Thursday, September 8, 2011

A Log on Fire

Another day, Another log on the proverbial fire. Or, to be literal (which I feel compelled to be, as of this writing), another log on my blog. Welcome, I hope you find my camp agreeable.

I want to explore about an epiphany I had while trudging through the snow on the way home from school. I have recently become fixed on setting the record straight. We all encounter this, I think, on occasion; whether it's a grade that was not recorded, whether you were given incorrect change, misquoted or (as was my case) misunderstood.

As I was thinking on this "injustice", and how I was wronged yet again when trying to right myself, it occurred to me does it really matter?

Of course I am inclined to say "yes, it matters!". I'm not one to make mountains out of molehills. Given the gravity of the matter, the consequence of this injustice which was weighing on my mind wasn't exactly something I could just shrug off. Yes, it mattered. That was the whole problem though; it ONLY mattered to me.

And what all was said? "Doesn't matter". Except that you should know that I feel it immensely important that I am not misunderstood. And that I was told that it "doesn't matter" if I am or have been misunderstood. And also, that my inclination to demand understanding is a symptom of my tendency to be controlling. Does it matter if this person is wrong?

Then it occurred to me. My need to be understood is not one that can be met by anyone. My truth is of no consequence to anyone else in the world.

Bear with me, I'm not about to get impractically philosophical, or forlorn. This is actually a very sober thought, and may be forlorn by many people's definition, but it is realizations like this that inspire self-improvement.

My need to be understood may very well be born of a disposition to be controlling. But it is delusional to seek to be understood entirely. True understanding never happens between two people, because we have an imperfect language system. Every emotion, every thought, is only understood in a general, ballpark sense.

This "ballpark understanding" may suffice in 99% of our interactions, because it's not of vital importance that we are able to convey EXACTLY what we sense or think. But there are those times that we need to be understood. And it's just tough luck, we are unable to convey it (completely) by any means.

The second part of that epiphany "My truth is of no consequence to any one else in the world.", requires that I define what I mean by Truth. This thought may be the real epiphany.

Truth is this abstraction that almost everyone takes (or mistakes) for a very definite (if intangible) reality. But there's a difference between Truth and Reality. Truth is everywhere, it is in everyone. We all have our truth, we all speak our truth and we would all like to think that we know the truth.

But "truth be told", truth is not reality—not necessarily anyway. I've known this for a long time now. Someone can tell the truth without telling an actuality.

Most think that the "Truth" is the be-all, end-all argument—something against which all else can be weighed and measured. but there are multiple truths, and no one is more correct than another. Truth is subjective and elusive, but we somehow believe it is a concrete reality.

Concrete "reality" on the other hand, isn't given due credit. Reality's plight is actually (suddenly a weighted word to use) the opposite of Truth's; it is very apparent, often tangible and harsh. Unforgiving. But reality is often questioned more than truth. Especially when the question of truth comes up.

I have a truth, and I want for someone to understand and acknowledge it.
Instead, I am told of a reality.
I reject this reality, certain that the truth is more important.
But suddenly I realize, reality is truer than truth.

Say my truth is that I am a kind, caring person. This truth can be shared by others too.
But what if my truth is challenged? Someone else's truth is that I am, indeed, NOT a kind, caring person. Now we must assume that this claim has a basis for whoever has made it. If this person says "you were unkind to me" can I really say they're wrong? Their truth is that I was inconsiderate, can I trump this with my declared truth: "I'm a kind, caring person"? No. The reality is that I have been unkind, and uncaring. And it is of no consequence to them or anyone else if I believe differently.

I'm always long-winded, repetitious and, no doubt, boring. So I'll stop here and leave you to ponder it yourself. Let someone show you what is real, because your sense of truth is little to go on.

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