…if I tell you the honest truth.
Isn’t that the funniest of phrases? …the HONEST truth? What else could the truth be? You don’t have to have much life experience though to figure out how the phrase came to be. As Jack Nicholson said in A Few Good Men, most people “…can’t handle the truth!” Shonda Rhimes has even created a hit TV show that at the core, is based on covering up truth in the name of greater good. On some scale, we all play that game, despite knowing that the only possible outcome–is scandal.
The truth hurts…but it will also set you free–two other popular phrases that you often hear on the subject. When I think about why we all wrestle with truth, I believe the answer lies somewhere within those two statements. We know the truth hurts, and we don’t want to hurt the people we love. However, the longer we withhold the truth, the longer we imprison ourselves–which at first glance may come across as self-less, but if you look a little deeper, it’s actually quite self-ish. The only truth you can withhold at the end of the day, is your own, and it’s not really the other person you are protecting, it’s the other person’s perception of you. You want the person you’re withholding from, to think of you as they always have. So your ego, being the mastermind that it is, convinces you to keep information to yourself, in the name of greater good.
Am I suggesting you sit on some moral high horse and tell the honest truth at all costs? When it comes to people you truly love and care about, absolutely! But let me be crystal clear in what I’m saying here. The only truth that exists, is your own, meaning it pertains to you: your feelings, your experiences, your history, your decisions, your current condition, etc. Telling the honest truth about someone else’s life, is not possible. All that exists in that realm are perception, opinion, judgement, and assumption. If you ask me a question about someone else, all I can offer you is some combination of the four, not truth. This particular post is in reference to truth at its deepest level, you. I’m also NOT suggesting you tell the world everything there is to know about you at all times but I am saying to those people who really matter…family…significant others…friends…if you want a REAL relationship you have to stop hiding behind 1/2 truths, fabrications, and embellishments. When all is said and done, you can’t lose something you never had, so if you feel like you lose a few folks along the way or a certain status in someone’s eyes from showing your true colors, just remember you never had it in the first place. It was all an illusion based on an illusion.
It hasn’t made me popular, but all in all, the truth has served me well. The sense of peace is priceless. If you ask me, and it doesn’t suit you, well–you’ll just have to excuse me.