I have been thinking of how I can write this post, so that it would not seem overly philosophical, religiouslike or even "nutty". But in many ways, this post will end up being so. Philosophical, religiouslike and nutty.
I know many of us, and many of the people that will read this post, have been raised in one religion or another, so we all know how the importance of being "honest" is hammered on in many religions.
I was born with a very strong spirit. At that time, my spirit I think, was the strongest it would ever be. As an adult, I understand now, what Jesus meant with all his proverbs about children. You look at children, and some are naughty, some are troublesome, some are mischevious, some are sweet, cute, all sorts. The one thing ALL children are born with, and it remains strong for a while, (until the world crushes it), is a stong connection to do as they feel. If they feel like jumping, they will jump. If they feel like screaming, they will scream. Why is that important? Because, they follow their instincts, and following your instincts when you are a child, is following goodness, because WE all are born with basic goodness within us. Every single one of us.
I never doubted my feelings, my instincts as a child. I did not know what they were, but I simply did what I "felt" like. I did not know what "truth" was or "honesty" but I listened to my soul, and therefore, could never tell a lie. I found it extremely hard to say something that wasn't true.
My parents recognised this quite early on and used this to their advantage in many ways. Anything that happened which called for clarification, I was the person. The "truth" at that time, lost its appeal, because it seemed like I hurt many people with it. My brothers. my sisters, friends. I began to resent it. Why do I always have to be the "tattletale?". Even though both my parents encouraged me and gave me a lot of praise for my ability to say the truth no matter the circumstances, I often wished they had not used it also for their own purposes. They made me feel like I was better than others. And this is not what truth is about either, "being better than others".
As I got to secondary school, boarding house, I realised that more often than not, I was punished for speaking what I considered the truth. Boarding house was a most trying period in my life. Even though I know I did the best I could to hang on to "honesty", being punished for being the good one, slowly began to sink my spirit. I began to look down on many people I considered dishonest or bad. How can people be this way? Why are they so evil? And this is not what truth is about, "it is not what keeps us in the prison of prejudice".
By the time I became a young adult, that strong spirit I was born with, was not that strong anymore.
The worst thing that happened to my spirit was fear. In place of the truth, fear began to creep in. What if the world is really like this? How can I survive? I will never be able to make it....I began to be afraid but the worst of all, I began to doubt myself.
I stopped listening to any voice I had inside me and just decided to do as everybody else did. Bite my lips and survive. Living in the world, I had no use for "soul searching" and other things...what good has that brought me anyway? I forgot that I once used to be happy.
You see, somehow, over the years, what I had seen as the "truth" seemed to be something that was applied "outside". It was something to be used to state an opinion, stand for your right, etc. Who did this? who did that? why? how? The truth was meant for judging other dishonest human beings.
I forgot that the truth was also inside me...it was also something that could affect every single moment in my life, every single minute decision...
What am I talking about? It is hard to explain, but I will try. You know even the most mundane acts, like when you are lying in bed, and then all of a sudden, you feel like bending a finger? you don't even know why you should bend your finger, but you don't do it. Cos what has bending your finger got to do with anything? It sounds like the silliest of things, those instincts that are so tiny, sometimes it doesnt even feel like they are there...but they are.
The thing about doing these little meaningless instincts, is that you become very aware of many more inside you. You begin to even understand why you think in a certain way, who you who, why you do the things you do. Slowly, You begin to listen to even the bigger ones, you begin to trust yourself, knowing that your instincts will be right for you. However, this is not really what "truth" is all about. It is not what gives us certainty.
Every day life becomes simpler, because if you do not like someone, you trust that you indeed do not like him/her. You do not feel bad anymore about it. If there is no love anymore in your relationship, you know that you are honest, there is indeed no love. It is as it is. You trust that this is how your life is at the moment, and you accept it.
Even with family and friends, your love for them begins to be seen, you are no longer afraid of showing them your heart and how you really feel. You do not wait until their funerals.
How can this be the "truth" you ask? Living in it, is harder than "speaking" the truth. Living within truth simply means doing exactly what you are supposed to do in life and trusting every single instinct within you. I call it "instinct" cos I do not know what else to call it. Its the thing that we are supposed to do but never do.
It's like that saying "faith gives us two choices, the one we are supposed to take, and the one we take".
Living within truth is trusting that you can find that goodness you had as child, that empathy you were born with and knowing that it is to be trusted. You do things now because you not only trust, but you know you are a good person. You can live life making decisions for yourself without doubts, because your soul, in every single way, was made, originally, beautiful and good. You do not wait for any prize, any pat on the shoulder, you do not wait for anything, because you already have it.
Jesus was right, "Know the truth and the truth shall make you free"
Note: The quotes in italics were taken from Paulo Coelho's warrior of light, issue 221 .