The difference between telling the truth and living in truth.
Living in truth can free you in so many ways.
We often say things that are very true, but don’t always feel true.
Telling the truth and living in truth are sometimes very different things.
The two types of truth can be aligned, and it’s wonderful when both telling the truth and living truth are one and the same. It troubles me that in a day and age where access to knowledge on a grand scale is so easy - that we are surrounded by truth obscurers, straight out falsehood tellers, and even more troubling to me - people who are saying a truth and living a lie.
The two types of truth can be aligned, and it’s wonderful when both telling the truth and living truth are one and the same. It troubles me that in a day and age where access to knowledge on a grand scale is so easy - that we are surrounded by truth obscurers, straight out falsehood tellers, and even more troubling to me - people who are
Saying a truth and living a lie is a big part of why so many us often feel disconnected, off kilter, and sad when we don’t know why.
Telling a truth, but not living it create dissonance in our lives.
Let me show you what I mean with a bit of a story about Beth.
Put yourself, for the moment, in Beth’s shoes. She’s married to a great guy and a mother of two active kids trying to make work and life, well… work. She loves her life and everything is “good” but…
The Truth - (Part of It)
Beth: “I love being a mother.”
And Beth does truly love her kids…but…
Not Living the Truth
Here is what I mean by Beth not living her truth. What she says is true:
“I love being a mother. Everything is great and the kids are doing good. My husband, Jeff, is doing pretty good. How about me…? I’m doing good, too… ‘cause, you know, being a mother was what I wanted.”
What's not being said…
But what she’s not saying, and is completely glossing over, is how she really feels.
What she was saying above is true, but it doesn’t feel true for her right now, even as she says it, because it’s only part of the truth. Modern society tells us that we should all “be happy” - and only show the “happy times” and the “picture perfect life”. We should all be “good” - whatever that means - ALL the time. There seems to be an unspoken rule that it’s not okay to have a bad day or doubts or dishes in the sink or feel tired or be covered in cat hair especially when you are wearing black or cry when you are upset or even admit that a sliver of cake isn’t actually a serving of cake (cake should always be enjoyed as generous slices at least 2 inches thick and with lots of glorious buttercream frosting… yummmm).
When the real -the lived truth- is covered over with inane socially acceptable platitudes, we begin to loose our sense of self more and more. Platitudes are a disservice to the truths of life. Sometimes technically they are true, like Beth’s, “I love being a mother,” yet, they feel untrue because they are only a shred of the whole truth cloth. Often general platitudes cause us to feel guilty because they feel like straight out lies. Telling a truth but not actually living it causes distance and dissonance to form within us and all around us. It’s one of the reasons we often feel so disconnected from our true selves and each other. “Fine” is rarely actually fine. Usually when people say they are “just fine”, they are actually meaning the opposite. Which is why we tend to say we are “just fine” with teeth clenched so hard we could crack a shiny diamond. Platitudes politely slither out into the world and leave chalkboard scratches echoing in everyone’s ears and lives.
“I’m fine. Everything’s fine, just fine. Everybody's happy.”
We would all be much happier and feel a ton more connected if we actually talked and went beyond the barrier of “just fine.”
Ditch platitudes and toss them into the compost bin. They are of no use when living a truly joyful life in alignment with who you really are.
Platitudes disconnect us from feeling our feelings. They disconnect us from being able to relate to other people’s feelings because when we convince ourselves that “happy” is not bursting into tears or going on a roaring rampage in public, we shut down the ability to be truly happy. We loose sense of what our feelings are telling us.
So setting aside the concepts of “We are just fine and everything is great!” Let’s get real.
This is what is truly going on for Beth right now:
“I’m exhausted and I feel like I could fall asleep at any moment. There just isn’t enough caffeine in the world to get through a day anymore. Why am I so frakin’ tired? Oh, yeah… I would probably need time to sleep. Maybe tonight I can finally go to bed by midnight.”
“I love my kids, but right now they are pretty high energy. I love their joy and curiosity but the laundry is overflowing, the dishes are never ending, and I’m constantly worried I’m not spending enough time with my kids. I feel like all I do is take care of them, but never actually spend time with them.”
“I feel like I need to do everything on my own – so I’m up past midnight getting the work I needed to do done for my job after the kids are asleep. While they are awake I’m running around in five different directions cleaning, trouble shooting, paying bills, cooking, and driving them where they need to go. Maybe I can catch up on email for 30 seconds here and there between stuff, but I never seem to be able to get work done while the kids around. Jeff’s busy with his own work stuff and doesn't ever seem to have time to help. I don’t know how he has even less time than I do! He commutes an hour one way for work, while my job is just ten minutes away, so a lot of his time goes to just the drive. But still!!”
“I can’t remember the last time I had five minutes to myself to do anything I want to do. I used to have hobbies… but now I have trouble remembering what that word even means for me.”
“I love it when my five year old Kara plays doctor and my seven year old Danny is a good brother and plays the patient and the nurse so Kara can “diagnose” him and “cure” him. I wish I could stop doing what I’m doing and play along with them, but there is so much to do.”
“I’m feeling kind of lost in the mom/job shuffle and don’t really remember who I am anymore.”
“My husband Jeff, I miss him. I feel like I never get to see him or talk to him on a person to person level instead of a caretaker to caretaker level. I feel lost and so very, very tired.”
This is admitting what’s truly going on.
This is acknowledging the emotions and real life falling through the gaps of the spoken truth.
And when we can admit all this stuff?
We have the key to taking a look at what is not working. We gain the opportunity to try things out as minor experiments in living in a way that feels good and true to us. We truly gain the opportunity to figure out what really works for each of us best. We gain the freedom to be humans. Real live humans with emotions who do some things really well, and other things not well at all. And that’s okay! When we admit how we really feel, and ditch #blessed, we open up room to live more and more in alignment with our truth.
