For anything we do, there is an act of trying to justify that action. It can be as simple as eating because we are hungry. Or drinking because we are thirsty.
These are broad generalizations that contribute to the larger narrative. That narrative is one of keeping our mind in line with itself and our body. And that’s OK, I think. It’s OK to tell ourselves any narrative that helps us get through the day. So long as it is truthful.
I write this as I’ve struggled with this in the past. I’ve made excuses for doing things that might be considered bad for me, or not ideal.
Or it is in when I am holding fast to an idea or ideas that are counter to the facts. For instance, with dieting, shying away from high fat foods even though the facts say that fat is not bad, in fact, it is the opposite.
What is it about admitting the truth that is so damned frightening to us all?
I sometimes feel like I am deposing Colonel Nathan R Jessup as he shouts, “you can’t handle the truth!”
(For those of you who can’t place that reference, it’s Jack Nicholson’s character in the movie “A Few Good Men” when Tom Cruise’s character is deposing him and demanding that the Colonel admit to the truth of giving a terrible order… watch the movie. It’s good.)
It’s funny how true it seems that we indeed cannot handle the truths. So we ignore them. We pretend that they don’t exist. We curl up in whatever story we tell ourselves, comforted in that warmth. And as we wrap ourselves in that blanket, we talk so much about how important it is to know the truth… until that truth comes out. Then we’re the toddler hiding under the covers.
Believe it or not, this isn’t a lead in to a diatribe about politics, gun control, the environment or [insert hot buttoned topic here].
Instead, I have been recently approaching truth as an avenue for personal growth and improvement. Facing my own demons have been exposing a lot of truths in my own life. And it’s not like they are these huge scandalous revelations. Often it is quite a simple truth that is overlooked in favor of not spending the energy to fix this.
Why am I opening twitter or Instagram and locking myself into a trance instead of writing? I might have claimed that it was for marketing purposes. Sure, that’s an easy excuse. But it isn’t addressing the fact that I am distracting myself from something. What is that something? What am I trying to avoid?
By asking the right questions with the purpose of seeking the truth, not hiding it, not shying away, we can be amazed as to what we find out about ourselves. Instead of being stuck in behaviors that push ourselves into results we don’t like, we can grow beyond that. We can push for positive change.
When we make excuses for our behaviors, it is at our own peril. If those excuses are truthful… like really truthful, we carve a path that could allow us to find improvement. If we lie to ourselves, then we are making these excuses at our own peril.
Yes, the truth can be ugly. It can be horrible. It’s no wonder so many of us lose our shit when it is given to us. But it is better to face the horror than to cower from it. And the longer we go on ignoring it, the harder it gets to overcome.
Find your truth. Seek it out. Run towards it, even when you fear it consuming you. It is far better than trying to close your eyes and pretend that nothing is wrong as the dragon’s teeth tears into your flesh.
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