Learning How To Live Your Truth
“The paradox of education is precisely this--that as one begins to become conscious, one begins to examine the society in which (s)he is being educated.” – James Baldwin
Everyone's journey on Earth is different; there is no singular way--amidst the options of multiple viable paths--to arrive at our desired destination. However, as simple as this appears to be, it is a self-learned concept.
We cannot teach one another the integral difference between what one wants and what one needs when it comes to choosing one’s path, most often because we cannot recognize it for ourselves within our own respective lives.
So, the first step to reaching this level of understanding is by reflecting upon how we’ve arrived at the point we are currently at. Often this place does not fully resemble what we’ve imagined for ourselves, so why is that? What are we doing or what is happening that is preventing us from having everything we want, feeling happy and fulfilled, and being in love with every morsel of the world that surrounds us?
It is our perspective: the lens through which we filter what we see in and think of the world. We define ourselves in relation to “the world” by what we want to see happen in “the world” against what is actually happening, often misunderstanding this complex system that we so simply condense into the one image that represents “the world.”
The universe is notorious for rearranging the world upon our behalf, orchestrating everyday happenings, both micro and macro, without our consent, often not giving us what we want; but, rather, giving us what we didn’t know we need. For instance, when I hurt my knee, what I wanted--not to experience a setback--was different than the actual circumstance of my injury, which I will attribute with what I needed. Experiences such as mine are often regarded as traumatic when not considered as a part of the whole or an opportunity for us to learn something deeper about ourselves. However, these seemingly involuntarily events lead us to a place in time and space where we will receive our first idea that combines both what we want and what we need into a singular entity.
There is no anticipation or foresight for such an idea nor are there any limits as to how many times we will receive an idea like this. I utilize the word “idea” to represent this spontaneous notion because of its sudden appearance into our conscious state of thinking. However, as much as it feels like a mental product, it is guided by something beyond our intellects.
Our intellects can convince us of or justify anything, whether it be an external circumstance--such as why my boyfriend broke up with me--or an internal thought--such as convincing myself that I hit a pedestrian during those two forgotten seconds when I spaced out while driving. Thus, our minds feel irrational more often than rational, uncontrollable and unequipped to process spontaneous thoughts; so, then, why is it that we have been taught to use logical deduction as a more acceptable way of making sense of the world? If our thoughts don’t make sense, then the way we’ve been taught to think also does not make sense, meaning that, therefore, the world in its entirety does not make sense; so, how could anything be rational? Thus, I only employ “idea” because it symbolizes a concept that we have all been taught to regard as the same.
So, how do we discern our idea from the traffic of our everyday minds?
By the frequency of its manifestation in the outer world.
Our idea is reflected at us in unexpected ways, whether a stranger randomly brings it up in conversation at a café or a picture of it pops up on Instagram. This revelation that the universe is aware of our idea leads us to ruminate upon it with a paradoxical concoction of consideration and doubt. But, our idea is claustrophobic when trapped within our minds, eager to strike from the taunts of its reflection in the outer world, and we are inspired to vocalize this notion by either telling someone or writing it in a journal to ourselves.
This conscious admission of all that lives inside of us to the external world is the point where the road splits: either we trust our idea and follow wherever it guides us along this unknown path or we suppress it and stay along our current trajectory. However, choosing whether to pursue this new path or not takes time. Why should we trust this path without any evidence for its validity beyond arbitrary coincidences (rational mind)? Although contradictory, suppressing our idea is actually a part of the process of learning our truth. But, at this point, we do not yet know our truth. We actually have no idea what is happening, so we suppress the idea, which, counterintuitively, acts as a catalyst for the realization of said idea.
Deep seeded beliefs that prevent us from bringing this idea into the world rise to the surface. We are asked to revise these pieces of ourselves to determine where they originate from and whether they still resonate with us or not. Dissonance is created by the tension between all that we thought we know possibly no longer being relevant, producing resistance as a common side effect. Although this step is dissociative, it is showing us which beliefs were presented to us as value judgements within a dichotomy; such as, fire and brimstone versus heaven, or gluten as the malignant part of bread. We inherently refrain from the perceived negative aspect of any belief one has told us to be true, regardless of whether we’ve experienced that belief firsthand or not. I don’t know anyone who has been to heaven or hell; yet, I was taught that these places are real destinations, one of which I would ultimately end up in based upon my behavior and choices. Simultaneously, in Europe, there is no such thing as a gluten intolerance; some Europeans will never even know that gluten sensitivity exists unless they come here and eat our GMO-processed bread. Thus, in order to understand the world and how it interacts with our truth, we have to be able to look at the world and think for ourselves.
But, how do we go about that?
We must question everything with an open mind.
And, to accomplish that, we must first practice on ourselves, seeking greater knowledge regarding who we are: our likes, our dislikes, our proclivities, our habits, our interests, our sensitivities, our lingering desires, our strengths, and the attributes we want to improve.
By exploring these facets of our being, we are looking at the world another way--with honest scrutiny--creating our own belief system based upon the lessons we have gained and the people we have met. We measure the beliefs we have been told as truths against what we have experienced for ourselves, only integrating the pieces that best align with who we are.
All it takes is an idea to realize that we need to get in deeper touch with ourselves to understand why we get what we need as opposed to rarely getting what we think we want. Most often it takes drastic life experiences to shock our systems into gear, transmuting our deepest desires into undeniable callings, alerting our hearts that we can no longer survive as slaves to our minds, the institutionalized way we were taught to think.
Our idea feels like a deep desire, and uses that irresistible sensation as a platform upon which it lures us into the greater process of development and being, ultimately teaching us how to trust the universe as opposed to resisting it. The universe wants to see that we are cultivating our truth; learning to let go of how we think life is supposed to be and, rather, humbly approaching our lives as explorers of both our inner and outer worlds. Not only is this change gradual, it is gradual because of the pain we will endure along the way.
It takes time to confront all the obstacles presented to us by our fear--frustration, anger, doubt, anxiety, denial, and depression--because these responses have been hardwired into our programming, an involuntary conditioning done via observation of others in the world we inhabit.
We are being asked to change the way we think and act away from the conventional ideologies of the world that surrounds us.
And this is precisely why we must do it.
To change the world.
The process to universal peace begins with us.
Our idea can feel unrelated, unattainable, or unrealistic because it is calling upon us to change our individual compositions internally; our attitudes, our perspectives, how we consume, what we read, and how we treat ourselves. However, this evolution of self is the path that leads us to the understanding that the universe is not against us; rather, the universe has put us in every situation we’ve ever been in to teach us how to find and live our truth. The only reason it feels burdensome is because the prospect of changing ourselves is not fully understood.
It is much easier to start a non-profit, work a 9-5, or become a nurse because it is a concrete process of studying, applying oneself, and organizing tangible facts into a coherent structure. Knowing who one is--outside of what one does--is not conventionally advocated. Yet, here we are, being called to rise above the physical level of what careers we choose, partner we marry, and where we live. We are finally being asked to do what we really want with our lives: to realize our ideas, to be who we really are rather than who people say we should be, to find both love and abundance.
So, why aren’t more people taking advantage of what the universe (and I) promises?
Because it’s the fucking hardest thing we will ever do.
 For the purposes of this conversation, let’s refer to “the universe” as the intelligent power that dictates the happenings of every layer of “the world,” both seen and unseen, and “the world” as however one interprets the environment they inhabit.
 One’s truth is the most authentic version of one’s self. This self-knowing is informed by listening to one’s idea. So, living one’s truth is a dynamic combination of listening to one’s self, acknowledging and engaging with one’s idea, and trusting the process as it unfolds.