Lately I’ve been struggling with what “truth” really means; a word we’re all so seemingly certain of, using it as the mantra of our lives, words, thoughts and deeds. We seek it, strive for it, find solace in it and spread it as gospel once it rings familiar in our souls. When seeded, such beliefs are inherently difficult to shift. And yet such adaptations are inherent to the human condition. Imagine the shock folks felt upon learning the earth was round, leeches weren’t great medicine, the thing that, moments ago fell out of a chicken’s ass, was indeed edible and that Milli Vanilli were frauds. Girl you know it’s true, that was a tough one.
Here’s the thing about truth. It morphs. We can only be in relationship to it from where we are at a certain point in time. As a child, my truths including being Wonder Woman and the world revolving around me and my magic lasso. As a teenager, that I was decidedly less important, that life was endless, love would be easy if it ever arrived and White Rain was the conduit to bangs defying gravity, as they damn well should. Now my truths include the somber knowledge that life is short, love is hard (but worth it), God is good, that I am worthy, children are tiny dictators bestowing the greatest of joys and skinny jeans should never, ever go out of style.
One definition of truth is “the quality or state of being true.” Notice, nowhere in there is fact. I quite like that. If water has three states it only makes sense the truth has more. Perhaps the possible iterations are infinite, even one for every person. What if we each could have our own Truth with a capital T without the need to convert others to it? I live mine. You live yours. They don’t necessarily need to be harmonious, just not harmful. In my experience it’s when I try and force my capital T down someone else’s throat, to ease my own comfort in a belief, that things get screwed in the truest sense.
To be clear, I do believe in collective truths. That we should love each other, honor each other, live by standards that make us each proud to be human in our own, imperfect ways. The roadmap is there for us if we’ll follow it, laying down the facts, turned weapons in our arsenals. I’m sure as shit not using White Rain anymore, so who am I to say what tomorrow’s truth will be. In the meantime I strive to treat today’s (both mine and yours) with deserving audacity and kindness, hoping I have it nearly right, and knowing only time will tell.