Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The truth

Above is a quote of Henry Miller. Henry Valentine Miller was born on 26 December 1891. He was an American novelist and painter. He was known for breaking with existing literary forms and developing a new sort of 'novel' that is a mixture of novel, autobiography, social criticism, philosophical reflection, surrealist free association, and mysticism. He also wrote travel memoirs and essays of literary criticism and analysis. He quoted about telling and writing the absolute truth and he said he was struggled in the begining. Who would've thought that telling the truth can be so hard to some or maybe most people. This does not mean that those who don't tell the truth are all liars but it can be seen as the way to communicate with themselves and with other. How people can learn to grow up by telling the absolute truth. You may see this topic as a simple topic, but if we dig deeper, we can see that there are actually more in it. When someone aske you "What is the Truth?"..what would you have in mind to answer this question? We can say that truth is our own perception of reality, our own "story" of ourselves and maybe the environment surrounding us. It can be our experiences, perceptions, interpretations or other. Here's a useful article I've found in relation with the truth.

As we know that communication is the vehicle by which we create and maintain all of our human relationships, and if we "speak the truth" when we talk or write to others, then these relationships can be deep and honest. But there are many reasons why we may not always chose to tell the truth in a given situation. Let's take a look at these reasons and what they cost us, and then explore some ways to tell the truth more easily and consistently. When you speak the truth to someone you share yourself with them in a very deep way. In sharing your truth you tell them who you are and what you really think. There are lots of reasons why we don't always tell the truth. Let's look at the most common reasons, what they are costing us, and how we can move past them if we choose to.

Reasons Why You Might Not Tell the Truth:

  1. You don't know the truth yourself. It stands to reason that you cannot share your truth if you are not aware of it. Many times we don't know the truth of a situation simply because we have not asked ourselves, or examined, what we believe. And sometimes we don't access our own truth because we would rather not know the answer!
    Telling the truth requires awareness. One method (suggested by Thomas Leonard) for becoming more aware of your own truth is to "Reduce or eliminate anything that clouds or numbs your ability to recognize truth as it emerges" (e.g., adrenaline, stress, excessive busyness, mind-altering drugs or alcohol, addictions, etc.). Another way is to consciously ask yourself what you believe to be true in each situation, and be willing to challenge yourself and your beliefs.
  2. You fear the consequences. Sometimes when you tell the truth there are potentially significant consequences either for yourself or others. You may find it easier to tell the truth only when it is non-threatening. But what is the hidden cost? When avoidance of consequences becomes paramount we end up only telling the truth when it is "convenient" and carry around with us an uncomfortable inventory of past censorships and un-communicated thoughts and feelings.
    Here are two ways you can evolve to allow yourself the luxury of being able to tell the truth:
    Increase your Personal Standards and become a person who puts truth ahead of other priorities (e.g., goals, objectives, needs). Reduce the risks associated with telling the truth by building reserves in all areas of your life (e.g., time, space, money, friends, etc.) so that you can afford the consequences of the truth.
  3. You think the other person will not hear, or be able to handle, the truth. You can control how you speak your truth, but you cannot control how someone else hears, interprets, or reacts to it. In trying to protect or shield another from the truth you are in effect diminishing them - restricting their access to important information and downplaying their potential for resiliency. If you speak the truth with compassion and let the other person know you are coming from a place of wanting only the best for them, chances are they will be able to take what you are saying in a positive way and draw upon their own internal resources to react appropriately. Don't underestimate them. Show your belief in their ability to handle it. Offer them the gift of your truth and give them the opportunity to surprise and delight you with their response.
  4. You don't want the other person to tell you their truth. Sometimes you just don't want to ruin a perfectly good, but superficial, relationship by starting to tell the truth. After all, if you tell your truth, it is only equitable that you allow the other person to tell theirs. And what are the risks to that? The other person might say something which conflicts with your view of the world. The other person might criticize you or what you do. You risk deepening the relationship by telling the truth. How can you overcome your fear of hearing the truth of another? The following are a few techniques that can prove helpful:
    Recognize that each person has their own truth, and approach their truth with curiosity instead of fear. Realize that their truth need not invalidate your truth.
    Learn to hear criticism not as something to be avoided but as instruction on what it takes to win! Recognize that if you deepen the relationship you will be free to be who you really are without pretense and without expending energy to keep up your facade and walls. In a deep and honest relationship you can clearly state what it is you need and want, and your requirements are more likely to be heard and met by the other person. The bottom line.Telling the truth requires skills and awareness; awareness to know your own truth, and the communication skills to express it in a way that touches another - not with brashness and brutality but with compassion, kindness, and subtlety.

We know the truth, not only by the reason, but also by the heart. -Blaise Pascal-

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