I recently discovered that each of us has a version of our truth. I’m not exactly talking about the good vs. evil. Nor am I referring to your predominant thoughts on a particular subject. I’m speaking specifically about your actual truths. Things that resonate with you in ways that don’t resonate with other people. Things that come and flow through you so naturally that you can’t help but step back and ask, “is it real?” Things that speak to you in volumes that no one else can hear. Undeniable things about you. Things that define you as you.
Your truths can be a lot of different things. They can be attributes, practices, places, things, etc., They can be good things or bad things. Mild things or serious things. Whatever it is, the first step is identifying what those things are. Once you have recognized, analyzed, and accepted those truths, you can then learn how to use those things to your advantage.
Let’s use two different examples here. The first is an attribute and the second is a practice, both of which identify with me a great deal but neither were initially welcomed into my life.
Example #1: Attribute
My boyfriend, John, continually tells me how stubborn I can be. I wasn’t exactly keen on that news at the beginning of our relationship and was in total denial about such a trait! Stubborn? Me? That’s not possible!
But he isn’t completely incorrect.
Truth be told- I am stubborn. I don’t enjoy when things don’t go my way- but who does? Being headstrong isn’t always easy for either party. However, it can be used to my advantage if I lean into learning about it a bit deeper.
Having this quality about myself can be a negative- if I choose to see and use it that way and neglect doing something about it. But I can also turn it around and make it positive.
Once I realized that this is an undeniable trait about me and surrendered to it, I chose to examine it thoroughly and learned a lot. When I get stubborn and get into an argument, I remember that in this particular scenario my stubbornness doesn’t help me and perhaps even, gets in the way of the bigger picture. I learned how to get out of my way.
On the contrary, being stubborn has its positives as well. It allows me to get things my way that I do have control over. Such as persevering with short- and long-term goals, being decisive, and paving my path in the direction that I want.
It all depends on the way you interpret it and how you decide to use it. Are you going to let it get in your way? Or are you going to get out of your way?
Example #2: Practice
I hated writing as a kid. Primarily because English was my second language and forcing a bunch of words down on paper for some school project didn’t seem all that appealing to me. I never enjoyed writing school papers and that didn’t change until after I graduated college when I started journaling for myself. Once I figured out the joy of journaling for myself, everything turned around.
I don’t know what it is about writing nor do I know if it is a universal thing- but writing is the one practice each day that I feel completely good about. It doesn’t matter to me if my writing sucks that day, or what I even write about, the only thing that matters to me is that every single day I get something on paper. It’s my outlet. My therapy. I can put it down on paper, take a step back, and take a breath of relief.
Writing comes naturally to me and makes me feel good, whether I write for others or myself. I try to do it every single day, and if I miss a couple of days in a row, I begin to fill up with an overwhelming amount of thoughts, feelings, and ideas that turn into anxiety if they are not released.
These are my two examples, both of which I neglected initially. However, once I realized that I could turn them both into positive things that resonated with me even more, I realized I could make myself and my life into something more significant than letting them cripple me.
So the first step is to identify what you already know. Perhaps something that you are neglecting to accept that you know, deep down, is your truth.
However, if you are not sure of your truths, I find that writing can help you figure it out. Asking other people around you whom you love and love you about your qualities helps also. They can point out your strengths and your weaknesses. The next step involves how you react to figuring this stuff out.
“It’s not stress that kills us it is our reaction to it.“ -Hans Selye
You have to be open-minded about things you learn about yourself, always. Like I previously mentioned, being stubborn in my eyes was first a very negative thing to me. I did not want to be that person, at least not on the negative end of it. So I pushed it away for a long time. Which only made things worse in the long run. However, it is a trait about me that was indeed truthful. I had to decide whether I was going to neglect it and wither away with it or accept it and learn how to to use it to my advantage.
So be open-minded with whatever it is you figure out. Most importantly, be gentle with yourself. Not all news is always good news, but that doesn’t mean you have to shut it down and have it remain a negative aspect. You have to decide whether you want to feel crappy about it or to get out of your way and learn to use your skills and assets to your advantage.
The last piece of advice I would like to give about finding your truths is to trust yourself. Trust that you can do something about it in the most positive way. Trust whatever it is you figure out about yourself will lead you in the right direction.
There is always the positive side of things as well as the negatives. Life is about balance. But if you can learn how to turn the negatives into positives, then you’re pretty much set to conquer life.