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The White Lie and What’s Really True

The main issue that continues to arise for me lately is that of maturation and finding my own true voice. I’ve been practicing saying what is true for me while confronting the fear of losing love and being rejected. I have to say it has been incredibly difficult and surprisingly liberating at the same time. What is becoming clear for me is that when I am not being fully true, not providing an integrally whole presentation of myself, then I’m not actually being real, being Ted. If I present who I am, in as true a form as I can divine, then any rejection or withdrawal of love which might ensue is manageable because at least what remains for me is me. It’s not that I’ve done something wrong and then lost something, I’ve actually simply been truly myself, and that is a wonderful thing to be left with should everything fall away.In speaking with various friends, sometime, I ask for advice and sometimes it’s just given. I’ve been watching how my own feelings shuffle and move about as others tell me how they feel about what I’m saying. It’s as if what is true for me is malleable and can be formed and shaped by the feelings of others. Of course, I may incorporate others advice into my own way of thinking, but it’s the impact of their “feelings” that I’m finding more interesting. If someone has anger toward a situation, it’s almost as if I’ll change my beliefs so that they’ll no longer be angry and so I won’t have to deal with or feel their anger. It’s pretty crazy really, and through noticing that and paying attention to it, I’ve been able to distance myself from that tendency. What’s true right now for me? That’s the only real question. The answer may very well be different 30 seconds from now, or tomorrow, but it’s the only relevant question that feels real to me.A friend of mine yesterday was suggesting the virtues of the white lie. I agree that we don’t always have to tell the truth. If we are telling a lie (or simply avoiding speaking the truth) in order to save someone else from pain, anguish, discomfort, I can support that. We have to be very careful with that rationale, however. Are we really trying to help the other avoid uncomfortable feelings, or are we avoiding having to feel our own discomfort with their discomfort. In other words, are we really protecting ourselves?

I’m starting to see that an important part of maturation has to do with speaking the truth. We need to stand clearly and solidly on our own two feet, willing to withstand interpersonal gales, relational torrents, and professional storms, risking rejection every step of the way. If we can get to that place where we are free from fear-based external influences, then we can walk forward fully as ourselves. From that place, nothing can truly harm us.  Speaking the truth is a huge step in that direction.

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