who share and validate our truth and startling us when opposing experiences seem to deny what we feel is SO true.
I’ve been learning hard things about these “inner truth” differences. Like how alienating it feels to believe - or to feel like I know - something that I feel others can’t or won’t understand. Basic truths we all learned in kindergarten but somehow are confusing now. I’ve been immersed in the feeling of how tempting it is to throw facts out there that prove my point. And how I’m just certain that my unique experiences and knowledge will open the hearts of those who disagree with me to a state of curiosity that will allow my unique perspective or wisdom to penetrate their knowing so they too can feel certain of this truth with me…. Haha! ;)
Ahhh, how many times I’ve imagined this turning of hearts to understand what I’m talking about - to just know the truths I know. It’s an inner conviction I’ve felt long enough to have chosen the Argumentation and Decision Making track of my communication major in college so that I could study what lawyers were studying about presenting solid arguments with solid evidential backing. I wanted others to understand what I was saying and see my point. That was a couple of decades ago and after many futile attempts to “enlighten” others to my perspectives, I’ve learned more than I felt I was really prepared to learn about beliefs, truths and human nature.
Truth is not fixed. Truth is a personal experience and even if we believe something to be fully true, we can’t force another with different beliefs to adopt our truths if they don’t believe the same things. Dammit… Personally, I think there are certain truths that should just be adopted and honored by all humans. Like feeling the truth in knowing that all human beings are valuable and deserve respect and dignity and LOVE. Or the truth in acknowledging how wrong it is to allow children to be harmed in the name of policy - or in the name of anything. Or facing the reality that we’ve allowed a lot of lies and toxic structures to break down many good people who have tried to express their very real and very true truths.
This fires me up and it always has. Arguing over who deserve dignity, respect and access to basic resources screams that it’s time to turn on a big bright human-centered flood light and dim out the political gaslight. But I can’t really make anyone else believe my deepest convictions, and sometimes that feels very lonely. I guess this is where my work is. To get curious and to find connection in the chaos. To get curious in an attempt to understand. And to do what I can do to make living a more harmonious experience.
As I straighten my shoulders, shake out my legs, look forward and purposefully march into the next phase of my life, my focus will land on what I can do to make positive waves; to be curious of the experiences and perspectives of others; to give a portion of my time and resources to helping others where I can. I'll nourish my own hope that we can come together on basic human rights issues day by day, connection by connection.
I have this feeling 2020 will be a year of facing some realities we’ve possibly been in denial of... Likely, there will be some of us who do NOT want to face some of these truths - but they’ll emerge anyway... And we will all make choices about how we will proceed in our own lives when we are called to task and when we consider what we want to leave behind for others. I plan to continue connecting and volunteering with my own community, and I intend to generate awareness in creative ways for other issues that could use some good, honest human hearts on the scene. I intend to learn more about organizations who are doing good work and sharing their stories. I guess you could say this is my year of “exuberantly celebrating integrity - hooray for integrity!”
Let’s all celebrate together ;)