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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Truth Must Come Before All Else

Blue Grotto, Bisevo Island , Croatia
I am reminded as I write this of July 2004 when friends had houseguests from Turkey, because it coincides with the moment in which I realized that in relationships – of any kind - truth must indeed come before all else. And that truth is the backbone and prana - life breath and life blood - of any relationship, call it friendship, marriage, or inter-family relationship.

Without truth – or transparency, if you will – and an emphasis in relationships, on the vital importance of truth, very little flourishes, at least over time. (See also my article: Transparency in Relationships).

Truth is essential for trust, truth is essential for growth (although growth can also take place in the absence of truth when people recognize its absence and take measures of one kind or another), and truth is essential for joy. Relationships without a good measure of trust, growth, and joy may be a lot less than what you really want present in your life.

Truth is not limited to not lying. An excellent book on this topic is Tell Me No Lies: How To Stop Lying To Your Partner – and Yourself – in the 4 Stages of Marriage. The authors mention that:
  • People may refuse to acknowledge any problems

  • People may fight and brutalize each other with exaggerated truths

  • Independence may outweigh togetherness, causing marital (or relationship) anarchy to ensue

Basically what this boils down to, is that when talking about truth it's also important to take into consideration its lack by omission, as well as when one is pretending things are different from what they are – both to oneself, and to the other person (or people) involved in the relationship.

You might liken truth to the first bud that appears in the spring and the last red leaf that falls from the tree in the late fall. Truth must be present at the beginning and at the end. Truth towards oneself, and truth towards others.

If truth is not present, little else can thrive.

With truth, transformation, growth, and ultimately inner freedom have a chance. Truth. Think of it as your greatest challenge and your greatest friend.

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