Remember that great scene in “A Few Good Men” when Jack Nicholson vehemently states, “You can’t handle the truth!” I love that. Because we skirt so many truths out of fear, reluctance, discomfort, personal disgust – I could go on.
Does that mean we are dishonest, horrid liars? Absolutely not – in fact, I really like us as a species. For every awful, despicable action that we witness, there is a generous, loving gesture to be seen. We are cool, talented, smart, and have great music. Our hugs can nourish us; our humor evokes hiccups, stomach cramps and a warmth like nothing else.
But are we honest? I mean, really, really honest? When we insist that we are our own worst enemy – um, not sure about that. I think we’re honest with ourselves to the point of disquiet. If it causes us too much agita, we move on to the issues we can handle. Joe Klaas writes, “The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off”. We certainly can feel self-anger – I’m just not sure if it’s about the stuff that whispers to you in the dark.
Don’t misunderstand me, please – I’m not the icon for honesty. As a kid, I thought I invented lying – rationalizing (and perhaps to a degree rightly so – or so I believed) that my parents would freak if I came clean. Obviously to a kid, that means you don’t want to get in trouble, and I hated getting in trouble (of course, who does?).
As an adult, some truths are harder to face, and perhaps if the effect of keeping them hidden causes little harm to yourself or others, those defense mechanisms arguably should remain in working order. After all, they’re there for a reason.
But the big ‘but’ to me, is the illusion of all truth all the time. I think that in and of itself is a fallacy. I think we hide from certain truths, deny others and refuse to even consider some. And perhaps the admission of this is the most honest we can be. Personally I think that’s ok.
I’m not suggesting that we shouldn’t look deeper, harder and with a more fearless eye. We may learn something about ourselves that really can free us from certain emotional binds that inhibit blood flow. In fact, I think it’s a courageous thing to do. I also think that in reality it is the fear of what we might find that makes us our own worst enemy. Surrounding ourselves with a sycophantic chorus that assures us that our flaws are minor and our assets too numerous too mention – I’m not sure that gives any of us the love, understanding and perspective we deserve.
Where the hell is this all coming from? Certainly the disingenuousness of the news here in the States, the frustration I feel at all the crap that’s circulating and frankly soiling the air I breathe. A little self-reflection, a little candor, a lot of humility and a recognition of the failures in our humanity would be welcome. Whoever you’re for or against is not the issue – what is at issue is the absence of honest self-reflection, for starters. And frankly, if you’re an enemy to yourself, how can you be for anyone? Just sayin’.
37 thoughts on “The Truth About The Truth”
I’m right there with ya, honey, feeling like I need a good, hot shower after every news cycle. Your analysis is spot-on, and *that*, precious friend, is the truth, more than you know…. xoxox
I’m dating myself, but there was a man named Paul Harvey, who used to begin his pieces with, “And now the rest of the story…” – wouldn’t I love to hear (and tell myself too, for I’m not exempted) the rest of the story…xoxox
So, so true. I work hard on being “impartial.” Is the even possible? Once I don’t like someone deeply, I can’t accept anything, even truth, coming from there. This has been a bigger struggle than I remember since the 60s. It’s beyond politics too. It’s at the core.
I agree Kate – and I circle back to the absence of truth. Without it, there’s no trust…and without that, there’s nowhere to go…
This is spot on in many ways, Mimi. Sometimes we (read I) are under the impression that we’re being honest –
with ourselves, others. Of late, I’ve been going on a periodic news diet because it’s just so damn hard to listen to all the rhetoric. Thanks for the reflections; you’re giving me food for thought.
Thank you – I was prompted to write this by all the fiction I hear and read (and a diet from the news is a good idea), but I also find that when we think we are being honest with ourselves, we’re skirting a couple of truths too. Good to hear from you..
Oh gosh, Mims, I am so right there with you. This perpetual state of spin in which we find ourselves these days is beyond dizzying. I have to jump off the damn merry-go-round so many days it seems now, and when I do, there is still such disquiet and disorientation. Is ‘she’ right, or is he right, etc… I have taken to diving into books like I used to find a place of comfort with words that do not elicit a sense of whiplash!
I hear you, BonBon…I really do..
I know, it’s all such crazy making. I can hope, and wonder… will the pendulum ever swing back in another direction
I think it will…tho hope may be stronger than reality…it usually is😉
Oh, yes! The biggest casualty of the 2016 campaign and election, and the subsequent political positioning, has been the truth. Suddenly it’s OK to say whatever supports one’s position and denigrates the opposite view–no matter how false or misleading. Any means to an end are justified. Lies are now smart, they’re chic, they’re what “winners” say. The truth is for “losers.” What message is this sending children? I fear for the future….
Thank you for speaking your truth so eloquently, Mimi. I’m focused on speaking my truth as much as and as often as I can. I don’t believe I’m capable of speaking “the” truth as there are so many ways of experiencing variations of it.
