If Truth Be Told

>    Yesterday I read a short “tip” in a magazine which advised that while journal writing can be cathartic, blog writing is less helpful in that regard. Blog writing, it said, was really a method of social networking and not conducive to “truth telling.”
    The article went on to say that when we are writing privately, as in a journal, we are more likely to plumb the depths of our Soul and be honest with ourselves than when we are writing for others. When writing for others, it continued, we are more inclined to say what we think we ought to say and what is socially acceptable.
    Now I’ll agree if we’re talking about writing fiction…but in all other matters, what is the purpose of writing anything other than the truth?
    I write to my blog 5 days a week with one unwavering goal. The goal is to use the gift of words to inspire, enlighten or educate whenever possible. I don’t believe I can do that if I am less than honest with myself or the reader. It’s in the willingness to see and share the world as we perceive it that we have the greatest opportunity for helping one another grow…both by experience and by example.  If there is no greater teacher than experience…how about the experience of watching someone else step up and stand behind their truth?
    Notice I’ve said “their” truth.
    I am an advocate of the position that what is true for me may or may not be true for you. Reality is as each of us perceives it. However, because my truth may differ from yours is not a reason for me to alter or obscure it in order that it be more “socially acceptable” to you. You are always free to accept or reject my version of reality and pursue your own…all the while allowing me the pursuit of mine. But we will be of little value to ourselves, or one another, if what we do is present a false front for whatever reason.
    Whatever way you cut it deception, in any of it’s forms, is a bar to healthy, productive, and life-affirming relationships. Deception, like everything else, exists in a state of potentiality, awaiting it’s manifestation. And when you think about it, that potentiality doesn’t really exist anywhere else in Nature except in we humans. It’s sort of an “extra option” that comes with the model…to be optioned or not.
    Like everything else, the choice is ours.
    I remember being a freshman at Villanova University at the age of 23. I took an elective titled “Deviant Social Behavior” (because the professor was really cute). I was the oldest person in my class. Midway through the first semester he taught a unit about suicide. On the last day of the unit, he opened the last class up for discussion and a young man about age 19 raised his hand and said, “I don’t know why they just don’t let people die who try to commit suicide…it’s obviously what they want.”
    I hesitated for a moment pondering whether or not to speak, then raised my hand and when called on said, “I tried to commit suicide last year and you’re wrong. People who try to commit suicide don’t want to die. They have simply misplaced their capacity to hope and cannot see how whatever is going on in their life will change. They are in pain and they think the pain will never stop. All they really want is a little love and a little encouragement.”  There were about 10 more minutes left in the class but when I finished speaking, the professor said, “I can’t top that. Class dismissed.”
    I could have kept that information to myself and avoided the “social stigma” that can accompany the revelation of such behavior. But who could I have helped with my silence? 
    The truth is the most powerful teacher. We are not here to mislead one another…we’re here to light the way for one another. In so doing, we must care less about being socially acceptable and more about being personally responsible to what is true for us while having the courage and determination to share it.
    My “tip” is quite different than the one I read yesterday.
    It happens to be my truth.

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