Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Healing Power of the Truth

There is healing power in facing the truth and in telling the truth. Many of us hide our true thoughts, our true feelings or even our true self. We learn as children to pretend we’re happy when we we’re not. We avoid certain subjects in order to keep peace in the family and not upset Mom, Dad or Grandma. Over time we develop a false self. We bury painful feelings and smile on the outside.

As adults we continue this charade. We ignore our own needs to keep peace in our marriage. We avoid having opinions because we don’t want anyone to be upset if we have a different opinion. Pretending takes enormous energy. And we pay a price for it. We may overeat, drink too much or work too much to avoid facing the truth. We may develop physical symptoms in response to the disconnection from our core self. Our relationships also suffer.

Being open, real, transparent is not easy. For most of us it takes work and it feels risky. I heard a missionary from Indonesia this week, Paul Richardson, who modeled openness. I highly recommend his book, A Certain Risk. He spoke of the difficulty of living a secret life. Even though it’s dangerous to live in Indonesia as a Christian, he has always been open about his faith and his reason for being there. He believes keeping secrets affects our souls, and I agree. When we do this we live a divided life. Being open and truthful may seem risky. I believe it’s worth taking “a certain risk” in order to live with inner freedom.

How can we break out of a pattern of hiding, of wearing masks? Pray about it and ask God to guide you. Admit the truth to yourself. Journal the truth or share the truth with a trusted friend, pastor or counselor. Come out of hiding and the truth will set you free.

“You will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32

Blessings, Dottie

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