Information is not truth. Do not be confused. The two are not interchangeable.
A bunch of information cobbled together does not make truth, but it can lead us there. It can point the way. But we have to go.
Knowing where to find the truth is nothing. It does nothing. It gets us nowhere. Truth takes action. We actually have to go there. All in. All of the way.
Truth is a place. A complete state all its own. And once we go there, there’s no going back to exactly where we were before. Ever.
But just because we made it there, doesn’t mean we’ll stay.
The truth has consequences. It always does. It is truth and consequences. Despite what people may try to tell us, there is no “or” about it.
Once we reach the truth. Someone will come after us. There’s no avoiding it. They always do.
No matter what it is. Denying what we claim. Shouting us down. Discrediting us. Sabotaging us. Outright lying about us. Assassinating our character. And in some cases, they will even, literally, assassinate us. All in an attempt to keep the falsehood afloat.
Because although the truth is a good place, it is not a safe place.
So, often we are tempted to seek shelter in a little white lie. Sometimes to save feelings, but most often to save ourselves. And if we are not careful, because that shade is always shifting, eventually not providing the coverage we initially sought, we can roll right through dishonesty to the cool cover of outright deceit where venomous and vengeful dangers lurk in the darkness. Hiding from the truth as well. Concealed in the corners of that cavernous cover. And as we recede into those alcoves, hiding further from the light, they are there, unseen, waiting to strike. And in some cases, eat us alive. Still ending in death. A death with no purpose. Unseen in the shadows. Wasted and worthless. Food to feed the falsehoods and embolden and enable the benefactors of these dark deceits.
And there is always a benefactor. Someone who benefits from the lie. And we have all benefited from a lie. Do not fool yourself that you haven’t, because then you’re just lying to yourself. And who benefits from that?
The truth is also not easy and it is often uncomfortable. So thoroughly consider what you are leaving behind before going there. Sometimes it is very little. But sometimes it’s a lot. But go. Seek out truth. Because a moment in truth is better than a thousand lifetimes in fear.
But to find truth, we must first know what we are looking for. And there are no shortcuts. We must not be fooled. Truth seekers can be detoured. Reasoned with reasons that are not at all reasonable, taking us down trails far away from the falsehood, but nowhere near the truth. Lost and wandering and wondering how on earth we got where we are. So turned around we are unable to find up from down. In from out. Even right from wrong.
And when we find ourselves lost, we must go back to a very basic place. Taking the tiniest steps in our discernment until there can be no doubt the direction in which we are headed. Pointing ourselves in those tiniest of movements toward good. Not engaging anything that is off track or leads away from the truth to which we are headed.
Truth and gossip are not the same thing. We all have things we are ashamed of. But…
If it is exploiting someone. If it is abusing someone. If it is stealing from someone. If it is about to draw someone into danger…it is no longer gossip and must be told. And the perpetrator will not like it. The people around the perpetrator will not like it. The enablers will not like it. Even the people who may have been fooled will not like it. But speak it anyway. Go there. Stand in the light. If only for a moment. Be there.
Feelings will be hurt. But feelings are not truth. They are personal. And the truth is never personal. There is no such thing as a “personal truth.” There is only perception.
Do not be confused on your way to the truth:
Kind and nice are not the same thing. And only one of them leads to truth.
Peace and pretending all is well are not the same thing. And only one of them leads to truth.
Patience and avoidance are not the same thing. And only one of them leads to truth.
Generosity and buying others admiration, appreciation, silence, or compliance are not the same thing. And only one of them leads to truth.
Faithfulness and blind loyalty are not the same thing. And only one of them leads to truth.
Gentleness and cowardice are not the same thing. And only one of them leads to truth.
Joy and perpetual happiness are not the same thing. And only one of them leads to truth.
Self-control and denial are not the same thing. And only one of them leads to truth.
Loving and liking are not the same thing. And only one of them leads to truth.
Justice and punishment are not the same thing. And only one of them leads to truth.
And once we have arrived at the truth. Once the lies, deceit, hurt, abuse, theft, exploitation, misuse of time or resources, and all other manner of wrongdoing is uncovered. Exposed to bring others to the truth as well…FIX IT. MAKE IT RIGHT.
Otherwise, we were not seeking the truth at all. We were out for revenge. Seeking to shame. To humiliate. To be right. To show them. To knock them down. Or if nothing else to triumphantly tout, “I told you so.” And we find ourselves out of the light before it has even shone on our faces. Sitting in darkness with suspect motives starting all over again. Lost and given over to our lust for self-satisfaction.
The truth is not self-serving. It is not selfish. But it is self-examining.
When we arrive at the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, we are forced to face ourselves and our own failings if we have any plans to stay there. To take up residence in its radiance.
Asking ourselves questions that start with “am I” so that we may find solid answers in “I am.”
Am I…saying what I mean and meaning what I say?
Am I…doing what I am supposed to be doing?
Am I…seeking and promoting truth in every area of my life?
And when the answers fall short of “I am,” which they will, more often than not…
Asking ourselves one more question. One that will set us back on the path to truth:
Am I…doing all I can to fix it? To make it right?