Truth Week 4: Staying Open

This is what I know about Truth: it takes courage to stand in it, whether it’s your own Truth (particularly if it’s your own!) or another. Sure, we sometimes face it fearfully, with anger, or agitation, but the question becomes, can we lean into those areas of trepidation and stand in Truth, anyway?

I believe so. Some days I’m more courageous than others, having to redraw and redefine my own lines around boundaries, I first have to uncover what my Truth was.

I often think about the Sufi wisdom around Truth:

Before you speak, let your words pass through three gates.

At the first gate, ask yourself, ‘Is it true?’

At the second gate ask, ‘Is it necessary?’

At the third gate ask ‘Is it kind?’

— Sufi saying

I love this saying, and I reflect on it often, particularly when it comes to my Truth. I often picture the gatekeepers in my mind standing at their assigned gates, asking me these questions. The first asks me if it’s true, and more often than not I am allowed passage to the next gate, where the gatekeeper asks if it’s necessary. This gatekeeper has a serious face, standing before the gate, intent on not allowing anything unnecessary to pass. Sometimes I don’t get past this gate. I often pull up a bench nearby, stop and ask myself if it’s necessary, when the inner dialogue emerges and follows it with “Necessary to whom?” 

I take a deep breath and reflect further. I have often pictured the third gatekeeper playing a delightful game of Solitaire, waiting for me to approach him. When I do, he smiles joyfully and playfully, giving me the sense of satisfaction that I have successfully passed through the previous two gates. Then he says with a smile, “Is it kind?”

I’ll be honest that I sometimes never get passed this gate. Sometimes I’m unable to, truthfully, answer this question — is it kind, for you, for me? In these situations, I take my petition back to my journal, where I am able to release while not crossing the gate. Sometimes the passage from the second gatekeeper leaves me with the gift of discernment.

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The truth is that, given enough time, life bestows its gifts, a drop at a time, if we can find the courage to stay open to the mysterious flow that is larger than any one event. — Mark Nepo

The quest becomes about staying open to our Truth. When we know it, understand it, embrace it, we can then receive it more clearly from others.

In the end, this is what I know about Truth: it is an act of courage, and it is an act of self-love.

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Next week we’ll explore where Truth will take us in our Intention series!

Truth Weeks 2 & 3: Silence and Creativity

I took last week to reflect on the Truth of silence — the energy of quiet observation where I can hear myself, and my Truth, more clearly. In silence Truth can emerge, sometimes quite loud and insistent, other times it can be a mere whisper that we either embrace or question. What I observed last week was how many ideas are born in the silence. So many more than I often get a chance to manifest or fully develop, but it’s in that silence where the creative mind begins to churn.

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Silence is the sleep that nourishes wisdom. — Francis Bean

Much like regular sleep, silence is restorative. It gives our mind a chance to refocus. It’s a strengthening of our inner world, and in that nourishing sleep of wisdom we get the chance to strengthen our outer world as well.

It’s been viewed at times that when Truth is silent, it’s a restriction of sorts. I can see that in the sense of holding back what needs to be said, what is important and even vital to our sense of well-being and safety. I’m speaking about the silence in Truth where the intention is to come back to center, observe where your Right Speech has been, and to take in the nourishment of renewal.

From silence, my Truth was that I wanted and needed to create. There were no specifics as to how that creation would take form, so I joyfully began to zendoodle in my journal (patterns that have been created from repetitive lines, similar to zentangle). It’s purpose was to get my busy mind to have some fun without having a clear vision on its outcome, and not getting stuck on the necessity of having parameters… and it was a great reason to play!

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The most creative thing I can give the world is my truth. — Gabrielle Bernstein

I came across this quote yesterday in reflection of my intention for this coming week in the energy of Truth. Creativity as Truth — I was clear, for myself, that this was about being authentic with what I develop in my world, and thus, the world around me. When we hold the essence of Truth and allow it to be free, we change the world.

I always like to remind myself and others that the sharing and embodying of Truth is not an invitation to be a bully. I like to think of the quote by His Holiness —

My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness. — Dalai Lama

Kindness and compassion is an anchor in our world. There is a place for it in each of us. There is a place for kindness to be freely given and freely received. If we can embody our Truth as a vehicle of kindness, I think that would be a most creative act to share within our world.

Intention Series – Truth

I’ve been unable to get this one song out of my head for the last couple of weeks, playing it endlessly whenever I get the chance, often finding myself humming it or singing out the lyrics at a moment’s notice. Anyone else get those obsessive song moments where something will just be stuck in the jukebox of your mind until you get to a place where you’ve either heard it enough or you finally get to the core of why it’s playing for you? This is one of those songs.

Old friends of mine play in a local band called Mister Vertigo. This one particular song, The Only Crime, begins with the line of –

The truth is a failure I cannot accept.

I used to view this as my own dance with Truth, not simply with others, but Truth to myself — that Divine Truth of being authentic and vulnerable within my being, to know myself more clearer and more deeply.

We’re taught as children to tell the Truth, until at some point the Truth gets a little skewed in an effort to be kinder and less harsh. For some, Truth has no layers, no cloaks, there is nothing hidden. For some, it’s delicate, tender, and methodically thought out. Then for others it can be buried, out of fear, out of reprimand, out of confusion.

We can use it harshly, diligently, hurtfully… we can use it lovingly, creatively, gently… Truth is Truth, yet it is multifaceted, and we view it so artistically and have interpretations that follow it.

I’ve always said that the only thing I can go on is your Truth. It’s important for me to have relationships based on Truth, to know that the foundation that we’ve built is based on trust. Your Truth may not be my Truth, and vice versa, and that’s okay. Sometimes it can be tricky to navigate, though I think the willingness to open the field of awareness can sometimes bridge that gap.

Convenient absence of the truth the only crime.

Because this song has played so wildly in my head, this month’s Intention is TRUTH.

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It can be messy, and blur the lines, just as it can be beautiful and open the way to deeper communication. It can flow and connect, be simple, be declarations… Truth can be wild, like life.

How will you hold the intention of Truth this month? Sometimes when I open my journal and begin my entry, I will pause for a moment and think to myself “What is my Truth today?” and allow that to pour onto my pages. Let this month hold the reflection of deepening your Diving Truth. May it be gentle and kind!