I wish I had understood the simple principle of the relativity of “truth,” many years ago.
I wish I had accepted its elusiveness a long time ago, when it would have mattered, but I didn’t, and lived most of my life believing in absolute truth.
I hope somewhere, in the world, these thoughts might help someone at the beginning of their journey, reflect on this most intricate topic of the relativity of truth.
My first memory is that of a three-year old girl, held upside down and fighting several adults dressed in white! In my memory, the frail child, of which I am totally detached, managed to free herself from their grasp. They were trying to hurt her, insert a huge needle in her neck, kill her!
The next memory, is that of the same girl looking out a hospital room window, waiting for the train which ran by every day at Noon, precisely. The little girl’s life revolved around the train and its conductor. He always smiled and waived at her. That image of a stranger who cared, carried the little girl through many hard times.
Over the year, she fantasized about the train’s conductor… was he always waiving to sick kids staring out the hospital window, or was she special? May be he only smiled and waived at her. What was the truth and did it really matter if his kindness only sustained the hope of one girl or many others?
As I grew older, and became one with the little girl in my memory, a different “truth” emerged, that of my family who told me in great detail how, when I was little I contracted typhoid fever and I was hospitalized for months. My parents told me I was so little and frail, they thought they would loose me, but a team of great doctors and nurses saved my life. When I told my mother that my memory was that of a group of adults dressed in white holding me upside down, trying to stab my next, she smiled! She explained to me, the truth, their truth: These were the doctors and nurses, holding me upside down, trying to draw blood from a vein in my neck because they couldn’t take it from my arm! They were my saviors, not my enemies, who over the years showed up in my nightmares!
My being alive was a testament that their “truth” was the “truth.” Mine, was a child’s perception, which doesn’t make it wrong, or less important. It just makes it different.
Since, I questioned my next memory, that of the friendly train conductor… Did he exist? Was there a train passing by at Noon? Was this a dream my imagination made up to keep me hoping? Since it saved my life, did it really matter? A defense mechanism which worked or reality? Who cares?
As I look back and reflect on life and the many events I remember, I question each and wonder, which was true, which were wrong perceptions which mattered to the course of my life? Are they all perceptions that matter? Is there an absolute truth?
As you walk on the road of life on your unique journey, when you come at an intersection, ask yourself: Would it make a difference if I turn right, left or continue straight ahead?
What is YOUR TRUTH?
Please feel free to share your unique journey and truth.
M.S. Counseling and Clinical Psychology
Life’s Cross-Roads Coaching