Truth-i-ness is an interesting word that was birthed in the political realm. It means that there is a kernel of truth, an intention of truth, or some movement in the direction of truth in what is being said but – it is not truth.
I have written in the past about authenticity; the thrust of our lives that is genuine and true. And I have written about how we lie to each other, often from the first words we say when we answer “How are you?” This is rarely answered truthfully. It is assumed that no one wants to hear our truth and we say the ritualized “Fine” or “Hanging in there” or other banalities that mean nothing but fulfill the requirements of the social dance.
The holidays are difficult for almost everyone. We know this, yet we keep up the façade of “fine-ness” because it is less revealing than telling the truth. Being honest can make a person feel vulnerable to the judgments of others!
This afternoon I looked at my mail and found a flyer for a local business that had suffered a suicide during this year. It had been a terrible shock. The business dealt with it by telling everyone what had happened as they closed the store for the funeral. I was so impressed with their commitment to truth. Then today, on their flyer, there was a remembrance of the store founder, and then also a remembrance of the person who had committed suicide. What honesty! What courage! I felt myself admiring them for their stance.
This holiday, as your mind and heart return to the people who are not with you any longer, take a moment to be with their memory, and notice what you are feeling. And when someone asks you “How are you?” try telling them the truth. Say something about how the good parts of this season and the hard parts of this season are with you today. Or say that this time of year is such a mixed bag. I am certain the person you are speaking with will relate and maybe think secretly “Oh, we are being honest today. Well, ok!” It’s worth a try!