Day 21: The truth will set you free

It’s been a long day today but I wanted to write a very short post about truth. It’s a topic that’s been on my mind this week after a few recent experiences with dishonesty – my own and that of others. Now, when I say dishonesty, I don’t mean outright lying or stealing or anything of that sort. It’s the subtle dishonesty, the omission of true facts, the disguising of our true feelings – sometimes for good reason, sometimes out of fear – that I’m talking about here. Unfortunately, that kind of dishonesty is often harmful, both to ourselves and others. We or the other party may feel better in the short-term, but in the longer-term the truth generally comes out – with similar or even worse consequences to the ones it would have had if it had been disclosed in the first place.

On the topic of truth, two very familiar quotes came to me last night: ‘The truth will set you free’ and ‘To thine own self be true’. They’re so simple and yet so true!

And then I felt prompted to look up a few more quotes on truth and found the following: ‘We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable’. That was said by Alexander Solzhenitsyn, a Russian and Soviet novelist and historian, according to Wikipedia (Not a name I was overly familiar with!). And then there’s this one, attributed to James A. Garfield, the 20th president of the United States: ‘The truth will set you free, but first it will make you miserable’. That kind of chimes with what I wrote above about the avoidance of truth sometimes making us feel better in the short-term. This one, from the English writer Aldous Huxley, is along similar lines: ‘Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad.’ If it’s a topic that interests you, check out the Quote Garden’s quotations about truth. Incidentally, I also had to look up the authors of those first two quotes I mentioned. So, it was Jesus who said ‘You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free’ and the second comes from Shakespeare’s Hamlet. ‘To thine own self be true’ was Polonius’ last piece of advice to his son Laertes, who was in a hurry to catch a boat to Paris (apparently – trusting the Internet here as my memory of Hamlet isn’t that great).

So what’s my point with these musings on truth? Well, I guess my point is to myself: that honesty is the path to true freedom, even if it’s a scary prospect at the time.

To return to the topic of body image before I wrap up, I just came across a great blog on a website called Beautiful You, which is the work of Melbourne-based Julie Parker, a self-esteem, body image and eating disorder counsellor and life coach. In ‘Crinkly Cleavage and Ugly Underarms‘, Julie takes a swipe at the beauty industry and its latest attempt to sell women products to disguise the bits of us we’re not supposed to like. While I’ve had my fair share of body image issues in my life, I’ve never been overly perturbed by my underarms – and I’m not about to start worrying now!

About Katherine Baldwin

I am a writer, coach, midlife mentor, motivational speaker and the author of How to Fall in Love - A 10-Step Journey to the Heart. I specialise in coaching women and men to have healthy relationships with themselves so that they can form healthy and loving romantic relationships and lead authentic, fulfilling lives. I coach 1:1, lead workshops and host retreats.
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