Being Truthful -- Living Transparent -- Finding Transcendence.
Every once an awhile I am reflecting on the number of times not only do I catch myself fighting IT but I challenge myself to do IT… Always finding peace and happiness after IT... Jeez, get your head out of the gutter… ok well that too. The IT I really am writing about is being truthful. Of course, it immediately made me start thinking about all the stories, narratives and attempts at truth I hear in my office. As a sex therapist that specializes in addiction and spirituality, I often notice the conflict clients put themselves in when it comes to telling the truth. The following can be examples of these conflicts with the truth:
Blatant lying that is figured out later or you or they share the truth.
Omitting the truth or co-mitting the truth (will explain more later)
And of course the challenge of being proactively honest
And then it came to me as I myself was exploring the idea of truth telling. It led me to the following:
Truth comes from Transparency, which equals Transcendence. That’s right when we live in authentic alignment within yourself by being truthful, by being transparent we find transcendence. So what does it all mean and more importantly when faced with telling the truth how do we do this?
First, something about lying, there is manipulating, blunt lies, and omitting and commission of the truth.
Lying through omission: lying by omission, also known as a continuing misrepresentation or quote mining, occurs when an important fact is left out in order to foster a misconception. Lying by omission includes the failure to correct pre-existing misconceptions. The motive is often to confuse or trick someone or something by leaving out important details. You are not being transparent nor telling the full truth. What to do instead? Include all the information. Period. This is transparency.
Omitting the truth can also be lying without lying. That is the failure to correct.
Then there is commission of lying; this is when someone lies on purpose with the intent to deceive. Here the individual lies to gain advantage over someone or something they see as a threat or concern. What do you do instead? Think long term… What is the intent, what are the ramifications of the deception?
1) Truth and the value of sharing a story with details.
Truth comes in the details, we have all heard the figure of speech: The Devil is in the Details. This goes with telling the truth too. Have fun being detailed in the day. It’s also a great way to share that you are with your partner(s).
Exercise 1: Share a story that you might not have ever shared with your partner(s). Start with something innocent, maybe from childhood that you never talked about. Give them as many details as you remember and then notice the feeling of telling the story.
2) Transparency - Lookout for the withholds.
The instant you start to withhold information from your partner(s), you are not telling the truth nor are you being proactively honest with them or yourself. A withhold in my mind is simply avoiding what you feel, want or desire. A non-sexual, overly non-emotional example of this would look like the following: You are dying or craving a specific meal for dinner and your partner asks, “what would you like to eat tonight?” Rather then tell them. You avoid it because you have already decided they won’t like it or will say no – before you even talk about it. That is a withhold.
I see it everyday, and you might remember it too. You like something but are afraid of the judgment or evaluation of the other. Let’s be transparent with what you would like.
Exercise 2: Challenge yourself to be transparent by being proactively honest and authentic with your needs, requests and desires. Again start small, talk about things that you are certain you won’t feel guilt or shame in asking for. Moreover, be open to the conversation. This leads to compromise too. Then start the deeper more challenging transparent thoughts, i.e. sex, intimacy, and life goals.
3) Transcendence – Truth plus transparency equals wholeness!
Looking through my eyes the more authentic you are, the more aligned you are with your beliefs and the closer you are to your higher power: God, wholeness within yourself will all find a sense of transcending your struggles. Truth and transparency is the start.
Exercise 3: Start building, remind yourself and create your version of transcendence. Is it God, a higher power, walking in nature? Take time to explore what is the feeling of wholeness within you.
Dr. Ryan Westrum specializes in developing authentic living through experiential workshops and therapeutic interventions that support individuals, couples. Please reach him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org 952-261-5269.