Clarifying the word truth is very difficult in this day and age. We often wish there was a magical formula to make this elusive element surface. While there is certainly a strategy to help us obtain this lofty goal, it always requires patience, hard work and dedication. This is true of any goal worth achieving.

The meaning of truth is determined by a wide range of factors. Foremost is the level of the individual’s conscious awareness. Limited perception equals limited truth. This being true, as we allow truth to permeate our consciousness our perception will broaden, bringing greater truth to the surface. So, is truth a process or a destination? Maybe it is both.

There are certain facets to the concept of truth all people would agree upon. For example: seasons change; we are born and we die, at least in the physical sense; the sun warms the earth; love is the most desired aspiration; and, yes, truth is golden. Beyond a handful of definable truths, the rest are personal and most often tailored to our own perceptions. As the monastic priests, monks and nuns tell us, they work tirelessly toward total awareness.

In other words, they are striving to find the ultimate truth. Discovering our own truth sets us free. The work I have immersed myself in from a young age has afforded me the opportunity to lend guidance to people at pivotal crossroads, as they strive to achieve whole and fulfilling lives. Sadly, this ambition is often triggered by the fear of death via disease. On a brighter note, I have recently witnessed a growing human awareness. People are choosing to aspire to truth when faced with a spiritual crossroads in their lives. This occurs as an individual realizes their life lacks passion and fulfillment. This void could potentially lead to death as well, by way of spiritual emptiness. Suffice it to say, regardless of the motivating factor in our lives, the path that leads us to truth will ultimately lead to greater fulfillment.

There is an inherent lack of self-trust today, which makes attaining truth an ongoing struggle. Our society and institutions encourage us to take shortcuts, settle for half-truths and often manipulate the truth. Looking back, it is difficult to remember moments of purity, when we expressed ourselves fully and completely. This occurred far more often when we were young children. As we grew, and were influenced by dysfunctional families, friends, education, and misguided spirituality, we began to conform to the philosophy of the half-hearted life. This mode of survival sells us short. Although these distorted convictions bury the real truth, it is still there, waiting to be unearthed.

Truth is a necessary ingredient in creating a concrete persona. Therefore, we must take small yet effective steps in regaining trust in ourselves. Each and every time we completely commit ourselves to honesty and act in a commensurate way, we must acknowledge this choice so that self-trust replaces self-doubt. This is the first step in living truthfully. Once you believe in yourself at a significant level, you will begin to seek truth and live passionately. It is only with this fuel for fulfillment that you will take the needed steps toward a virtuous life. After passion fills cup after cup, we can whole-heartedly express ourselves truthfully in all aspects of life.

At this juncture on our path, it feels as if we are escaping the confines of a stuffy oxygen deprived room, walking onto a breezy beach. Our lungs will be able to inhale so deeply that upon exhalation, we will enjoy a sigh of relief. Our persona is now one of truth. We represent the genuine status of what humanity means at its best. Our ego tends to disappear, giving way to grace in any environment or situation.

As we gain the physiological, psychological and spiritual gifts that living a life of integrity brings, we will now attract the ultimate reward—happiness. It is by living a happy life that we express ourselves with the most energy, kindness, compassion and love possible. Seldom do we find people who have had the courage to live at this pinnacle knowing they are equal, not superior. They do not judge since it does not afford happiness, and most importantly they have trained their minds through the rise of self-respect to see all people and all life as an opportunity to share more love.

There are no exceptional people. There are just people living their truth, and then the rest of us. Our sole purpose on earth is to fill our honest heart and not fall prey to the egocentric idea that we can truly influence others. We must realize that we, as all others, are solo acts—like the many grains of sand on the beach residing on the same shores of the same planet. Although we can only change ourselves, focusing on our own reality and improving it day by day, we can become examples for others to model. Let us never attempt to coerce or insist that others follow in our same path, but securely know that truth will open their eyes, allowing them to fulfill their own destiny. In a world of convoluted co-dependency with the gigantic reign of institutional manipulation, it is difficult to achieve enough independence and inner strength to be a strong force for honesty.

Historically, we have seen example after example of what happens when someone single-handedly sheds light on truth. Their illuminations often reveal things people don’t want to look at, and these pioneers are initially attacked rather than supported. Rest assured, these brave, aware and capable people are living in a place of truth, following their own paths to ultimate fulfillment.

This is not a fairy tale story, but a formula for an honest and happy life. There is no one who cannot achieve this solid goal if they are willing to take the formulated steps required: first, we must regain trust in ourselves; second, we must find and live passion; third, we accept honor and increase the fulfillment that the first two steps offer; fourth, we search out, create, speak and live truthfully at all times. These steps lead to the happiness which is the true purpose for life itself. T+P+F=TRUTH and TRUTH=HAPPINESS. Congratulations for wanting to come back home and be authentic.

Article by Brian Clement PhD, LN

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