Fact or Truth

3 Aug

Whenever someone compliments my daughter’s physical appearance, I always respond, “And she is as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside!”  She is kind, sensitive and caring…and she is the most truthful person I know!

When she was growing up, we had a number of conversations where I asked, “That’s a fact, but is it the truth?” She learned the difference over time and it has become a part of her character. Have you ever thought about the difference?

Consider this example. The week passes and my daughter doesn’t clean up her room as I asked her to do. When I ask her why she hasn’t cleaned her room, she responds that she has a homework assignment due the next day and she doesn’t have the time. The facts are a homework assignment IS due tomorrow and she DOESN’T have the time. The truth is she didn’t feel like doing the homework assignment or like cleaning up her room earlier in the week when she had free time…and she doesn’t want to get in trouble.

We think it’s easy to see the truth in a child’s world, but what about in our own world? Are we using a few facts to hide our own truth?

Do you ever blame the traffic when you’re late for work or for meeting a friend? Do you ever tell one friend all the reasons you’re too busy to get together and then go make plans with another friend? What do you say when someone asks you something you don’t want to answer? Do you continue to do certain things you don’t enjoy because others expect you to do them? Others’ expectations can definitely influence us. Where are you hiding your truth?

Here’s the thing. When you hide your truth, you’re telling yourself there is something wrong with your ideas, your feelings, your truth…in other words, with YOU. You are allowing others’ ideas, schedules, time or feelings to be more important than your own. (I’m not talking here about minor issues of give and take in healthy, loving relationships.)

Now here’s the rest of the story in the example with my daughter. She didn’t FEEL like doing the homework assignment or like cleaning up her room earlier in the week when she had free time. You probably assumed you understood the situation. We all know how kids can be. This is when it is really important to speak – and listen for – the whole truth. My daughter was an outstanding student with challenging classes. Plus, she danced, and she played volleyball. There really was very little time in her schedule for anything else. When I asked for the truth – and listened – she was able to tell me she was exhausted earlier in the week and needed some time for herself to just be. Can’t we all relate to that? Her need for downtime was truly critical, and a messy room could wait.

This may seem like a trivial example, but the little things add up over time in all of our lives. How many times have you been told, directly or indirectly, that your ideas or feelings were not important? How has that impacted your choices, your truth-telling? Be honest with yourself…and with others. Truth is a very good thing!

Life is a sum of all our choices. Let’s choose to tell our whole truth…and listen to others’ whole truth.

Ask yourself often…Is that a fact, or is it the truth?

(Photo credit: Awareness)

7 Responses to “Fact or Truth”

  1. sambia75 August 9, 2012 at 9:33 pm #

    Hi Cindy, could I repost this. It is so well written and really rings a bell. Thank you

    Shamsul

    • Healthy A-Z August 10, 2012 at 7:57 am #

      Absolutely! I’m glad you relate to this.

  2. sambia75 August 15, 2012 at 8:53 pm #

    Reblogged this on colonrevolution and commented:
    1. This is certainly one of the best piece of writing I have ever read.
    2. It is about distinguishing between truth and fact.
    3. I never thought about it this way before but it seems that in life you could state a fact yet not really telling the truth.
    4. In my work as a data analyst, this is really the essence of data visualization, where you need to find the truth in between the numbers.
    5. We know for a FACT that numbers do not lie.
    6. But, the TRUTH is, anyone can manipulate the numbers to support a lie.
    7. Ask yourself each time, like how Cindy suggests in this post, is it a fact or truth.

    • Healthy A-Z August 15, 2012 at 9:03 pm #

      Shamsul, I am honored by your kind words, and I appreciate you step-by-step analysis of the possibilities.

  3. Roxana Jones March 9, 2013 at 12:54 pm #

    This is a great article Cindy! I love the way you differentiate truth and fact using your daughter’s case. In life everything is so relative that I’ve come to the conclusion that we all have relative truths while the absolute truth is that which can only be interpreted by our minds but never fully grasped. All in all, you’ve said a wonderful line that highlights an urgent message for all: “Be honest with yourself…and with others. Truth is a very good thing!”

    Thank you for sharing!

    Roxana

    • Healthy A-Z March 9, 2013 at 2:41 pm #

      Thank you, Roxana! Truth vs facts is near and dear to my heart…and that is the truth! 🙂

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Talking to Each Other « Healthy A-Z - August 15, 2012

    […] Plus, as long as we are busy collecting supporters and keeping score, we are too busy to look at ourselves and discover WHY we are upset. We’re too busy discussing our “facts” rather than the truth. […]

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