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truth : gathering leaves

i’ve never had much of a problem telling the truth.  i suppose you might say one of my biggest problems IS telling the truth.  i’m a really bad liar.  which, i think, would’ve made me a bad lawyer.  que sera.  we are who we are.  merely stretching the truth sends my conscience into a guilt spiral.  it’s awful living inside this head sometimes.  i would’ve made a better judge than a lawyer.  hmmmm…a different dream, a different day.

growing up i probably said more than i should have, far more often than i should have.  lucky for me, i’ve conveniently forgotten what a bratty, annoying teenager i was.  {sorry to those of you who haven’t}.  but i’m quite sure my immaturity, combined with my “truth telling” and tenacious spirit was hard to bare.  my husband might say the same thing some days.  hopefully i’ve matured; but that truth part?  standing firm.

so what is truth?  1. sincerity in action, character and utterance; 2. fact or actuality; judgment, proposition or idea that is true or accepted as true; or 3. a statement in accord with fact or actuality.  in the case of relationship, there are many truths.  right?  have you ever been in a stand-off with someone over the truth?  good Lord, take a seat.

contrary to what a law school education might imply, i’m not a big fan of the ring.  don’t get me wrong, i’ll fight when it’s required, or when i lose my good sense, but truth really isn’t about a fight to me.  it’s about expressing our unvarnished story, couched in sincerity and love, in accord with facts or actual events as we experienced them.  it’s not about right or wrong; win or lose.  if both people are sincere of heart, there should be no danger in telling the truth.

i think of truth telling like gathering leaves.  like our truth, every leaf is different; no two are the same.  so often we gather them, every leaf to build our case.  stacking them upon one another, higher, higher, higher.  which pile will reach the sky?  surely my truth will prevail.  but a sudden wind blows.  her delicate breath sends a ripple through the leaves.  the gatherers rush to save their high towers.  but who can stop the wind?  first a whisper and then a gust and the leaves are scattered.  so too, the relationship.

how better to gather them together.  it’s better done with two.  into one pile, thoughtful, sincere, humble and kind.  a perfect pile.  for jumping.  an exercise strengthening the bond of relationship.  discovering the remarkable padding that belies the rock hard ground below.  rolling onto our backs and staring at the sky above.  the vastness of life and the smallness of struggle.

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truth hurts.  it’s uncomfortable.  no one likes to hear a hard truth.  but truth heals.  we can deal with truth.  we can work with truth.  silence, bitterness and unforgiveness are dead end roads.  even if the truth is anger or disappointment, hurt or disrespect.  or when it’s right, or good, or honoring that the other person know.  when we speak our truth it gets it outside of us, where roots of unspoken bitterness lose their ability to silently poison us.  it allows the opportunity for understanding.  not agreement, but understanding.  resolution of a matter does not require one party to acquiesce to another’s truth.  that wouldn’t be sincere and could never be truth.

truth allows the opportunity for the myriad of tiny ways we can begin the process of dialogue, counsel, forgiveness, restoration and healing.  all relationship will have struggle or it’s simply not real.  and true friendship is padding for our fall.  individual leaves, unique truths, gathered together to buffer the sting.  so the next time you’re preparing to tell some truth, or work through a conflict or difficult situation: remember the leaves.  gather them together.  be careful of the wind.  and savor the realization that if you’re doing that — it means you’ve got a worthy partner — and i pray that it will prove to be a soft place to fall.

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{ 4 comments… add one }
  • Melissa March 13, 2013, 5:40 pm

    This spoke to my heart today. Thank you for sharing!

    • Tammy March 14, 2013, 4:20 am

      mmmm, so happy to hear melissa. ((hugs))

  • Krista March 14, 2013, 12:05 am

    You are a soft place to land. Life’s too precious to be any other kind. So well written, T. XO

    • Tammy March 14, 2013, 4:20 am

      love you friend. wish i was there to be a soft place for you today. praying! xoxo

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