Bridge of Life

I recently had a rather heated discussion with a friend who was trying to convince me that she was right and I was wrong about something. She was quite irritated that I would not agree with her.

I wasn’t trying as hard to convince her of my ‘rightness’ as she was in insisting that I was wrong. Because, at the heart of it, the issue wasn’t about right or wrong at all, it was about truth. Any time there is a right or wrong in a situation, the real issue at hand is the truth, and whose truth is true.

Some people will go to great lengths to assert that they know best, that they are right, and they know the truth. This “truth,” however, is a funny thing because as much as we want to know it from a universal sense, all we can really know for sure is what is true for us.

Someone else’s truth is theirs alone. We may agree or share an opinion about it, but truth, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. And when they ask us to validate their truth, what they are really asking for is validation that they are worthy of our love.

When my friend insisted that I agree with her, I knew it was personal and went far beyond this small incident and me. For her, it was one more time that she had to prove herself and her truth and I was one more person who didn’t agree with her.

I did agree with her, I just didn’t agree with her truth. It was very personal for her so I had to wonder who had made her feel so wrong in her life that she needed to hear me repeat her truth back to her. Why wasn’t it enough for her to know her truth and be comfortable with it?

Because it wasn’t about her truth, it was about getting me to agree with it! In changing and uncertain times, when the truths that have sustained us for so long suddenly become no longer true, we need to re-establish a foundation where we feel secure and validated.

A changing truth can be that someone we love doesn’t love us any more, or the job that sustained us doesn’t need us any more, a friend decides they no longer want our friendship or we have to acknowledge that we have been living a life that doesn’t make us happy.

We can seek out and find a new truth but that isn’t what we really want. We want someone to tell us that we are right, true, worthy and deserving. So we go looking for truth when all we really want is love and acceptance—usually from people other than ourselves.

That is our greatest need, to be loved, appreciated and to know that someone, anyone, agrees with our truth. Our fear is that the truth will reveal what we have always been afraid to find out, that we are not worthy, lovable or deserving.

Is it possible to be comfortable with our truth, even if no one else thinks it’s true? It depends on what it is, but since truth is personal, as long as it is true for us, we’re aligned with it, it’s authentic and it makes us happy that’s the only truth we need to know. Now, practice courage in your convictions!

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