Sources of Truth
As a spiritual counselor in hospice I'm continuously engaged in a dance of hello's and goodbyes.
In brief periods of time I have the pleasure of serving new patients and families, assessing spiritual needs, deeply understanding their spiritual perspective and beliefs, and providing clinical spiritual care interventions to soothe distress and suffering.
During an initial assessment a patients son once asked me,
"What's your truth source?"
The question launched at me; an arrow in flight.
Thankfully we were talking over the phone so my longer than usual pause semi-acceptable.
Listen, a mere 18 hours earlier I was holding a dying womans' head in my hands. Except this time her death wasn't natural, it was from a drug overdose.
I happened to be in the 'right place at the right time' to save her life (there was nothing 'right' about it by the way). Regardless, I did not have the mental faculties or energy to entertain such a question. I felt the antagonistic nature of the question. I felt angry and tired. Mostly tired.
I answered like an idiot. "I'm not sure I understand what you are asking" I replied. I attempted to explain the professional nature of my role and how my source of truth was irrelevant to patient care as I have been trained to work within the scope of the patients spiritual / religious orientation but the man on the other line was impatient and angry.
He didn't have time for my not knowing and I understand why, his mother was dying.
In the coming days that mans question haunted me.
I had been caught off guard by it and that angered me.
What he really wanted to know was do I follow the word and commands of God as written in the Holy Bible because that was the one and only acceptable truth source. I respect his point of view but I do not share it.
"I have one major rule: Everybody is right.
More specifically, everybody — including me — has some important pieces of truth,
and all of those pieces need to be honored, cherished,
and included in a more gracious, spacious, and compassionate embrace.”
― Ken Wilber
You see, I don't concern myself with the truth but rather the nature of truth.
Truth is multifaceted, layered, and complex.
Truth may be based in fact but more so in ones perception.
The late, brilliant Maya Angelou reminds us: "There's a world of difference between truth and facts. Facts can obscure the truth."
Truth is subjective and often, if not always, contradictory.
One truth does not cancel out or minimize another truth.
They coexist and arise from one source.
This source is un-nameable and indescribable yet lies at the heart of everything.
We're all simply trying our best to qualify it with our stories and spiritual beliefs.
Truth & Knowledge
Truth is the backbone of your spiritual wellbeing.
Truth is self determined, unless you accept it from an external source, which is well within your right to do so.
I've come to understand that truth is knowledge but not the kind of knowledge you obtain from reading a book.
Truth is an embodied sacred knowing, an understanding resulting from direct mystical experiences.
Truth will rock you to the core and make you stronger.
I believe what you seek is true spiritual strength, not a superficial understanding.
- Telling the truth lays the foundation for sweet freedom and yet not everything must be told.
- Truth is not necessarily the portal to feeling better, at least not in an immediate sense, unless it is.
- Truth does not necessarily lessen the burden of pain and loss. It does however serve a deeper process of reconciliation and healing.
- Truth is realized, therefore it's generally incompatible with instant gratification.
- Truth is the purest currency available to us and it serves your souls growth.
“The truth will not necessarily set you free, but truthfulness will.” ― Ken Wilber
I'm not a Debbie Downer, I'm a realist.
I understand that as a human being we are hard wired to seek truth and then integrate it into our whole self.
The process of integration is just that, a process!
Exhilarating moments await you, for sure. However there is more in-between liminal space than anything else. It's here you must learn to rely on your truth and inner compass to navigate the terrain before you, wisely.
Before we part ways I’ll leave you with one of my cherished sayings from the rooms of recovery:
“Everything you know to be true is subject to revision”.