On Telling The Truth


There is something so healing about telling the truth.

To ourselves. To a trusted, non-judgemental friend, or to a trusted, non-judgemental journal. To the gods, to the mountains, to the wild animals of the forest.
Not the ‘nice’ truth, the old truth, designed to please. Not the conceptual truth of the mind. But the raw, messy truth of our wild hearts. Destroying the self-image, the persona (mask) designed to win love, or impress people, or just keep ourselves ‘safe’ and ‘out of trouble’.
Well, sometimes what was once ‘safe’ has become a self-imposed prison. You long to speak the truth. To lose control and speak the wild truth. Or whisper it. Or shout it out to the heavens.
Not the convenient, socially-acceptable, “nice guy” truth. Not the “spiritual” truth crafted to impress teachers and gurus and friends and gain a million followers.
But the truth you are a little scared to speak. The truth that makes your heart pound. The truth that makes you go a little dizzy when you speak it.
The vulnerable truth. The shaky, sweaty, dry-mouthed truth.
The truth of your immense loneliness. Your raging doubt. Your aching shame. The truth of your ‘sinful’ longings and desires, cravings, jealousies. The ‘out of control’ joy that you just can’t squash down anymore. The anger that has been suppressed for too long and is making you physically sick. The frustration, the boredom, the hope or the hopelessness, the ‘madness’ you just cannot push down anymore.
What you hold down ends up holding you down. And what you depress ends up depressing you.

It can be so healing, so liberating, to just tell the truth. To have a breakdown, a crisis, and just tell the truth, birth it, mother it into existence. To sing it, to dance it, to put it into a poem. To write it on a piece of paper and burn it. To silently – or very loudly – proclaim it to the gods. You will find your own way. You will find your own unique expression. Or it will find you.
To tell the truth of this moment, and let love in. The truth that shatters old safety but gives new safety. The truth that may upset a few people, shock those who thought they knew you, anger those who wanted to control you, disappoint those who’d hoped you were different. But that’s how real our self-images are. That’s how stable our ‘personality’ really is. It can shatter, break, rebuild itself a billion times.

It’s so exhausting to keep pretending. It gets more exhausting as the lies deepen.
Truth can hurt, and shock, but it can also heal. It can open up old wounds, break up relationships, unravel the status quo. It can feel terrifying to speak it, but a life of lies ultimately murders the soul and that is far more terrifying in the long run. The fears we face are far less terrifying than they seem before we face them. The medicine is in the pain, sometimes. The healing is in the telling.

Find a trusted friend. A therapist. A teacher. A partner. An animal, a mountain, a loving family member, alive or dead, who can hold your shame and guilt and fear as you speak. Someone who will believe you. Someone who wants the real you, flaws and fuck-ups, failures and fears and all.

Find a fire.
A lake.
A vast night sky.
A stage. A canvas. A dance-floor.
A fucking rock with a face painted on it, if that’s what it takes.

And just tell the damn truth.

~ Jeff Foster

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