Category Archives: truth

The Power in Truth

True power needs only truth to survive.

We are in tumultuous times. It’s all around us – not just in politics, but in corporate greed, human displacement, and, of course, war. The chaos that is being created is what fuels more chaos. And, sadly, chaos is what those who crave and are desperate to have power need in order to achieve their goals. The energy of desperation creates the opportunity for exploitation, and exploitation leads to (false) power.

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But true power is different. True power is founded and grounded in truth. We all know it. We know when we’ve heard truth, don’t we? And when we speak it. When we speak truth we are standing in our boots, in our power. Of course, discernment is important. We ought to gauge our audience and assess whether or not they are 1) ready and able to hear truth, and 2) have earned the right to hear truth. I actually had this happen to me last week.

Someone close to me had asked me about my truth. I discerned whether it was time for them to hear my story, and it was. So I shared it. There was no embellishment or flourish, there was simply story as I experienced it. And it was – and is – my truth. They heard it. They heard truth, and it shifted things. There was a deeper connection and understanding I believe that resulted from speaking truth. And even if there wasn’t, what matters is that each time I speak truth, I am empowering myself to stand even more firmly in who I am as I move through life. As you know, I call it standing in your boots, and I teach all my clients this.

There is infinite potential in the integrity of truth. The powers that be all over the world seem to have lost that little piece of wisdom along the way. Half-truths are manipulative and lack integrity. “Spinning,” which is such a popular phrase in the media, is the opposite of standing. You can’t spin in your truth. You can only stand in it. And what matters most, above everything else, is that we all find a way to stand in our boots on a daily basis. That we individually hold onto our own integrity, so that collectively, we can create change from within.

I suppose this is my way of saying that we seem to have lost our way as humanity, as a global tribe, and that maybe the way back is through integrity and recognizing that all “power” is fleeting, false, and temporary, unless it is born of truth. Finally, that perhaps speaking, acting, and upholding truth is the first step back to a more compassionate and connected society.

Bridging the Gap

Relationships can be tricky. Whether it’s a work relationship, a romantic relationship, a friendship, or family, they can all be fraught with ups and downs. At their best they are sustenance for our souls, bringing joy, love, and possibility into our daily existence. At their worst they can be wholly debilitating and create opportunities for pain, doubt, and fear. And yet, living without relationships is virtually impossible, unless you are a hermit or recluse.

So, how do we manage the ups and downs of the relationships in our lives with grace and ease, optimizing them for success and possibility?

By minding the gap.

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I admit I’m an Anglophile, so the mere fact that I can use this phrase in an InspireBytes™ blog makes me giddy, but it’s also very very true.

Why does the British rail system employ such a simple phrase for such a potentially devastating problem? In my opinion, it’s because it’s not about changing the gap, or changing the rail system, or changing the person waiting for the train – it’s about changing the awareness and interaction with the existing situation.

Mind the Gap.

This means that you are being asked to take note of the distance between the two items in relation to each other: the platform and the train. If you don’t raise your awareness to the gap, you could fall in and get seriously hurt (the worst of relationships), or you could successfully navigate the chasm and find yourself on your way to your destination (the best of relationships). It’s all up to you and your sense of awareness.

Now let’s apply this to our interpersonal relationships.

In every relationship there is always more than one truth. Each person has their own truth, and all are valid just like the platform and the train are both valid in their existence. Neither is “more right” or “more wrong” than the other. Both are valid. It’s the distance between them, or the gap, that creates the divide.

Therefore, the key to addressing conflict in relationships is to identify the distance between the truths, and focus on how best to bridge the gap.

Gaps in relationships, between two or more truths, are bridged by taking deliberate steps involving honest and open communication in a mutually respectful environment. Gaps are not bridged by trying to change the nature (thoughts, beliefs, actions) of the other party.

Action is necessary, but it all starts with recognizing there is a gap… and minding it.

 

Absolute and Resolute

There is no absolute. (Did you know?) However, as I have traveled around inner healing circles and taken dips in wisdom baths of knowledge, I have found many teachers/writers/etc (many!) who believe otherwise.

In fact, they are so convinced of their wisdom-derived statements and beliefs, they are themselves contradicting the essence of what they originally sought and were taught: to be open, to trust, and to allow.

