“Tell Your Truth! It Will Set You Free!” The monster bellows to the young boy paralyzed and wracked with pain, guilt, and fear about his dying mother. When he does come face-to-face with the truth of his grief, he instinctively realizes what he needs to do. (The movie, A Monster Calls.)
Truth is an odd dichotomy. It brings out the best and the worst in us. It angers and frees us. It hurts and it heals. It forces accountability and brings forth change. It is as difficult to tell the truth as it is to receive it. Truth brings us face-to-face with the heart of the matter. Ultimately, it provokes change and moves us into action.
Experienced truth tellers discern how best to deliver the truth. They weigh who is asking, consider why, and determine the merit of the truth. Impressive truth tellers have the ability to listen and deliver the truth with caution, care, and respect. Author Matthew Kelly writes, “Truth in every situation is difficult. It requires both the heart of a saint and the diplomacy of an experienced ambassador.”
The women in my family are truth tellers. My mom and her sisters saved their problems, hurts, fears, and dreams for their coveted two weeks they were together each summer. As kids it was our vacation, but for our moms it was their lifeline. We couldn’t understand how they could talk for endless hours. Looking back, they were truth telling to help them solve their problems and fortify each other with truth fueled by love, hope, and courage.
When I am finally ready to stop lying to myself by bending, massaging, resisting, and ignoring the truth, I call my trusted truth tellers. The first choice is the mother of all truth tellers, my mom. She knows how to deliver the truth and whether to use a feather or a hammer in her delivery. It is always exactly what I need but it’s never easy to hear. I listen, cry, and get angry. When it is all over, I feel new, refreshed, and most grateful for her care and wisdom. My sisters and a few select friends are also reliable truth tellers. I look to them for the kind of truths only sisters and friends understand.
Who are the truth tellers in your life? From experience, I suggest prudence in your search for truth counsel, but by all means seek your truth for it will set you free.