Long, long ago there lived a righteous King named Saul, whose trusted advisor was a prophet named Samuel. Many of you may know the story of King Saul and Samuel, however, if you don’t – SPOILER ALERT.
After Samuel’s death, King Saul was left to think and act without the assistance of his trusted prophet. On the eve of a large battle, worried and afraid, King Saul sought out a woman who had the ability to speak to the souls of the dead. At the time, this was a thing that certain women could do, though it was generally considered a bad idea. So the medium called upon the soul of the Prophet Samuel and served as an intermediary between him and King Saul.
It was during this conversation that Samuel referred to ours as a world filled with lies, whereas Samuel resided in the world of truth. Samuel was not simply referring to the falsehoods that people tell, but rather to any act, word or thought that isn’t true to the very essence of your soul. There are many nuances in the definition of truth beyond just the statement of fact based on accurate details rather than imagined states of affair. To be true also encompasses the traits of loyalty, steadfastness, and honesty. To behave in truth is to act, speak and think in accordance with the true nature of who you are, with a deep level of authenticity, one steeped in kindness and love for others.
But we live in the world of lies where we do and say things that aren’t true, either factually or authentically, very often. We fudge the facts a little to get out of a fine at the DMV, take our kids out of school to go to a family wedding and tell their teachers there was a family emergency, or we tell most of the truth, but we lie in omission of facts that perhaps don’t look so good on paper. Those are standard examples we all understand to be lies, but what about the harder to spot ones — our lies of authenticity.
Have you ever hidden that your feelings were hurt? Have you ever twisted yourself into knots trying to fit into a role that wasn’t suited for you? Do you push people away so that they can’t hurt or disappoint you? None of these behaviors are in accordance with your best self. After giving birth, some women feel guilty and as if there is something intrinsically wrong with them for being anxious to go back to work, and so pretend to be really torn up about the prospect of leaving their child in the care of another. Anything that causes feelings of guilt or shame is a good indication of an area that needs the light of truth to shine on it. Lies of authenticity can be anything at all, and the same scenario that represents a lie of authenticity for one person can be in absolute accord with the honesty of another.
In Bronnie Ware’s book, The Top Five Regrets of the Dying, she shares that overwhelmingly, people facing their death share many of the same regrets. One of which is not having had the courage to live a life true to myself, rather than the life others expected of me. In so doing, I personally felt that having this courage has made me be on the receiving end of many others judgments. Of the five, this was the regret shared more than any other. I personally cannot recount the number of times I have conversed with a ‘stuck’ person and repeatedly heard the words ‘but I can’t,’ ‘it’s not possible,’ or ‘you don’t understand.’ And they’re absolutely correct on all counts. If you have decided to live a life wherein you are just the effect of your circumstances, then you’re right, you can’t. Because that’s what you’ve decided for yourself. And I will never understand this.
THOUGHT INTO ACTION
Take a good, long, hard look at yourself. Are there aspects of your life that you are wearing like an ill fitting garment? Are there aspects of your personality that you’ve developed as a defense mechanism? Are you straightforward with your feelings? Are you getting up everyday and doing what you love?