It’s as if along their journey, one thing clicked (really well) and there they set up a shop, a home… and their grave. Stuck. It’s sad, really.

All that being said – I have read, stumbled upon, shared, learned, remembered, unlearned, and rediscovered “wisdom” so many times from so many different sources, the one thing I can say with absolute certainty is this:

There is no absolute…anything.

(Yes, the play on words was intended. ☺)

As many lives as there are on the planet, are as many paths as there are to the truth. As many people as you can see around you, are as many perspectives as you can have on a situation. There is truth, yes. And there is wisdom. How we arrive at that depends on our journey, which is different for everyone.

And the one failing of humankind that is hardest for me to witness is when I see someone stand resolutely in his or her beliefs by invalidating another’s experience.

To that point, if I could offer my two cents it would be this:

Be absolute in your beliefs, and then be resolute in your practice of constantly questioning them. Grow, explore, learn and unlearn. Or, as I said earlier: be open, trust, and allow for the possibility that there’s more. (And most certainly, do not call anyone else’s experience foolish.)

Just a thought for the day. Wishing you joy, love…and absolutely everything wonderful! 😉

Water is Life and other wisdom

Let Go… Live in the Now… Be the Change…

Those are beautiful and wise sentiments, aren’t they? I agree. There are so many truths in the wisdom and teaching that has been shared. All of these and many more are great suggestions for living a more peaceful balanced life. But… (you knew there would be a “but” from me, didn’t you?)… they can also be very shame-inducing and part of an endless cycle of fear, failure and lack.

Here’s why: Suggesting to someone how to BE, is virtually the same as telling them what they currently ARE is wrong. (Even without actually saying the words “You’re wrong.”)

“You’re wrong,” is an incredibly powerful statement. It negates and trivializes another person’s existence, experience and truth. Furthermore, these mantra-esque suggestions are statements of hindsight. They don’t express the actual work someone had to go through to arrive at this enlightened state and wisdom. (The Buddha didn’t just “let go” for example, it took a fair amount of searching, process and exploration for him to arrive at “letting go.”) And therein lies the problem I have with these distilled statements of truth.

Stating a simplified truth as fact disavows the process,
and the process is where enlightenment occurs.

So, my goal is to give some meat and substance to commonly-held truths or wisdom. My hope is that it will help you along your journey to know that you’re not alone and perhaps gain some insight into your own process, via someone else’s (aka: mine). Here’s a simple metaphor to get us started and explain my intention:

The example: You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.

In this instance, the wisdom statement made by a thought leader might be: “Water is Life.” The sages, gurus, and teachers who have arrived at that statement could more accurately say, “Water saved my life,” but it’s less auspicious. Most importantly, though, how they got to this simple truth might sound like this:

“I was thirsty, tired, alone, scared, and I didn’t know what to do. As I sat at the side of the road, several people passed me who told me there was water up ahead. A few strangers gave me sips from their own supply. Sips! Sips do nothing when you’re dehydrated! What were they thinking? Why couldn’t they just give me their water?! But finally, I saw a footpath, and I started walking. At first I stumbled. A lot. Then it became easier. Then the path stopped and I had to find another one. And another one. All the while, I was still thirsty, but there was some shade along the way, and I took refuge in it, pausing here and there. That was nice. Finally, at a bend in the path, I saw a well. At the well, I sat down. How was I going to get the water? Maybe someone else would come along who had a bucket. So I sat, and sat, and waited. Waited for someone else to come help me relieve my thirst. Nobody came. Heck, I didn’t even know if the well had any water in it. So, I walked on. Still thirsty, I thought of turning back. Many times. Actually, sometimes I did. But I remembered what one stranger said – there’s water up ahead. Maybe he wasn’t referring to the well. So, I kept going. It wasn’t easy. In fact, a lot of the time it hurt and I was in pain. But I kept going. Hoping the stranger was right. Then it happened. I heard it before I saw it – the gentle babble of a clear stream. Water! Open water! Flowing water! My heart sang! I found water. I found water!!! An endless supply of water. I walked over to it, cupped my hands, and took my first sip… I would be thirsty no more. Ahh, life.”

