Philosophical

Shifting Truth

Water is H2O, it's true. But it's quite a bit different as ice, fog, water, or steam. Truth is kind of the same way.

Water is H2O, it’s true. But it’s quite a bit different as ice, fog, water, or steam. Truth is kind of the same way.

Are you looking for the truth? Is there only one truth in a given situation? I once thought that truth was pure and immutable. The older I get, the less I see truth as stagnant. It’s different for each person. The old saying is that when I was a child, I believed in Santa Clause. When I was older, I believed there was no Santa Clause. As an adult, I realized that I was Santa Clause. Which statement is true? In its context, they are all true.

I’ve known pathological liars, which let me to a life where honesty and truth is valued. I was stunned the other day, when a friend and I talked about a mutual friend whomOrange flower w bee 1 CW I thought was being dishonest. She had told a story that was so blatantly unlikely that my intelligence was insulted. It was then that my best friend asked, “so what?” Even if it wasn’t true, she said, what harm is there in this story? This started a big discussion about imagination, truth, and things that matter. My point of view was so stuck that I couldn’t see things differently. Truth and honesty trumped all, right? Maybe not.

Gold aspen 1My friend and I watched a movie, Griff the Invisible. Griff was a wildly creative man who lived a fantasy life that bordered on delusional. He found his soul mate in a woman who understood and joined him in his reindeer games. Everyone else treated him like a nut, but she saw Griff’s pure heart, his need for rather tame excitement, and the need to see life differently. Rather than treat him as ill, his girlfriend saw him as fun and his fantasies as exciting. Without his imagination and fantasies, he was dull, lifeless, and depressed. That alternative was so unattractive that in the end, those who loved Griff grew to accept his fantasies, and play with him rather than against him. They stopped judging him and started enjoying him.

I thought it was just a silly movie until I dealt with someone I cared for that told me the same story several times, months apart. The story changed with each telling. Not just in the unimportant details, but main points. I almost interrupted, I almost asked for clarification. I almost asked which version was true. In the end, I decided that it didn’t matter. I know that when facts are important, I need to be sure this person gives a dependable answer. White & pink blossoms 1 CWI can ask questions then. Otherwise, what does it matter? Perhaps love means accepting people’s truth, even as it changes or it’s different than mine. As their reality shifts, I shouldn’t hold them back; I should just follow along. Sometimes truth is over-rated. I just need to know when it’s imperative, and when a good stretch isn’t important.

12 replies »

  1. What a lovely post, and a reminder that kindness sometimes means listening even as their story changes. Beautiful! And that movie sounds interesting and worth looking up. I adore quirky movies about quirky characters, who often have more to teach us than may first appear. Thank you for sharing.

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  2. I used to believe that it was best to be 100% honest all the time, but as I grew older, I realized there are many occasions when the pure truth isn’t best. For example, when someone asks me a question about my day, I often simplify the truth because I don’t want to have to explain the complicated details of the truth. While these kinds of simplifications were not harmful, they are also not really 100% honest. But mostly people wouldn’t really care to know the full truth. They are just being friendly!

    Haha, with respect to that, and for the sake of 100% honesty, I like your new theme, but I find the header a little jarring and I liked your last header better. 🙂

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    • Yes, it hasn’t been a fun lesson at times for me, either. A pathological liar close to me taught me that discernment was key in listening to everything I hear from everyone. Even if I don’t remark on it, I need to know their truth from mine.

      Liked by 1 person

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