Truth.

One little word. Four letters and one vowel which happens to be the least used vowel in the English language.

Truth bends better than yoga.

Truth conceals better than magic.

Truth appears to fall prey to lies, deceit, ego and weakness but it doesn’t. Truth always catches up in the end.

Always.

As I sat listening to the young woman tell her story I realized she had captivated the room. She was not a professional, polished speaker. She did not use eloquent language or flowery, descriptive words. She did not stand in front of the room or behind a podium, she simply sat at a table. At times her speech was halted, she frequently relied on fillers such as “um” and more than once had to stop because she had begun to cry.

She was one of the best speakers I’ve ever heard. She spoke the language of Truth.

We had gathered as volunteers for a non-profit organization that helps abused women get back on their feet. We had been talking amongst ourselves, a number of people were snacking and others were reading or doodling. Her first sentence quieted the room. “I started getting sexually abused when I was five and it went on until I was eleven.”  Truth. The chatter stopped. The snacking stopped. All attention was on her, no one doodled. In a matter of minutes by speaking without blame or shame, Truth resonated throughout the room. I’m not sure when I’ve been in such close proximity to someone so strong.

Later as I looked at the words Truth on the bracelet she made that adorned my wrist, I thought about her strength. I thought about how difficult it can be to tell the Truth. It’s so easy not to – and more and more our society accepts it.

We tell ‘white lies’ because we say we want to protect someone, because we love them, we don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings or we don’t want to be mean or unkind. If we are being truthful with ourselves (and we often are not), we don’t tell the Truth because we’re afraid. It can be hard to tell the Truth. We have to confront issues, people, feelings and circumstances that make us uncomfortable. Telling the Truth holds us accountable, we have to take responsibility, we have to face ourselves and it humbles us.

It is easy to become confused by lies we are told and to become veiled in lies we tell ourselves. It happens to all of us; it happened to me. I was lied to for years by my former husband and only after the marriage mercifully died was I able to fully recognize Truth. He lied to me out of weakness, I lied to myself for the same reason. We both took what we thought was the easy road until the road became unmanageable. Truth began to appear around every corner, refusing to be ignored like the monster in the horror movie that keeps showing up.

Truth will ultimately shred the veils of secrecy, ignorance and denial. Truth doesn’t care if you are afraid and isn’t concerned if you are weak. Truth can be harsh and painful. Some welcome Truth, some do not and either way, Truth is going to get in and have the final say.

As the young woman fearlessly told her story I was moved by her strength and was inspired to see how flattering Truth is in the end because in the beginning Truth isn’t always pretty or polite.I recalled a comment I made a couple of years ago to my soon-to-be former husband. I had finally found the courage to welcome Truth into my life and escort him out and I said, “If you ever tell a lie about me, I will tell the truth about you”. At that time I remembered hearing myself say those words and was aware at how foreign they sounded. I watched as his face turn pale with fear not fully recognizing what I was seeing. Today, as I sat listening to the young woman, I realized for the first time, those words I spoke that day were the Truth entering my life and speaking up. The Truth had begun to take hold and teach me how to tap into my strength before I even recognized it had arrived. Truth, I’m so glad you came…please plan to stick around.

             “Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth.”

                                              Henry David Thoreau

Thanks for reading,

~ Haven

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