Facing Difficult Truths

An essential piece of personal growth is becoming aware of truths and taking action to align our lives with them. When it occurs to you that a certain behavior would enhance the quality of your life, it makes sense to engage in that behavior. This behavior could entail taking on a healthy habit, such as a certain diet, or taking action to fulfill a desire, such as asking a particular person on a date or participating in a particular event.

The truth will set you free. It will provide new energy and direction to your life. It will guide you.

If this is the case, why is facing the truth painful sometimes? Likewise, why do people succumb to denial and hide from the truth?

The likely reason people do this is that they don’t know how they will handle the truth. It’s not that they don’t know what the “how-to” steps are. Those are usually easy enough to figure out. The problem is that they don’t see themselves being able to implement those steps. They are too weak to do so.

When we’re too weak to act on a certain truth, denying the truth does not help us. That will only prolong our being stuck in a non-ideal situation. Instead we can turn the lights on to continuously acknowledge the truth about our situation AND that we are currently too weak to do anything about it. When you choose to remain aware of the truth, you open the door to becoming strong enough to align with it. Simply acknowledging the truth is a powerful act in itself.

The party doesn’t end just because I’ve turned the lights on. Instead, turning the lights on enables me to clean up and take stock of what I need so I can have another, even better, party. Truth doesn’t ruin the fun: it enables it.

Whenever you are in doubt, return to the truth. When you have no strength, the truth will bring you strength.


Make a List of Your Truths

I’ve found it helpful to make a list of non-ideal situations in my life. These are aspects of my life where I know things are not as good as they could be, and I know specifically how they could get better, but right now I am not able to make them better. It may be that the ideal solution is just beyond my reach for one reason or another. Maybe I’m not emotionally prepared to implement that solution, or I’m just too incompetent right now. It could also be that there are too many other things occupying my attention and time, so I can’t put sufficient energy into making these changes right now. I can do only so much at once.


Sharing Your Truths

Note, 1/30/2018: I originally advocated sharing the difficult truths of your life with others, potentially even publicly. Don't do that unless you truly must-- say, to keep yourself alive. Otherwise you welcome more trouble into your life than help. If you can work through your issues privately, you'll be better off.

What are Your Truths?

What truths in your life have been following you around for some time—even pressing into you like a thorn in your side? What could you acknowledge right now, even if you don’t feel prepared to do anything about it? What would you like to change, even if you feel like you can’t change it?

When you are weak, be humbled by the truth. When you are strong, be joyful about it.

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