After writing about unraveling my truth for last week’s 52 Photos Project prompt, it seems the idea of truth is following me. I read a post by a blogger whose tag line is “I write my truths”. I read another post where the writer spoke of guarding her truths instead of listening to herself. And I realize this idea of owning our truth is a struggle for many of us. Well meaning people give us advice on how they think we should exist in this world to be accepted. What they end up doing, however, is robbing us of our most powerful self. They have a version of who they think we should be and there is a subtle, and sometimes not so subtle, pressure to accept it or risk being rejected.
This idea of being pressured to accept someone else’s version of the truth is played out in the story of Jesus healing the man born blind in John chapter 9. For those unfamiliar with the story, Jesus and his disciples are walking along when they come upon a man who was blind. The disciples inquired, as most of us would, whose fault was it that this man was born blind. We all need a reason for suffering and in this case the disciples wondered was it his fault or his parents. Jesus declared “…he was born blind that the power of God could be seen in him” and then He goes on to heal the man.
This is where the story gets interesting because no one believed he was really healed, especially the religious leaders of that day. They asked him multiple times how he got healed and even went so far as to ask his parents if this was really their son and if so, how did he get healed. Then in verse 24, the Pharisees say something interesting. They say to the man “Give glory to God by telling the truth…“
As I read those words, it struck me that the Pharisees where not interested in the truth, they were interested in their version of the truth. They had already heard the truth, had evidence of what really happened but they were unwilling to see anything other than what they wanted to see. When the man refused to name their truth, they threw him out of the synagogue (there is so much I could say about that and the church today but that’s not the point of this post so I’ll stay off that soap box for now 🙂 ).
There have been many times in my life when I have blindly accepted another person’s version of the truth because they were leaders or people that I respected. I embraced things without question because of a desire to fit in. When I first became a Christ-follower, I let other people tell me what it looked like to be a good Christian. As I got older and began to step into my gift as a leader, I let other people tell me what it looked like to be a good leader.
I am by nature a rule follower so I followed their rules and owned their truths because that’s what I was supposed to do especially if I wanted to be accepted. I didn’t check in with myself to see if these rules were right for me. If something came up that didn’t feel right, I pushed away the questions that rose up. If something sounded off, I simply ignored it. Eventually though, the nagging feeling in my gut wouldn’t go away and I had to face the truth about what I was believing.
It has surprised me to discover how many layers of not-right-for-me-truths I have been wearing and letting go of some of them has not been easy. So many of them have defined me for so long but I remain committed to knowing and owning MY truths. I expect it might always be a challenge for me but I am learning it’s okay to ask the questions that feel too scary to ask. Often when I look those scary things head on, something beautiful and sacred shows up and I stand more fully in my own power.
So how about you? Are you fully embracing your own truths or are you wearing someone else’s truth and trying to make it your own? I challenge you to ask yourself that question. The answer just might surprise and delight you.
Whose truth are you REALLY believing?