Friday, August 11, 2006

The Truth is Optional

When you register for certain websites or online subscriptions, just before you click the 'Submit' button, there are usually a few optional features you can choose to add to your registration. You can choose to receive a newsletter or you can choose to receive offers from similar vendors, or a host of other things.

I recently realized that life comes with those same buttons. You can choose to get the truth or not. Up until a few months ago, it never occurred to me that a person would not WANT to know the truth.

Yeah yeah, your mind just jumped to that movie where the guy says, 'You can't handle the truth.' Truer words have never been said.

Determining what the truth is really depends on your belief system. If you are a Christian, the truth for you is probably based on the teachings in the bible. That's your standard. If you are a Muslim, the truth lies in the Koran. Trying to figure out whose truth is true will take you on a long existential roller coaster ride. A ride that we're not going to take today.

The trickiest truth is the personal truth. These are things we tell ourselves every day. I am smart. I am ugly. I am a victim. Men are stupid. Women are gold-diggers. The more you tell yourself these things, the more you will believe them. No matter how un-true they really are. It's important that we understand the implications of our thoughts. They shape us, our actions and our choices.

So, what do you do when a friend has a litany of personal truths that you think are negatively affecting their well-being. If you care about the person, you'll probably want to tell them. It's that same protective reflex that happens when you see a baby about to eat something it shouldn't.

"Stop, you are not a victim." "You are a very capable person." "You can recover from a bad choice."

What comes next could be very frustrating and upsetting. The believer of this truth will feel threatened by your words. You are negating a belief that they've probably held for years and that they have faith in. From the outside looking in, you can't understand how someone could just not SEE it. This cycle can repeat itself for years.

My mom told me that sometimes people don't want to know the truth. They hear what you are saying, but, they've got a very comfortable system and how dare you challenge it! They also think that you just don't know THEM. "If you knew the whole story you would understand."

I thought about that for a while and it was like a light bulb went off in my head. That's it! The truth is in fact optional. People can function and have seemingly productive lives all within the confines of the 'Truth' they've set up for themselves. They can sometimes even be happy in their untrue-ness.

So, that got me thinking about my own Truths. What are my personal truths? How do they measure against the truths of my faith? What un-truths am I perpetuating in my own life?

On my life registration, I'm checking the box for truth!

Are you?


1 comment:

Luv said...

Remarkable entry. Rather insightful Penni. You're pretty good.