Some Thoughts on Truth Telling

Some Thoughts on Truth Telling

You know what I love? Hard truth tellers.

Although all truth telling is good, I’m talking about a particular kind of truth. It’s the kind of truth that is incredibly hard to tell; the challenging, unsavory, embarrassing, shameful kind of truth. The kind that can feel impossible to tell even privately, let alone publicly. It’s one thing to admit to letting your kids eat cake for dinner (I do love it when we can be honest about these things) but I’m talking about really putting it out there that you’re battling debilitating depression or chronic illness or you’re struggling with self-employment or unemployment or that you’re so financially strapped that you have to borrow money from your kid to pay for their guitar lessons. Oof. THAT kind of hard truth telling.

Telling truths like these is risky. Doing so can put the truth teller under unbearable scrutiny not only from the public (if you ever read the comments, you get the idea) but even more so, from themselves. Or does the latter only happen to me?

They say that the truth will set you free but my experience hasn’t always played out that way. Although I have done much reflecting and revisiting truths from the past (everything from post-partum depression to self-worth issues to paralyzing clutter problems) it’s admitting the hardest stuff, in real time, that feels impossible. I hold back from sharing the specifics of my most intense struggles because my own inner-critic can be really mean. The meanest. Telling the truth about something I’m ashamed of going through somehow gives that inner-critic a reckless and unwieldly power to pull the curtain back and expose all my faults and failings. One hard truth can create a domino effect that in its wake, has the potential of demolishing everything that came before it. All of it, leveled to rubble, just like that. The truth is, I have a replaying narrative that is so loud, so relentless, so damaging that it keeps me from being honest about the hard stuff.

Unfortunately, I’ve been dealing with that kind of stuff these days. The kind I don’t want share for fear of what kind of self- inflicted cruelty might follow. Ironically enough, full-disclosure, truth telling was not my motivation to write. I really just wanted to say that I appreciate, with deep bows of gratitude, and applaud, with a standing ovation, the hard truth tellers that ARE brave enough to tell the truth, in real time, despite the possible repercussions. They remind me of the power of truth telling and if their truth isn’t setting them free, it might be nice for them to know it’s helping to set me (and likely many others) free by blazing a trail of authenticity & bravery, in real time. I can only hope to follow their lead.

14 Comments
  • Marissa Gold
    Posted at 01:22h, 29 March Reply

    I think when we begin telling the truth, we begin a journey of living authentically. It’s hard but so worth it.

    • Tracey
      Posted at 09:33h, 29 March Reply

      I know you are so right, Marissa.Thank you so much for your encouragement.

  • Chris
    Posted at 01:22h, 29 March Reply

    I am right there with you , my friend. RIGHT.THERE.

    • Tracey
      Posted at 09:34h, 29 March Reply

      Oof. It’s brutal. Thank you for your words of understanding. It’s always comforting to be heard and understood.

  • Rita Arens
    Posted at 08:23h, 29 March Reply

    Thank you. Writing about my unemployment was so embarrassing and awful, but I also wanted to remember that time. Keep swimming, lady.

    • Tracey
      Posted at 09:36h, 29 March Reply

      It’s crazy how embarrassing and awful it feels. Here’s to feeling it and truth telling anyway! Thank you RIta for sharing and for your kind words.

  • Indi
    Posted at 08:56h, 29 March Reply

    Ooooh. Yes. This. I am perhaps swirling in the same goo as you (though the topic may be different). And so thank YOU for helping me with your words this morning. They have touched me and reminded me to look up, to see that I am not alone with the nasty voices that insist on rearing their worn out old ugly heads… Here’s to transforming the relentlessly loud and tired narratives into something brilliantly supportive and nurturing instead! xoxo

    • Tracey
      Posted at 09:37h, 29 March Reply

      Yes yes yes, Indi! Here’s to THAT! Love & thanks to you, my friend.

  • Heather Flett
    Posted at 09:25h, 29 March Reply

    Sending love. xoxoxo

    • Tracey
      Posted at 09:39h, 29 March Reply

      Thank you, Heather. I’m thinking some of this stuff was written all over my face when I saw you last. I feel like I need to put a public statement out to all the friends I saw on that trip because I was so not in a good place. Ugh. Your support means so much. xo

  • Janice Croze
    Posted at 22:22h, 29 March Reply

    Oh Tracy I can definitely relate to your perspective in this poat. While I finally shared about my illness this weekend, it was eleven years before it felt like I was ready to do it. When people thought of me, I didn’t want to be known as a sick person. But now I feel relieved and a bit silly it took so long! HUGS to you friend!!!!

    • Tracey
      Posted at 23:15h, 11 April Reply

      I’m so inspired by your sharing. Thank you for your courage!

  • Misty Gage
    Posted at 20:29h, 02 September Reply

    I use to hide a lot of things I was going through when I was married. My divorce was incredibly liberating and now I know I can stand on my own and have the strength to make it through any thing. It’s much easier to share hard truths when your inner critic takes a hike. I truly hope that things work out for you.

    • Tracey
      Posted at 10:23h, 22 November Reply

      Thank you for sharing, Misty. I’m so glad to hear of your liberation. I really appreciate your comment and your support!

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