My favorite verse in the Bible is John 8:32 – “And someday you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” I believe this. Richard Rohr does as well. His “and” is a really thought provoking one. “Someday the truth will set you free, in the meantime it may make you miserable.” I believe this too.
Truth sets us free and truth hurts, oftentimes it hurts for quite awhile, doesn’t it? I mean come on man, when you discover the deceitful actions of a trusted advisor, this pain may hurt for quite some time. It is only your perception of it, however, that allows it to make you miserable. Same for the lies from a lover, son, daughter, or even your mother. Truth hurts as it helps us face facts and find the honest way ‘round. Truth does not harm. Truth hurts. This has been a helpful distinction for me and the governance of my affairs. I am learning to seek truth, speak truth, see truth, and attempt to be truth. You and I have a long way to go if we are in pursuit of this most freeing and difficult aim.
Truth does not harm. Truth in love, that is.
Stop telling lies, particularly to yourself. Face facts. Embrace the pain and suffering of seeing your holes instead of fixating on others. We cannot control circumstances, other people, events, or outcomes. We control how we respond to the input of life. The ancient wisdom still applies today – keep your principles close at hand – when the cruicible comes there won’t be time to pull them forward and magically put them into action. Again, ancient wisdom applies – we don’t rise to the occasion, we fall to the level of our training. Train your mind by reminding yourself of your core principles and aligning behaviors with them, instead of rationalizing behaviors as you look back on your day. Become more rational and less rationalizing. Lies will lose their grip, you’ll see.
Model the way. Embrace pain and suffering. Embody truth in love. These are my three guiding principles. I think about them everyday and align accordingly. I am lying less to myself and almost never with others. Still a long way to go. I am much better at modeling the way and embracing pain. Truth in love is where I struggle the most. Forever a work in process. How ‘bout you friend. What truth are you avoiding because you’re afraid of the pain it may bring? Slow down and sit with this for awhile.
Truth sets us free and truth hurts. Truth does not harm. Pain is inevitable. Misery is a choice. Life is hard. When you think about it, the only energizing option is to love harder. Life gets miserable when we wait, avoid, and turn away from hard truth – when we have a failure of nerve. What, friend, are you waiting for? What, friend, are you responding to with bullshit or truth in anger? With whom do you need to repair? Remember, the proud human looks down and sees those under him/her, while the humble one is forever bringing their gaze up and seeing God’s most wonderful Grace covering them. Fix your eyes upward, friend. Good.
Live hard. Love harder (Thanks, Teeks)…