Thank YOU, Russ…I believe you, for your sincerity echoes in your words…whether for adults or children
Dear Superstar, you are, as ever, a phenomenal inspiration! Thank you. Your writing always arises from the deep and touches your readers profoundly. We’re presently en France 🇫🇷 and I appear to have left my muse behind somewhere on recent travels – but I’m diligently keeping an eye out for her whilst at the same time celebrating the truths found in the notion ‘with you in spirit’, and in even more reading than usual! Writers need to read, of course, and sometimes our own silence affords proper space for the wisdom of our friends. So it is with us, dear friend – and mentor. Love for you both, from both of us xx
I have missed you so, dear friend and admit to a bit of worry. That said, knowing you are en France, my spirit rests easier. And given that I go for unreasonable periods of time without posting, I heartily endorse your absence as long as you are enjoying every moment. As for mentor? Look in the mirror and know that it is I who offer you my thanks. Love to you both…xx
So much here Mimi. I used to believe Truth stands above it all. Now I find I am much more calculating. Too much energy expended because, as you’ve stated, many don’t want to hear it.
Your post reminded me of:
Interesting article…I wonder if such compassionate fibbing is something we do to ourselves more than those we even tell others…
spot on, mimi.
I’m with you on this Mimi!
I appreciate it, Tina…☺️
No one tells the truth all the time and those who say the do are lying, we often don’t think of a lie as a lie we think of it as embellishing a story, fibbing to save someones feelings, making an excuse to avoid an argument or disappointing someone but they are in fact lies or as someone once said the truth can be over rated and hurtful at times.
I struggle with the truth–and used to be a real stickler–but now I understand that honesty does not always answer the questions of life. I am sometimes too honest and hard on myself and agree with you that most of us should not be so hard on ourselves. Honesty is a fallacy–and I think we should shoot for “as honest as we can be.”
I agree with you…as honest as we can be
I think the truth has evolved into what one wants to believe the truth is, and to avoid looking too hard at what looks like the facts. All the spin that comes out to tilt one’s perceptions away from what seems so obvious, makes me dizzy. It also makes me angry that people buy the spin, and angrier yet that the spinners feel victorious if they can come up with one somewhat plausible explanation to deflect from the obvious truth. Can we throw the system away and start over?
Rather than ‘evolve’ honey, I think it has devolved – at least in terms of politics. That said, I think the truths we tell ourselves are certainly skewed at times too – which is an equally – if not more – challenging personal conundrum. How to look deep enough at the stuff we don’t want to look at, while still keeping ourselves safe; how to consider the characteristics which could really benefit from some scrutiny. I think at times when we don’t, we are our greatest enemy…xoxo
Hi Mimi, Thank you for this; you just get better and better. I never knew the end of the “The truth will set you free” quote is “but first it will piss you off”. On a personal level, truth or reality can hurt, but it also can help us to become accepting. On a political level it certainty is pissing the liars off. Sooner ir later Truth will prevail and they will be disgraced by their own accord. It is karma afterall. We have never witnessed such political turmoil and it is hard to trust that it will turn out okay when your surrounded by lies. Who knows where this will lead. Maybe we should take a 3.5 year diet from the news. As always, I love hearing from you. Happy Fourth!
Hi Fran! So good to hear from you, too! And I agree with you on all counts – greater candor within and a diet from the b.s. outside! Happy 4th!
I do appreciate your perspective here Mimi 💛. So well said! When we are bombarded with so much, with little time to digest or reflect, a knee jerk reaction is becoming the norm. If only we could slow everything down, and in doing so, bring awareness to the intention behind what we hear, and how it resonates with our own values rather than simply uploading what we are being told and calling it “true”.
Thank you, Val…what you write is so on point – caught in a cyclone of communication – it becomes noise, and separating truth from skewed truth is a challenge.
I was reading through a few posts I wrote years ago and saw your name on there. I was thrilled to see that you continue to write and share your beauty with the world. Just had to say hello darling girl. I hope that you are doing tremendously well. 🙂 Joanna
Mimik, I’ve just discovered this great piece you wrote back in June… ( trying to catch up after being overwhelmed with life for the last few months ) For me, though only a bystander, the challenge has been not to judge – anyone – I can’t remember where I once read that everyone is doing their best… whatever we may think of their best ! I try to apply this to family who judge me, to politicians I dis-approve of…and try to include the Putins, Mugabe’s and Kim Il Jongs et al….!!!!!
Somehow, over the years, the news has become more entertainment than just letting us know what’s going on in the rest of the world. I often find it disturbing,and listen to the media less and less these days. It was good to read this. We have so many choices these days; we can choose to take our time, to enjoy our thoughts… without being exposed to constant high powered stimuli.
I’m up at 3:00am because I fell asleep at 4:00 in the afternoon (my clock is on Wonderland time), practicing coming back to blogs that opened me up too much when I was already rent by my own brain. Kanigan’s. And his Blog Roll. Coming at last to this post of yours that’s a year old. I see the most current is from January, and I wonder if you’re still posting. My blog languishes sometimes, waiting for something new to say instead of regurgitating the same bipolar hoo-ha. Lately, it’s been too much about the pain, which is not my preference. I’d rather wait until I can find the toy at the bottom of the Cracker Jacks before sharing.
Holy Crow, I’m babbling!
I just want you to know I’m putting you in my Reader, in case you decide to post again, and will be glad to see your comments elsewhere as “mimijk” is a voice I look for and trust.
I’m so touched that you would ‘find’ me again after all this time – thank you! I had a bout of serious illness that separated me from blogging for a solid eight months. I’m better now, and I too struggle with returning, for I too don’t want this to be an exercise in reiteration, I hope you will continue to write, for I think you have so very much to offer – whether you’re blogging about bipolar ‘hoo-ha’ (it’s not ‘hoo-ha’, you know 😉) or anything else that tickles your fancy.
Now, I hope you get some sleep and our paths in the ether will cross again soon…