Much (much) later, that entire story would have been boiled down to “Water is Life,” a simple, easy truth. However, in that simple, easy truth we’ve lost the humanity in the wisdom. The story TAUGHT the truth to the teacher. And, in my opinion, the story is much more powerful, accessible and pure.

Sadly, a simple phrase, such as “Water is Life” can be shaming for some, and simply inaccessible for others, no matter how true it is. Which is why I hope to breakdown some of these sayings into bite-size stories that help them come alive.

As such, you’re welcome to send me your suggestions or questions for addressing other “truths” you’ve heard along the way and might be struggling with, and I will do my best to shed some light on them. And may I suggest the next time someone tells you to “let go” because it’s the path to happiness and freedom – perhaps you could ask them exactly how they’ve managed to do it, because the wisdom behind the truth lies in the story.

 

“Right” or “Wrong” – What is real?

To answer that, we need to ask: what is reality? Everybody has a different perception of reality. Do you know that in a room full of people, all witnessing the same exact event, you can end up with as many different reports on what happened as there were people in the room? Is this solely a matter of perspective? I can’t believe that is all there is to it. In fact, I believe something different.

I believe that our individual realities are wholly influenced by the sum of our personal experiences. That is to say that – whether you believe in reincarnation, or not – the sum total of everything our individual soul has experienced influences our perceptions. Therefore, reality is subject to interpretation. As such, it stands to reason that a lot of our miscommunications with others are caused by this convergence of multiple realities.

With that said, what is actually real? In asking that question, we are also asking “what can we count on?” I think a lot of us ponder this question on a regular basis – though it may be expressed differently. We know we can rely on ourselves (though at times even that may seem distant). But can we truly depend on anyone, or anything, else? The world has seen a lot of upheaval lately: the economy, natural disasters, violence, crime. That which we had assumed as stable and reliable – or real – didn’t always turn out to be. So, if the one thing we can almost always rely on is our self, what else can we do to bring balance to our lives and help bridge the gap between our reality and the realities of others around us?

It’s a classic case of “he said, she said.” Unfortunately, the fact that I can use the word “classic” in that sentence implies that it’s an all-too-common experience. We get caught up in our own personal stories (realities) and we act accordingly. More to the point, we REACT accordingly, especially when our pride gets involved. We know we’re “right,” because it’s our reality. So, the other person can’t be “right.” Here’s the truth, though: nobody’s right, and nobody’s wrong. We all have our own realities, and at times, they come into conflict with somebody else’s.

The natural desire to have interpersonal relationships causes us to seek out people with similar experiences, thereby adding validation to our own reality. Where it gets complex is when we attempt to have others conform to us. Though they may have similar experiences, we would do well to remember that they still have their own perspective on what’s “real” to them.

When you boil it down and reduce it to it’s purest form, it’s about knowledge, tolerance and acceptance. Which are arrived at by choice. Yes, once more it’s about choice. We’ve all heard the popular phrases “positive mental outlook” or “attitude of gratitude” – but when you’re in the midst of heartache or financial turmoil, it seems more difficult to find the strength to “choose” to modify your attitude. Interestingly, though, it’s primarily during times of struggle that most people come to realize the importance of thinking differently. It’s in suffering that the greatest changes can occur. When we are stripped of all the trappings of our ego, we create an opportunity for faith, hope and possibility to plant seeds and grow roots in our minds.

A perfect example is when we argue with someone close to us. When we fight, we (our egos) typically just want to be heard and validated for our point of view, which we determine is “right.” However, if we have learned that there are multiple realities based on individual experience and interpretation (knowledge), and we allow for the possibility that there is no “right” or “wrong” (tolerance), we become more accepting of the truth and can focus our attention on what we truly need: which is not to be proven “right” or prove someone else “wrong,” but to be heard and acknowledged. We can harmoniously agree to disagree, and our relationships will be the better for it.

So, the next time you’re feeling “right” about something, and you don’t understand why the other person can’t seem to see how right you are, perhaps you should consider that their reality – their interpretation of events, based on their experiences – gives them an alternate view of the situation, and is just as valid as your own. In honoring their view, you also honor yours – simply by choosing a response based in knowledge, tolerance and acceptance.

Welcome to serenity.

In Love and Light,

Martina