There is a lot of talk in personal and spiritual development circles around the idea of "speaking your Truth". Or unblocking your throat chakra, depending on who you're talking to. It's a BIG IDEA – the Truth. A daunting topic maybe, but an important one. Often times we think we are speaking our truth, when we are really up to something else... when we are trapped in a pattern that is acting itself out through our expression. It's hard to know what is the truly true, Soul Truth, and what is the false, ego truth. Seeing the difference is liberating. Ultimately, this deeper Truth is what paves the way to our authentic, purpose-aligned work and love and life.
Universal Truth and Personal Truth
First I want to make it clear that I am not talking about absolute, universal truth here (AUT).
Note on AUT: Paradoxically, we can only estimate, approximate, and triangulate AUT as individuals because we only have direct access to our own singular, subjective point of view. Intellectually, we can only guess at AUT based on seeing how over the course of human history, a lot of different people living in different times and different places, have observed similar phenomena… or at least what seems similar based on our language. Energetically, of course, it's a completely different story, but that is not our focus here (and this is impossible to share about in the form of words anyway!)
Okay. If we are not talking about absolute, universal truth (AUT), then what are we on about? Here I am talking about dynamic, personal truth (DPT).
What is dynamic personal truth? This is your truth. This is my truth. This is the individual truth that belongs to I/you/me – it is not the collective truth of they/them/we. And these truths are not created equal. In fact, they are almost never the same truth, even coming from two body-minds inhabiting the same coordinates on the time-space continuum.
As the name implies, this kind of truth (DPT) is dynamic – it is always shifting and always changing, every moment. And as the name implies, this kind of truth (DPT) is personal – it is wholly unique to each individual perceiver or receiver.
Ego Truth and Soul Truth
Now I want to come back to this distinction between two varieties of dynamic, personal truth (DPT) – the ego truth and the Soul Truth. And there's a lot to learn in becoming aware of our ourselves moving back and forth between the two.
Our Soul Truth is the kind of Truth that Jesus was probably talking about when he said “The Truth will set you Free.” Soul Truth is the true Truth and it liberates and enlivens us. Our ego truth is basically a delusion that is cleverly disguised as this Soul Truth. But in reality, the ego variety of truth is limiting and restricting us. It entraps and deadens us, preventing us from living an authentically empowered life. In this way, ego truth is a false truth.
Our Soul Truth aligns us with higher purpose. And it brings us higher states of Love, Freedom, Peace and all those other wonderful things we want to experience more of. Soul Truth acts like a magnet, attracting all those divine, delicious, beautiful things that are meant for us. It acts as repellent for the things that are not serving to our path.
So why on Earth would we ever hold back our Soul Truth? Why would we replace the Soul Truth with the cheap knockoff store bargain basement version – our ego’s so-called “truth”?
Ego's reasons for resisting the Soul Truth
Let me share nine reasons we might be blocked from our Soul Truth. Why nine? There are probably hundreds, but to cover a broad spectrum of reasons, I will list nine typical fears – and each of these core fears can be tied to one of the nine archetypes of the Enneagram. (We can talk more about the ancient+modern wisdom of the Enneagram later if you are curious.)
- Fear 1 – My Truth might expose my weakness or vulnerability
- Fear 2 – My Truth might create a conflict or disturb the peace.
- Fear 3 – My Truth might be regarded as bad or morally defective.
- Fear 4 – My Truth might make me seem unlovable or unworthy.
- Fear 5 – My Truth might show some failure or incompetence.
- Fear 6 – My Truth might reveal brokenness that will be rejected.
- Fear 7 – My Truth might turn out to be wrong or misinformed.
- Fear 8 – My Truth might not earn support and approval of others.
- Fear 9 – My Truth might commit me to some kind of restriction.
Every single one of these core fears has to do with a dynamic that we experience in relationship to others – whether it is friends, family members, authority figures, or romantic partners. We have a lot of great reasons for not speaking (or in many cases not even fully recognizing) our Soul Truth. In some way shape or form, we are afraid of some specific reaction that our Truth might elicit from someone outside of ourselves.
