The more I am honest with myself, the more I realize that there is a distinct split between what we present to others and that which is actually our truth. This is not something that is necessarily intentional. We generally don’t mean to lie to others, and in many ways what I am talking about here is not actually lying, but more accurately, a withholding of full disclosure. It’s easy to speak truth while withholding vitally relevant information. Unless and until we learn to acknowledge our own truth in its entirety, and speak it freely, we are not free, and we have no real shot at true liberation. We remain false out of fear of the ramifications of being true.
So why don’t we always speak our truth? The first and by far most powerful of the reasons is that we are actually not entirely interested in knowing the truth. An internal split exists which leads us to subconsciously prefer to live our lives inundated with distractions and other self-defending mechanisms, rather than live a life of openness and authenticity. Our preciously guarded self-image would be threatened if we were to be completely honest with ourselves. Without a deep-seated intention to uncover our truth, whatever the personal cost, it simply remains lurking under the surface. A simple example may help here – while the underlying truth may be that we are fearful of being alone, instead of acknowledging that fear and exploring the experience of aloneness, we use others to fill that gap so that we don’t have to experience the feelings we would prefer to avoid. This keeps the underlying truth hidden away and precludes us from ever being able to be liberated from the fear of aloneness undercurrent. Most of us would rather not see these types of truths in ourselves, so we numb ourselves to our feelings and live out our lives unconscious of significant portions of our potential experience.
Even if we explore and acknowledge our own truth to ourselves, we often hesitate to speak it to others. This is more of an external split where we know something to be true on the inside, but it does not get spoken of or reflected to the outside world. There are many subtle and not so subtle undercurrents which perpetuate this behavior. We are heavily invested in our own self-image and thus we have a strong tendency to try to impact the ways in which others see us. We also commonly have a fear of being judged/rejected and therefore present ourselves to others in ways that minimize the likelihood of having to experience that judgment or rejection. The irony is that by not presenting a true portrayal of ourselves, we are actually rejecting ourselves. We are actually choosing to be loved for something we are not, than to be rejected for something that we are. I deeply understand the pull toward love and acceptance, but for many of us, the cost of that is the authenticity of our own soul. A very, very steep price to pay. Can you tell the truth to a person whose love or support you are afraid of losing even if that truth may lead to the losing of that love or support? In my experience, that is one of the most difficult and courageous things we can do.
So which is stronger, our love of truth and striving for authenticity, or our fears of losing love, of feeling rejection, of failing, of being alone? A commitment to an awareness of what is true for us, and a desire for true authenticity in our relationships can take time to cultivate and can lead at times to seemingly intolerable places The fruits of that path can be sweet indeed, however, as we get to have an authentic life, liberated from falsehood, and with relationships that are infused with the truth of our souls.
2 replies on “Speaking the Whole Truth – A Path to Authenticity”
In the words of another… “to thine own self be true.” It can lead to a “lonely” life… as it’s possible that some folks are uncomfortable with the reflection they see in your eyes. Until, of course, one realizes that it’s impossible to feel lonely.
I just thought of another great quote… from the same wise soul: “To be, or not to be… That is the question.”
And, I really like, “Let it be.” 🙂