“The truth is rarely pure and never simple.” – Oscar Wilde
“I’m afraid that is the reality of the situation, Seline.”
My counselor looked at me with consoling eyes after our lengthy discussion about my complicated family dynamics and how they could impact my future. I looked out the window for a brief respite, trying my best to swallow the bitter pill of my reality.
I felt the urge to retreat into my cocoon of safety that I had carefully woven with the threads of my dreams and most cherished goals. If only there were a time machine that could take me back to the simple, carefree days of my childhood – a time when I could escape into fantastical worlds filled with wonder, magic, and endless possibilities.
My counselor sensed my escapist yearnings and gently brought me back to reality.
“Seline,” she said, “I know that this is tough for you, but try to look on the bright side. You can now make clear and intentional decisions based on truths instead of lies. You’re no longer trapped in a state of denial, and you’re now free to find tangible solutions to the dilemma that you’re facing.”
I nodded in agreement. I felt a wave of relief wash over me. No more pretending that things were different from what they really were. All the energy that I was using to block the truth could now be channeled towards creating positive and constructive shifts. But it wasn’t easy to reach this epiphany. Like most people, if left to my own devices, I would cushion myself in a bubble of ignorance.
The act of facing the truth is similar to eating our vegetables. We know that it’s good for us, but most of us find it bland and boring. It doesn’t give us that sugar high, or jolt of caffeine that we crave. We’d rather treat ourselves to the candy floss of unrealistic dreams and the cupcakes of false hopes. Reality is a party pooper, and we don’t want it to ruin the good times.
The first step to transforming this self-defeating mentality is by first getting clear on what ‘the truth’ really is, as well as its significance. There are two kinds of truths. The first is reality-based – it pertains to the practicalities and facts of life that are always neutral and unbiased. This kind of truth is based on universal laws like the law of cause and effect, the law of attraction, the law of relativity, etc. These laws keep us in check by reminding us of the limitations of the natural order and the unpredictability of life.
The other type of truth is the one that we create within our own minds. All of us develop our own unique perspective of the world based on what we have been exposed to and our personal experiences. Our belief systems, identity, capabilities, challenges, and how the world operates, is a product of our self-awareness (or lack thereof), how we interpret our experiences, and our level of education (both academic and personal).
The more significant the gap between our self-constructed truth and reality-based truth, the closer we veer toward delusion. An example of this would be someone who poses as if living a life of luxury because they want people to think they’ve ‘made it’ when under the surface they are drowning in credit card debt. Or even somebody madly in love with someone already in a relationship, but still hung up on the hope that they’ll ultimately choose them.
In these two scenarios, we know that these individuals are heading towards a train wreck that will only result in heartbreak and pain. There is a high price to pay for not facing reality-based truth. That’s why, in the long-term, it’s always better to deal with the pain of facing reality rather than hiding behind the veil of an unvalidated self-truth.
Fortunately, all of us are gifted with an internal GPS that alerts us when we drift away from reality. This instinctive intelligence will send us intuitive messages in the form of feelings and hunches, and it will notice all the synchronicities and signs that the Universe is continually sending us. If we are open to, and in-tune with this reservoir of wisdom, we’ll be able to pick up on our distorted thinking and reframe our perspective.
Here are four reasons why the truth will always set you free and how you can move closer to it:
1. You increase your chances of success: Any lasting form of success and fulfillment in the world requires an honest and realistic approach. The more pragmatic you are when it comes to how you view a situation, the higher the chances that your plans will materialize in the real world. You’ll be building your dreams on a firm foundation of truth instead of the quicksand of denial. Your strategies include facts and tangible data and you’ll be open to receiving feedback and constructive suggestions from others, considering their ideas, and making fact-based decisions.
2. You’re less likely to be disappointed, and you’ll bounce back faster: When you’re not honest about your life, and you follow a trajectory based on false expectations, you’re most definitely going to face a rude awakening when things begin to go awry. Not only will you have to get over your failure, but also the frustration of deceiving yourself. Recovery from this point is considerably harder compared to someone who failed with their eyes open, fully aware of what they were getting into. They’ll find it easier to bounce back with a new game plan.
3. You gain more wisdom and invaluable experience: You can learn a lot of wisdom from your experiences if you’re willing to see the truth of your character, behavior, and the reality of your situation. Hardships, challenges, and disappointment are tough to deal with in the moment, but we have to muster the courage to search for pearls of wisdom. We stand to gain a lot by doing this in the form of lessons and personal growth. The valuable knowledge that we obtain by dealing with the truth will aid us in handling complex situations with clarity and self-honesty.
4. People will like you and trust you more: A person who lives their life from a place of truth becomes a pillar of strength to others. People feel comfortable in their presence because of the calm and poise that they exude. Practical realism is hard to come by in a world where the majority of the people are bitten by the bug of grandiosity. If you strive to align yourself with the truth, you’ll find more and more people feeling drawn to you. They’ll want to do business with you, become your friend, or your partner. With this quality you’ll be able to see people for who they are and weed out the imposters and toxic individuals, focusing instead on high-quality relationships.
Spiritual coach Iyanla Vanzant said, “the truth will set you free, but you have to endure the labor pains of birthing it.” The discomfort of dealing with the truth of life is inevitable but when you take it in your stride you will be set free. You will have the wisdom and maturity to act after pushing through the pain that comes with birthing the truth, leading you on to live a life of joy and inspiration.
All my best on your journey,
Question: Do you believe that the truth will set you free? Are there specific experiences in your life that proved this to be true?
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