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The Five Levels of Truth-telling

Discover the Joy in Truth!

The spring flowers are justifiably world famous in South Africa's Western Cape. Seeing the desert bloom in the hot and arid landscape is a sight for sore eyes, a treat I like to enjoy whenever feasible.

Several years ago, Judy and I had agreed to drive up the coast to appreciate nature's remarkable abundance. The weather was lovely that weekend - as were the flowers. We'd timed the trip to perfection and I was looking forward to enjoying the beauty of the Western Cape spring.

Yet when Saturday came, she'd made other plans! If she'd told me as soon as she knew she wasn't available, I could have gone with someone else. But I liked Judy, and thought she liked me, so I'd allowed myself to be vulnerable.

How did I feel? Definitely no
joy! Let down and disappointed. The self sabotage mechanism had deceived us both. She by not letting me know immediately, and I by allowing my happiness to depend on what happened, by being attached to the outcome.

Will what You Say Improve Things?

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When choosing what to do, or looking at someone else's behavior, the secret of success is to contemplate:

If everyone did this, would things improve? Or would they get worse?

Would everyone benefit? Would the world be a better place if you told the truth? Do you see that "To make a change in my life, I need to change my life." Does "The truth shall set you free" imply tell the truth at all times and is it factually correct? What does tell the truth even mean?

Is the truth objective? When you look at facts, yes. Yet what you see as truth - your truth - depends on your
context, which means it's highly subjective. So let's leave that quandary aside and focus on whether you telling the truth is detrimental or beneficial for you - as well as the rest of the world.

Things improve provided everything you say is constructive, of course. Yet if it would betray a confidence, or hurt someone's feelings, why choose to blurt out the truth? You have two ears and only one mouth, so use in that proportion. Tell the truth whenever you open your mouth, but remember that silence is golden.

Experience the Joy of Truth

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To tell the truth is to stop deceiving, yet who do you deceive most often? Yourself! Your self sabotage mechanism will tell you: The end justifies the means; it'll insist: You deserve it; it'll say: Just believe, there's no need to investigate whether there's any truth behind this belief or not.

Yet beliefs have no power until you give them some energy. Even though a
belief may be someone else's truth, you need to see whether or not it is true for you. Until you investigate it for yourself, it can't change your life because you only know about it.

Wisdom is personal, it can't be given or learned, and that which is given is never wisdom. You're just reading about truth and
wisdom here, but to experience all its inner power and joy, you need to overcome your self sabotage.

When you don't tell the truth, you deceive. Does your
self sabotage mechanism - one of the Cherokee Indians' wolves - affect your life? Let's get some clarity on this important issue, and explore the five levels of truth-telling, a good way to start experiencing the joy in truth.
> #1 - Tell the Truth to Yourself about Yourself
Broken Gate needs fixing
'I'll fix the broken gate this weekend,' I said to my partner once - and that time I even meant it. Then what came up? Distractions. Saturday morning shopping, a game in the afternoon and Saturday was gone. 'Oh well, I'll do it tomorrow,' I told myself.

Sunday morning we got up late and some friends called for brunch. After lunch, a walk on the mountain seemed far more attractive, it was a gorgeous day. When the walk was over I wasn't in the mood, and anyway it was far too late. Despite my good intentions, on Sunday evening the gate was still not fixed.

Not only was my long-suffering partner disappointed, I was too. I had let us both down and felt embarrassed - I had diminished myself!

How do you feel when you don't tell the truth and deceive someone? When the muscle of your will is not exercised, it becomes flabby. And with no power, how can your words help you create a more desirable future?

So be very careful what you tell yourself. Each time you break your word, you self sabotage. Keeping your word will bring you joy and change your life. If you're unsure of how to increase your inner power here, then you're in the right place...
> #2 - Tell the Truth to Yourself about Another
Sondra used to say "My husband really loves me" even though Peter came home late most nights. Yet this wasn't because he didn't love her, but because he just didn't know how to relate to the kids - or to her.

Now the truth can hurt, so Sondra didn't want to find out the truth. Subconsciously, she perhaps thought it would be too painful. Yet would she have benefited by facing the truth? The decisions she was making would affect the whole family.

Which would give a better future for all concerned? To come to a mistaken conclusion in her ignorance or, no matter how painful it would feel, for her to know the truth? Telling the truth can be hard initially, but only by learning and practicing will you discover the joy that knowing the truth brings!
> #3 - Tell the Truth to Another about Yourself
Bar named The Office
In Toronto Canada, where I lived for many years, there was a well-known bar. Its name was The Office, so people could deceive their spouses while ostensibly telling the truth. Yet saying "I'm at The Office" when in a bar is still deception, even though the words may be accurate.

One time I insisted to my ex-wife, Luiza, that things were "fine." Yet things were not fine, we'd had a row and although she wanted to make up, I was still upset. So I denied my real feelings, and closed off communication with the one person I really loved.

Did this help? Absolutely not. Now I can't even remember what the argument was about. But we are no longer
together, although I am pleased to say we are still friends.

Being willing to tell another how you feel may be scary, but there's joy in truth. I'm pleased to find that the more I open up to others, the more I change my life and others open up to me. I'm finding that having learned to overcome my self sabotage and acknowledge my feelings helps me communicate better.
> #4 - Tell the Truth to Another about Him/Herself
One time I invited James to play Cash Flow 101, Robert Kiyosaki's financial intelligence game. James was a scatterbrain who took shortcuts, not the fast, effective decision-maker he thought himself. His game card did not audit several times, which meant pausing the game to find the problem so we could continue.

Telling him the truth - that more haste gives less speed - was difficult. Fortunately he accepted the truth gracefully, and was willing to grow from the experience. Is it easy to stop the self sabotage? No. Yet apart from all the other benefits, knowing the truth improves your outlook by giving you joy.
> #5 - Tell the Truth to Everyone about Everything
Telling the truth to everyone about everything has many advantages:

  • It's a lot easier - enormously easier - to recall what you said when you only tell the truth. Your integrity means you only have one version to remember!
  • If people check up on what you said, they will always find that you told the truth. You enjoy your reputation as honest and reliable.
Integrity highlighted in Green
  • There's power in truth, so telling the truth increases your inner power. You'll also feel better.
  • When you always tell the truth, your reputation for integrity will change your life.
  • One untruth leads to another. Each untruth requires a thousand others to back it up down the road. And eventually you become so lost in a web of lies that you forget what is true and what is not.

    Could this be one reason why some people have such bad memories? They have told so many untruths to so many people that they can't remember what actually happened!
As Abraham Lincoln, 16th president of the USA, discerningly recognized:

You can fool all the people some of the time,
and some of the people all the time,
but you cannot fool all the people all the time.

When you've discovered how to tell the truth then you know the joy in integrity and this issue just doesn't exist. These five levels of truth-telling come from the initial works of Neale Donald Walsch.

Discover the Joy in Truth

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Without telling the truth, you're deceiving. You're either deceiving someone else - or yourself! But in the long-term, how can deceiving help? Whether it's deception about the future, deception about the past, or deception about where you are now - it's still deception. So learn to overcome your self sabotage. Let the truth work its magic and set you free, then you'll discover the immense joy in truth.

We all laugh at:

Honesty and sincerity are really important in life today.
If you can fake these, you've got it made!

Yet many a true word is spoken in jest. With integrity, you feel better about yourself. The world is a better place once you've learned how to tell the truth at all times. Discover how right now.

Food for Thought

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"As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world ... as in being able to remake ourselves.

Mahatma Gandhi, statesman who led India to independence through non-violence and inspired freedom across the world. (1869 – 1948)

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