The Difference Between the Truth and the Truth You Tell Yourself

“The truth" Dumbledore sighed. "It is a beautiful and terrible thing, and should therefore be treated with great caution” ― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Thrive invites voices from many spheres to share their perspectives on our Community platform. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team, and opinions expressed by Community contributors do not reflect the opinions of Thrive or its employees. More information on our Community guidelines is available here.

‘Love everyone’ was the first lesson his guru taught him. ‘Tell the truth’ was the second one. ‘But, my guru, the truth is that I don’t love everyone’ he cried after days of suffering. ‘Love everyone and tell the truth’ was the third and final lesson.

This is the story of Ram Dass.

What is your story? Do you know the truth? Or do you believe in what you tell yourself?

I bet, we have something in common – we are used to hiding the truth. So, ‘why are you here?’ you’d ask. ‘Because I’m afraid’ I’d answer.

Because, like you, I don’t want your advice, or your help, your regret and pity. Your care is important to me, yet not lifesaving. Yes, I want your forgiveness. But before, I want the same from myself.

In your own life, you may not always have someone to confess to and you may not want to go to church. But you can (without a doubt) relate to this scene: before you face what’s really going on, the healing process can’t begin.

Often, ‘because I’m afraid’ is a big part of the answer, if not all of it. You are afraid of being found out, of being left alone, of being mocked, of failing in public and being laughed at. The fear is so real.  

No one can offer any reassurance. Especially if you search for it outside of yourself. Some things you must face and bear alone. Anything worth it is tough. Anything worth it requires challenge and struggle.

What I can say is that, no matter how afraid you might be, the human in the mirror is still worth loving. Even if you’re just telling yourself.

That’s all you need to confess. You can do it anywhere, any time. In fact, if you are reading this, you’ve already started.

“Perhaps one did not want to be loved so much as to be understood” ― George Orwell.

Can you relate to Orwell’s words? Have you ever been the ‘victim of love’? Have you ever felt betrayed, left alone with your pain, ignored, criticized, mocked, hurt inside-out? Has anyone ever told you ‘I’ve done it because I just love you so much’?

As unique as both you and I are, we are rarely unique in our pain. Sometimes we become so lonely that it just starts to make sense. And all we crave for is understanding.

“The truth is, unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize that the situation is over, you cannot move forward” ― Steve Maraboli, Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience.

So, ‘why am I here’?

I’m here because I’m vulnerable, impatient, and a little insecure.

I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle.

I’m here to tell you that if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best.

I’m here to forgive myself. To tell the truth. Because I deserve it.

You might also like...


Three Essential Leadership Skills NOT for the Faint of Heart

by Moshe Engelberg
Man writing on a pad of paper

Top advice for my younger self

by Justin Aldridge
when your 'Yes' is a weak one,  everyone will suffer.

Until You Can Powerfully Say ‘No’, Your ‘Yes’ Is Worth Less

by Remy Blumenfeld
We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.