By Tracy Clifford
“Fear can create a whole universe of disinformation. And want — well, want rearranges the world entirely.” – F. Jay Deacon
What is the truth in your relationship? That might seem like a lofty question. The truth? One truth? It’s a tough question to answer, mostly because there are usually a multitude of truths that exist between two people. But when asked, most people prefer to disclose positive truths. My relationship is full of love and compassion. My relationship contains honesty and faithfulness. Few of us want to focus on the bad stuff. The stuff that makes you cringe when it sees the light of day. Of course there are multiple truths – a complex web of experiences and emotions that comprise your relationship. The bond between two lovers can’t possibly be defined by one truth.
But what is truth, anyway? I’ve heard truth described as the difference between what is and what isn’t. And how can you know something is true? You see it. You experience it. You have proof of it. It’s not something you imagine, wish, or hope for. It’s not something you believe. Belief is wonderful, but all belief can provide is an opinion of someone. At its best, belief can provide faith and hope in another person. But beliefs aren’t always accurate.
I would argue that most people are scared of the truth in their relationships. Most of us convince ourselves that something is true. We persuade ourselves through desire and denial. Most of us want our relationships to work out – otherwise we wouldn’t be in them. So it’s preferable to see the best in the other person. It’s preferable to focus on all the positive truths that exist. The beautiful thing about intimate relationships is that they can provide a feeling of belonging. We avoid the truths that threaten to shatter us because losing that sense of belonging is one of the most visceral pains imaginable.
Habit will separate you from the truth. We all get into patterns and routines, and after a while, we choose to believe certains things about our partners. But it’s dangerous when we think belief and truth are one and the same. They’re not. Truth is something encountered, discovered, and experienced. To experience truth is to be awake. You can believe something about your partner all you want, but that will not make it true.
You must not be afraid to doubt and question your relationship. Dare to observe its dependencies. Try to root out any self-deception in your heart. Most of us want love so badly that our biggest fear is losing it. But what kind of love can one have, if it doesn’t contain truth? Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote: “What separates us from truth, separates us also from love.”
Something to aim for, to be sure.
I’d love to hear from you! Please leave questions and comments. Thanks, Tracy
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