There are a lot of messages and beliefs about the truth that we’re imprinted with throughout our lives; the truth hurts, the truth will set you free, I’m going to be brutally honest with you, I only give people as much truth as I think they can handle, etc. etc…
Humans need to connect. It’s the avenue that leads to love and one of our primary needs. Connection is a tricky animal. I’m speaking for everyone. We need it, we want it and we do so much to sabotage it. I believe because we’re actually terrified of connection and even more terrified of love.
This is where truth comes in. Honesty is required to form trust. Trust is required to form intimacy. Intimacy is required for connection and love.
When things don’t add up or people don’t do what they say or… do things they say they won’t trust is damaged. I’m going to speak to the grey area here. Truth in many ways can be a fuzzy variable that leads to misunderstandings, competing stories about ourselves or others, and flat out misdirection of reality. How many times have you had someone convince you that you were crazy for knowing something was amiss only to find out later that’d been lied to?
We all paint pictures of ourselves. We all do this. We’re afraid of being accepted (which is shame) so we manage perceptions accordingly. For the ownership police “I” do this. For the people who believe in the collective unconscious I’ll continue to speak about the “we” the universal human experience.
The truth has layers and it has versions with details and clarity that we craft or engineer by omitting things or steering things to certain places.
You may not like this but this is where it becomes a two way street. How much truth do you seek both of yourself and help others deliver to you by accepting what comes your way when you’re creating intimacy with others? In some ways we’ve all participated in the black hole of “I’d rather not know”. I believe we would rather choose to be unclear and imagine the truth rather than actually know it. We create conceptualizations of one another rather than really learn who we are.
I’m going to call these covert contracts. Don’t ask, don’t tell. Society has set up dynamics to reduce the amount of sharing. We’ve made a deal that we don’t really say how we’re doing when people ask. We don’t really want to know and unless you choose to go against that dynamic on purpose society’s collective will ensue.
So why am I talking about this? There’s a cost. Sooner or later we all sit down to the reckoning. It will likely come out down the road and/or it will cost in the way of intimacy when we choose to withhold. Fast forward a year or two or five or twenty and imagine what that reality will be like. No thanks, I’d rather face the truth.
Next week I’ll talk about seeking to know ourselves better so we know the deeper truth about ourselves.
What are your “go to” reasons to withhold the clear, unadulterated truth?
How has that cost you in the past?
How can you clean up your omissions in your current connections?