I want the soul truth, and nothing but the soul truth
So how the heck can we get wise to our own ego tricks, overcome fear programming, and tap into our liberating Soul Truth? And why does it even matter?
It matters because when we are withholding our Truth, we are blocking energy, stifling authentic movement, and robbing life of its creative force. When we connect with and share our authentic Soul Truth, however uncomfortable that may be sometimes, it allows us to step into the flow of life instead of exhausting ourselves swimming against the current.
If we want to tap into that flow, it helps to have some ideas about the differences between Soul Truth and ego truth, so that in a shining moment of presence, we might be able to recognize which one we are dealing with and then consciously make a change.
Soul Truth does not have a plan or agenda
If in speaking your truth, there is some result you are striving for, then forget about it, you are dealing with ego truth. Soul Truth is a total surrendering of control. Soul Truth is not concerned with an outcome; its only concern is Truth. This is the kind of Truth that recognizes there is no way to control the outcome and relaxes into trust that there is a plan way, wayyy bigger than your tiny human brain could ever imagine. Soul Truth is irreverent to the normal mechanics of cause and effect. You could even say that it has a blatant disregard for what will happen next after it is released. The expression of Soul Truth pours forth like a waterfall cresting a cliff because it sees no other option than to do what it does... to express itself as life itself.
Soul Truth is self-centered, not self-conscious
Here I do not mean self-centered in the narcissistic, self-important, diva/guru/goddess sense, as it is commonly used. When I say self-centered, I mean it in a literal sense, meaning that the Soul Truth is centered on you, your self, your experience – it is centered on the one/self that is seeing and speaking. Soul Truth does not make assertions about things existing or occurring outside the self. It is not talking truth (ahem, projecting stuff) about others. It’s not focused on bystanders. It is an outer expression of an inner discovery in one/self. And at the same time, Soul Truth is not self-conscious. It doesn’t care at all what people think of it; it has no image to maintain; it’s not concerned about whether others agree with it or approve of it.
Soul Truth exists in presence and impermanence
Any expression of Soul Truth is moment specific, and it is moving and morphing from moment to precious moment. It is something that is true only for you, and only for right now. This kind of Truth is a living, breathing, ever changing thing. You cannot pin it down because the moment it is expressed, there is the possibility – the probability – that Soul Truth will change. In fact, the expression of this kind of Truth actually helps invite movement. You might express one version of your Truth today, and then when you wake up tomorrow it can be something completely different, or even contrary, to the Truth that you expressed just now. Be wary if the truth you are speaking is trying to label, categorize, define or identify someone or something in a permanent, fixed way; then it's probably an ego truth.
Soul Truth serves love, expansion and growth
This last one is harder to see into when you are in the trenches of daily human existence. But I still think it's worth mentioning. Soul Truth, if it exists for any purpose that you can discern, it is to serve some higher good – love or expansion or growth. If the truth you are expressing is oriented towards lecturing or explaining or gaining something, then it may not be the Soul Truth, and nothing but the Soul Truth. If you are trying to teach someone a lesson or trying to appear to be a certain way, it's more likely to be the ego's clever imitation of Soul Truth.
At the beginning of this year, I said 2017 would be a year of Abundance. And it has certainly been an abundant year. But looking back across all of the major lessons and movements in my life over the past 11 months, the big theme for me this year has really been around accessing, recognizing, and sharing my dynamic, personal, Soul Truth... going deeper and deeper into that. Everything from learning to focus my energy on what is truly meaningful to owning an experience that could be perceived as failure to connecting with my anger as a way to inform boundaries to speaking simply from the heart without an agenda even (and especially) when it feels hard to be that vulnerable. It is an ongoing challenge to allow this Truth to shape shift from moment to moment, to shape me, and to shift the trajectory of my path as it emerges. At least, that is how I see things in this moment. It could change tomorrow. :-)