This is so important for your long term happiness and a life that truly feels well lived!
So few people are willing to be honest with themselves, but you and I, we have the strength to be honest.
You have the strength and power to bring your spoken and lived truths together.
Living the Truth
When Beth is honest with herself, takes a step back and allows herself to be open to small changes that can make a big difference in aligning with her truth, amazing insights and freedoms naturally start to happen in her life as she tweaks and adjusts.
Beth: “I love being a mother!”
“It’s really made me appreciate all the little things in life like how yummy fresh baked chocolate chip cookies are, how fun it can be to play tag, and how beautiful and honest my children’s dreams are. I used to dream like they do, and I’ve realized that somewhere along the way with college and jobs I had lost my true sense of self and with it – all these bright, beautiful dreams I once had. Maybe it’s time to dust those dreams off and start bringing them to life so the world can be a more beautiful place for my kids to thrive in.”
“Taking a step back, I’m realizing that I’ve been really missing my husband Jeff. Realized that somehow we have allowed ourselves to become strangers living in the same home. So I’ve decided to do something about it. We started with little, but big!, things. First, I needed to make a little breathing room in our lives. The kids were not seeing their grandparents very much, so Jeff and I asked them to do over night play dates every other Friday night. Both the kids and our parents are thrilled. Each set of grandparents alternates the weekends. They do dinner and play games, and then we pick the kids up after lunch on Saturday. This gives us time for date night on Friday, and then time to chip away at the home improvement projects we kept meaning to get to but never did before on Saturday morning. Then in the afternoons we take off as a family and go see a museum or a movie or play in the park.”
“I made a time to talk with Jeff about how overwhelmed and exhausted I’ve been with work and kids. As we talked, he realized he needed to step up and asked how he could help. He realized he was letting work get in the way of being a husband and father like he had truly wanted to be. We decided he was going to start with being in charge of getting groceries on his way home from work on Mondays and is going to do a game night with the kids on Thursdays so I can have some time to see friends or take a pottery class. It’s a start while he makes adjustments at work. We also decided to start having the kids help us do the chores, as they can. It took a few days for everybody to get the hang of it, but the kids feel good having big boy and girl things they are responsible for - like putting away their clothes and helping us make salads for dinner. And the cool part is I don’t feel quite so overwhelmed and have time to play tag with the kids after school! That 15 - 30 minutes this has started freeing up everyday doesn't seem like a lot - but it is!”
“Then we decided to take our time with story time at night, but we alternate - he does one night and I do another, and we can do something fun for ourselves on our nights “off” before we kiss the kids good night.”
“Another big change we’ve committed to is at least eight hours of sleep every night. We made everyone’s room sleep friendly - no tv’s, a soft yellow lamp light on the night stand instead of blue, and have an ocean sound track to fall asleep to. We also started redecorating our room and the kids room so that we all have art to look at as we get sleepy. It helps us all dream better. It took a week for the sleep haven changes to start working - but it’s working better and better and I don’t feel so exhausted anymore. And because I’m not so tired I have energy to dream again.”
Notice in her story how the spoken truth is still the true - she really does love her kids and being a mother. Her husband Jeff really is doing well. And Beth - she is regaining her sense of self and feeling great about it. Notice how she talks about the small changes she made that have big results on how she feels and enable her to live her truth.
These kind of changes come from admitting how you are really feeling, and then being willing to ask yourself why you feel that way. That gives you the knowledge to ask the big question “How do I really want to feel?” (Danielle LaPorte’s Desire Map planner is a big help with figuring this out!)
The difference between telling the truth and living the truth is vast.
It will stay vast until we take a look at what is working and what is not working in our lives.
Once we do that it’s time to start to make changes where we need to that will help our told truth and living truth align and sync up to be our TRUTH.
When you begin figuring out how you really want to feel bit by bit you can make decisions about how to get there. It’s different for everyone and takes effort, but actually enjoying your life and living in your truth is worth the time and effort.
Today we are all so pressured by society to be perfect and have everything under control that even when something said is totally true - such as: “I love being a mother,” it might not feel true in your day to day life.
This happens because we are not honest with ourselves about how we are really feeling and just as importantly why we are feeling that way. Many possible ways to better live our truth await in answering why we feel a certain way. And if we don’t take care to help our living truth align with our told truth, the dissonance can turn into confusion, dissatisfaction, and depression. And the worst part is… we won’t know why we are so terribly unhappy.
When we live our truth we suddenly gain the kind of light and joy that is reminiscent of the stars from which we are all made of.
What is the truth you tell yourself and others?
What is the truth you are living?
And don’t worry, just because they don’t align at first doesn't mean you are a “liar” in anyway, it simply means that it’s time to step back for a moment and assess how you can make small changes that add up to big changes that lead to you rediscovering your truth.
The truth is: you matter.
How you feel matters.
How you feel about the life you are living matters.
It’s time to live in alignment with your truth.
You have the power within your gorgeous heart to bring peace, healing, and beauty to the world.
Living your truth will set you free.
Art that helps you see your truth.
Living your truth is one of the guiding forces behind the women of inner strength portraits I create.
It is incredibly important to me to help women like you see the truth of who you are - magnificent, capable, intelligent, and strong in so many wonderful ways. In the day to day grind it is so easy to drift and live life that really doesn't feel true to you. The inner strength portrait drawings and paintings I create are talismans for you to discover and remember your truth - and live it fully and joyfully.
Because in truth, you are truly amazing.
Curious about seeing your inner strengths and true self manifested as a one-of-a-kind drawing or painting? Click here to discover how to commission your very own inner strength artwork.