Remember that 1960s TV game show, To Tell the Truth? The show’s premise included a central character who had done something unusual or had an unusual occupation. Along with two imposters, the central character would be presented to a panel of celebrities who would listen to the central character’s story and then be allowed to ask a few questions to discern who was telling the truth and who was lying. Cash prizes were awarded to the central character and imposters based on the number of incorrect celebrity guesses that identified the truth teller. At the end of each segment you always learned who was telling the truth, and who wasn’t. That was the great thing about the show: you got the answer.
Discovering someone else’s truth is hard. But I wonder if the journey to truth begins with telling the truth to yourself. The truth about who you are, what’s most important to you, your accomplishments, your setbacks, your lows as well as your highs. What have you learned in life? What do you still want to learn? Who are you becoming? What legacy are you creating? How do others know your truth?
“By midlife, most of us are accomplished fugitives from ourselves,” wrote John Gardner. I think that can be true for those who are unwilling to keep on learning about themselves, who want to hide from who they really are. But it doesn’t have to be true for you. You can delve into the world within yourself—the true final frontier.
Why bother? That’s a fair question. It’s a lot of work and can be scary to know who you really are! But you see situations and interpret them based on your own truth – what you were taught; what you learned about yourself, others, the world; what’s important to you.
A year ago I moved to Victoria. It’s further from the heart of the Twin Cities, my clients and a lot of my friends. But it’s closer to family. My truth – the lens that I used to choose a community to live in – is that family is really important to me. I’ve learned, through my life experiences, that staying close to family involves proximity. I need to be with them on a regular basis to sustain strong ties. So that’s why I chose to live closer to them.
To live like it matters today requires that you learn what matters to you! From that place you begin to make the choices that honor your truth. Then the way you live your life is telling the truth.
Living a lie is complex and chaotic. Living your truth brings clarity and simplicity.
I’m all for that.