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What is Truth?

Updated: Apr 4

This is the first installment on a series on the topic of Truth.


Post 1: What is Truth?


What is Truth?


I was, honestly quite, confused as to the definition of truth for a good portion of my adulthood. Which seems rather silly because a truth is a truth, right? What is there to argue?


Many of you know I grew up in a very controlling religious community, and I was taught many things as truth. I have now come to accept that many of the things I learned were not actually truths, but beliefs and interpretations.


Is a belief then a truth?


According to the Oxford dictionary, a belief is "trust, faith, or confidence in someone or something". Which sounds like it IS possible for us to believe things that aren't actually true. I certainly did.


Some things can be a belief and a truth. I believe that if I drop a penny off my balcony, it will drop to the ground.


I later heard a definition for truth that stuck with me for many years: Truth is a fact that transcends time, cultures, and religions. Which means that if it is true today, then it must have been true 100 years ago in another country across the world.


"My job stinks" couldn't be a truth then. Someone across the world or 10 years ago or 20 years in the future might not agree, so it couldn't be a truth.


That resonated, but still didn't feel complete to me. What if something is true to you but someone else could have a different experience - does that invalidate my lived experience?

 

Only within the last year or so have I come to another definition of truth. This one feels more complete than my previous versions.


"A truth is a literal thing that has happened with no stories or meaning attached to it." It is something that you experience in the physical world with your 5 senses.


Anything else you attach to it is your own interpretation, or story, based on your lived experience and your beliefs and ideals and values.


"My mother didn't care about me" may not actually be a truth, even if that is how you feel about a situation.


"My mother often did not come home, and I was often left alone to take care of myself" is more truthful, as it is literally what happened without meaning attached.


The dangerous thing about prescribing your stories as truths is that, over time, you come to accept your stories as truth. They become your internal programming that everything in your life becomes a filter for.


If you accept that your mother didn't care about you, you might also believe that there was a reason that she didn't care about you. That in some way you were unlovable or unworthy of love and care and attention. If you were unlovable, that internal programming can impact all your future relationships. Usually this is not a conscious thing that happens; it's just something that you pick up based on your lived experience. You usually don't realize it until something is glaringly off in your life. Like, for example, you don't understand why you can't keep friendships or you continually sabotage your romantic partnerships.


I say all this to say - If you are having struggles in certain areas of your life or can't seem to "fix" a recurring issue in your life, it might be time to evaluate what beliefs you have related to that particular topic. You might have inadvertently created a story based on a truth. That story could have been internalized to a point that you are living your life like that thing is actually true. You cannot change the literal truth of what happened, but you can deconstruct the stories. That is the way you break down the internal programming and free yourself of your past conditioning.


We are all worthy of love.


And joy.


And peace.


In my life, when I have not felt this to be true, it is usually because I am believing something that is not true.


Ask yourself, "What am I believing about this situation that is not true?"






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