Truth with a capital T has become a frequent topic for me lately. Maybe it is digesting too much Brené Brown and seeking to be vulnerable in all my words and deeds. Maybe it is seeing others have a problem speaking up and standing by their truth. No matter the reason, I am finding being impeccable to my word, as Don Miguel Ruiz would say, is infinitely important.
Many reasons exist as to why we don’t share the truth. Sometimes we are embarrassed by our truth; it may be meaningless in the scheme of things, like sharing the guilty pleasure of watching Hallmark movies, or maybe it is more important like a personal foible or mistake we have made that could cause irreparable damage to our reputation. Sometimes we don’t hide our truth on purpose; we don’t share our truth because we don’t know it or don’t feel like we have the right to voice it. Sometimes we purposely try to change the truth for our own means and gains.
It has been said that the truth will set you free. And I believe that to be true. As I have become more honest about who I am and what I have done, I feel lighter and freer. It takes a lot of energy to lie or to hide our truth; it can be exhausting. When we final uncover, own, and accept our truth, we release the stress of having to hold things in.
A few months ago, my boss had asked me if I had any phone trouble. The truth was that I had, although I thought/hoped it was now fixed. The second I said, “No, I don’t have any issues,” I felt a 10-pound weight lowered on my shoulders. Here was a little white lie, a half truth that I didn’t need to make, and here it would remain hanging over me until I fessed up the whole truth.
On the other hand, last week a friend had said something that appeared to be a bit judgmental. She called to apologize and explain her intention. She didn’t try to nullify how I may have felt or try to sweep it under the rug. She owned what she said. She explained what she intended to say and how it may have been misunderstood. Her apology had to be one of the best gifts I was given. The power of the apology was that she acknowledged how her actions may have been received and took ownership for any pain she caused. Her truth not only released her but released me as well. Amazing.
Even if our truth is bad or hurtful, if we own it, we create peace around it. We are all human. We all make mistakes. Somewhere along the lines, most of us start to believe that we need to be perfect. That we need to always have the right words, thoughts, and actions. It is impossible to be perfect in every moment of every day. The most powerful tool we have as humans is the ability to uncover, know, accept, and share our truth. No matter how good, bad, or ugly it is. Having the courage to take responsibility for ourselves, to not blame others, and to try to make right what we can, is true vulnerability and something I strive for every day.