We’ve all heard the adage, “The truth shall set you free.” The actual quote from the bible is “The truth shall MAKE you free.” I always thought the quote was a nice idea, but after really embracing the idea, I found that a commitment to truth actually did set me free.
Now, I’m not necessarily talking about “not lying”, although that’s important too. What I’m talking about is identifying and honoring what is true in our lives and dismantling the stories that lead us to tweak, cover-up and withhold the truth. This may show up for us as not telling a business colleague that their idea doesn’t work for you because you feel they may be insulted, withholding a truth from a client because you feel you may lose their business, and generally not speaking your mind so you won’t “look bad.”
Unfortunately, holding back on the truth usually leads to high levels of stress and, worse yet, can damage very important relationships… both business AND personal.
Although it may not always seem like it, ultimately what’s real and true is “perfect.” Realize that by “perfect” I don’t mean necessarily desirable, but simply that it’s what is so. Relating to it as such will decrease your stress levels, decrease the complexities of your life, increase the quality of your relationships, and increase your power and effectiveness in life and business.
A bit daunting at first, relating to and expressing what’s true is actually quite easy and the more you do it, the more you won’t want to do anything else.
“Truth is by its nature, self-evident. As soon as you remove the cobwebs of ignorance that surround it, it shines clear.” ~ Mahatma Ghandi
Try out the following steps this week and please do share your experiences:
Say Only What’s True The Entire Week
Say nothing that is untrue. When situations come up in which you feel tempted to withhold or tweak the truth, express your truth anyway. Remember your truth is perfect. Honor yourself and your point-of-view as well as other points-of-view. When you feel conflicted or confused, orient yourself with the mantra “Name the Truth!”
Clear Up One “Withhold” Each Day
It’s common for people to withhold truths from others, usually because we feel that the truth may be upsetting or that our truth is unimportant. Withholding truths is damaging to relationships. In reality, your truth is perfect. Honor yourself and express what’s true to you. Start with something easy… like you didn’t want to eat Thai last night, but did anyway and then go bigger each day. Be sure to respect the other’s truth as well. Avoid trying to be right. Try apologizing. Be loving.
Separate Your Story From What Is Actually True
Also common, most people wrap up what actually is real with assumptions, judgments and preconceptions. In other words, we project a story on what is actually happening, often making the other wrong and us right. Making the situation worse is that the other person is doing the same thing. Somewhere in the middle lies the truth. Identify what is actually real (what happened), throw away your story and ground yourself in the truth. This concept will transform your relationships and increase your power and effectiveness in life. I will be diving deep on this subject in a future blog.
Have a powerful, truthful week, everyone!