“Even if you are a minority of one, the truth is the truth.” – Mahatma Gandhi
The most valuable tool I’ve acquired in climbing out of burnout, becoming happy, and creating the life I want is the habit of asking myself, “What’s my truth?” I couldn’t have answered that question until recently, because I didn’t know how to listen to myself.
Or, more accurately, I tuned myself out because I held unspeakable thoughts. Desires so different from my family’s that I hid them. Convictions so at odds with “common knowledge” that I doubted them. Values so contrary to what I grew up with that I shut them out.
Deep down, we know who we are and where we’re meant to be, but when it’s in conflict with the truths of all those around us we’re more likely to deny our own voice. It manifests in crippling indecision, chronic pain, financial crisis, health problems, or persistent unhappiness. We stay where we are even when it’s unpleasant because we don’t know where else we’re meant to be.
Today, when people question my choices – when my own inner shadow questions my choices – I have a simple response: I tried living that other way, it didn’t make me happy. Now, I’m trying this other way.
To begin to hear my own truths, I had to dig them out of the pile of other people’s voices that cluttered my life and my mind. I learned to tune in to how I wanted to live and who I wanted to be, which meant figuring out what the life I wanted FELT like. It was a creative act. Now, when things come up – decisions or confusions – I can ask “What’s my truth?” and get the answer pretty quickly.
What’s YOUR truth?
Our lives are full of beliefs masquerading as truths. What’s your real truth – the deeply held TRUTH, not the belief – about who you are? Hint: you’ve known it since you were a kid. The first three resources below are tools that have helped me uncover mine.
- The Mindful Change Process
- The Adult Chair method
- The Artist’s Way
- In the blog article, “Why facts don’t change our minds”, James Clear explains why and how we get attached to false beliefs.