Fact or fiction; truth or tale? Are you focused on the facts or the story you’ve constructed around the facts? Are you looking for what’s true, or are you weaving a yarn for a good tale? Sometimes, strangely, it’s hard to tell. Especially if we’ve been telling ourselves, or others, the same old, solid stories for a good long time. Often we have become so adept at avoiding what we deem to be an unpleasant truth, that we can’t even see the reality once we earnestly begin to look for it.
Once our search for what’s true begins in earnest, we can find ourselves playing gingerly around the edges, focusing on the consequences or effects and missing the heart of the matter entirely. Recently, I found myself in such a state. I knew something was off. I was willing to acknowledge that much. And, I was (sort of) sincerely looking for the cause. I changed my diet; I tried to meditate and exercise each day. I wrote consistently – all good things for me, but I was missing the point. I was missing the core. I was missing the truth.
Turns out, I don’t really like my job. It’s not what I want to be doing. I haven’t been being honest with myself. The thing I actually want to be doing scares the hell out of me, and I feel a bit ashamed of that fact. The fear and the shame have kept me from acknowledging what’s true. Instead, I settled myself on a good ol’ lie.
A big fat lie works wonders. It begins as a mere inconvenient truth and in turn becomes a humungous, convenient lie. And we don’t even notice. We don’t “like” what’s true. It’s unpleasant. The reasons can be endless. Maybe we think It will mess up our other plans. It isn’t in alignment with who we think we are or want to be. We don’t think other people will like it or like us. It’s scary. We aren’t sure how to deal with it. We feel ashamed. So, we choose to ignore it, turn the other way, and fill in the details with a very simple or extremely complex web of fabrication.
The great part, and yes, there’s a great part, is that all we need to do is to acknowledge the truth- that alone initiates the chain reaction to change everything. We don’t have do to anything else. So, how do we do it? How do we recognize the truth when it’s trying to bite us in the butt, and we’ve become masters at looking the other way?
Start by getting grounded and playing a little game. The game is called, “This or That, Fact or Fiction?” Start off simple – this game is about getting back in touch with that little voice inside your body that knows for certain what’s true. Spend a day noticing what you like. As you go through your day, ask yourself – This or that? Do I like the wheat or rye, the yellow flower or the red one, cream or nonfat? Not in theory, but in practice. Not what you think you should like or what’s good for you, but what’s true in the moment. This or that? Once you start to develop a clear sense and begin to feel confident in your skills … start asking yourself – Fact or fiction? True or false? But keep your mind out of it and go with the sense that you’ve been developing, allowing the truth to emerge. Be polite. Look honesty in the eye and say “hello.”