As the actor Jack Nicholson said in a recent movie when questioned under oath by a the actor Tom Cruise who was seeking the Truth…Jack said… ‘You can’t handle the truth!!!’
Seeing beyond our own veil of the story of who we think we are; and who others are requires much courage and commitment. The pursuit of Truth is essential for an evolving, healthy and vibrant individual, relationship, community, nation or world. And, Truth is elusive. Why? We usually believe what we want to believe, what we’ve been told by someone in authority to believe, or what our own conscious or unconscious patterns tell us to believe. These beliefs may not and in fact, rarely are the truth. Anything other than the truth is what I will call ‘the story’ which drive us towards making patterned responses or reactions to our world.
What do we see instead of truth? What we believe is a story, a fictional representation of what we believe we need to see to be accepted, safe, belong and get love.
I’d like to offer some examples.
Let’s say you grew up in a violent and alcoholic home. As a child and adolescent, you felt un-safe as you were never sure whether Mom and Dad were sober and calm, or whether you would be beaten emotionally or physically that day. Your Dad may have told you how worthless you were when you brought home less than perfect grades. You may have begun to believe his story of you. You probably would begin to react from your history with them and create fear when it was time to come home from school. From this history, you began to create your own story of Moms, Dads, alcohol, and have a distorted view of the emotion of anger. This early history may have a lot to do with how you relate to your world for the rest of your life. Your history may indeed have a lot to do with the patterns of intimate relationships you have, your relationship to authority, or your own self esteem. Your body created an automatic emotional and physical armor that was designed to attempt protection.
You grew up in an incredibly loving home. Your parents were present and affirming. They saw your essential being and nourished it with support and provided opportunities for that essential nature to deepen and flourish. You lived in a safe and supportive community that nurtured those same values for all its inhabitants. Is it not true that you would see the world and yourself differently that in the person in example #1?
While these are somewhat extreme examples, there are enormous subtle and not so subtle, seen and unseen influences on who we think we are and who others are. There are significant influences beyond the real truth on the nature of our communities, nations and world.
Everything is impacted by how we are patterned to see it. Politics, gender, sexuality, spirituality, religion, economics, race, age, death, our and other countries values, authority, education, our worth, another’s worth, and money to mention just a few. We are patterned in our relationship to our own bodies, how we make love, how we eat or sleep, our reaction to joy or pain, or how we drive a car. In relationships, we are patterned in our response to conflict or when we don’t get our way.
Question everything you know and check if it is story or truth.
As I’ve often heard from a wise woman…’Love Truth more than you Love Love’.