Finding Authenticity: The Three Pillars Of My Truth
Updated: May 24, 2021
1. Terminology and Philosophy
- that which is true or in accordance with fact or reality.
- a truth known by actual experience or observation; something known to be true.
- the state of things as they actually exist, as opposed to an idealistic or notional idea of them.
- the state or quality of having existence or substance.
So far, so good. A little more research then, philosophy might have an answer, right?! It exists for thousands of years and birthed all major sciences, surely philosophy must have thought about something very smart and intellectual to define truth.
Source: Internet Encyclopaedia of Philosophy
Philosophers are interested in a constellation of issues involving the concept of truth. A preliminary issue, although somewhat subsidiary, is to decide what sorts of things can be true. Is truth a property of sentences (which are linguistic entities in some language or other), or is truth a property of propositions (nonlinguistic, abstract and timeless entities)? The principal issue is: What is truth? It is the problem of being clear about what you are saying when you say some claim or other is true. The most important theories of truth are the Correspondence Theory, the Semantic Theory, the Deflationary Theory, the Coherence Theory, and the Pragmatic Theory. They are explained and compared here. Whichever theory of truth is advanced to settle the principal issue, there are a number of additional issues to be addressed:
Can claims about the future be true now?
Can there be some algorithm for finding truth – some recipe or procedure for deciding, for any claim in the system of, say, arithmetic, whether the claim is true?
Can the predicate “is true” be completely defined in other terms so that it can be eliminated, without loss of meaning, from any context in which it occurs?
To what extent do theories of truth avoid paradox?
Is the goal of scientific research to achieve truth?
Well, it seems that even after thousands of years and within the circle of the greatest thinkers, ‘truth’, is not explicable in one, clear, neat way and has many different and most detailed additional questions to answer in order to be labelled as such.
My humble approach on this subject therefore comes with a very simplistic, rather minimalistic, setting. I pick the definition of truth as a fact or reality. Based on this my piece of literature goes on in acknowledging a fact as an experience or observation. I want to challenge the definition of a reality being something opposed to an idealistic or notional idea.
To set the mood right I want to explain my choice.
If truth is only true if it is in accordance with a fact, and a fact can be known by experience or observation, then creating and living your own truth is possibly a reality, experienced by yourself and observed by those around you. But if truth is based only upon what is defined as reality, which is defined as an opposition to an idealistic or notional idea of things, then truth is nothing short but the death of evolution. Stick with me here, if you don’t mind, this is exciting.
Haven’t some ideological ideas or notions been born inside the mind of a human, which at that point meant they were ‘just’ ideas or notions? And haven’t some of these, good and bad ones, become reality and therefore known truth at some point, if the idea, the passion, the notion of this person persevered?
Tradition might be a reality, it has facts to underline its existence and at first it seems like tradition is in opposition of notional ideas. Yet throughout history tradition has been challenged by minds that produced a reality that has not existed before they thought of it, as soon as they thought of another possible way of living doing something, it became a reality within their minds, even if it was not yet a reality for others. They were taken by their fantasy, maybe of a ‘better’ world, whatever that may have meant. So taken indeed that they started to act upon this reality in their head, determined to let their own reality, their own fact, become truth. Not just truth for themselves, in some cases it became the truth for all of us, for example the Women’s Rights Movement or, as everything is part of a full spectrum, the Holocaust.
What I want to point out is that I am not content with the definition of ‘truth’, because truth lies within every living being, humans as part of the animals as well as plants, minerals, the elements, our whole planet as a super organism. It may be daring but I would suggest a new definition of truth, truth is energy. If all is made up of energy, then this means all can be truth. Which brings me to the point of this essay. I wanted to know what authenticity was, what I was made of, what my personal truth consisted of. This is the result, not only a tattoo that reads 'truth' on my forearm, also this essay. And it blew my mind that after all the years of self development and observation it turns out, the three pillars were already tattooed on my body as the base that would become a full, whole picture now.
2. The Pillars of Truth
Not so long ago, in autumn it will be four years, I have been challenged to go on a quest to find myself, and I did not even yet know what that meant. Up to that point I thought I was living my truth but I was not. I was living a life that was expected, carved into the unwritten stone of tradition in Western Europe. Caught between making money to live in a nice apartment with comfortable interior and amenities like electricity and flowing water whenever I need it, looking a certain way in order to be loved, making some more money to buy things I thought I needed and travel to broaden my horizon or just relax from the stress my life created. Having a partner, getting married and having a child maybe, surrounded by people, friends or colleagues, be out and about every evening after work and on the weekend to forget that all of this was empty and meaningless to me. Keep on hustling, keep on doing things, consuming, more and more because to hold still, breath and be in the Now was too arduous, too eye opening, too frightening. Keep on, keep on, keep on…
My own truth kicked in for the first time then. Telling me, or rather shouting at me, that all of this meant nothing, that my life would be wasted if I would continue to be in the future or in the past, forgetting completely about the Now. “I will be happy if…” or “If I only had this or that, then…” or simply the fact that past events had shaped my way of responding to emerging situations, patterns I did not see, belief systems I acted upon without even realising they were engraved into my very being.
A call to authenticity and a simple question by the wisest person I had in my life at that time, opened the door to a new life: “Do you want to continue feeling like this for the rest of your life or do you want to do something about this?”
In hindsight the most important day of my life started with this echoing question, asked by my most trusted and most amiable friend. The most important day of my life was not beautiful, calm, tranquil. It was full of pain, helplessness, uncertainty and it was so scary, and yet the simple answer to this question was a bright, sure and warm embracing “Yes, I want to do something about this!”.
And maybe this became the general tone underlying every single aspect of my life because that day was the first day that I took charge of my life again. I made a decision, I would do anything in order to be who I want to be and I would settle for nothing less, I would be daring, taking the leap whatever that meant. Weeks later in therapy I learned that this was what empowerment was, taking back control in the form of realising that there is no control in life except how you respond to it. The first pillar of my truth anchored: Self Empowerment.
After that I threw myself into volunteer work and thought I found the answer to who I and what my purpose on this Earth was. There was nothing left from this depressed, self-loathing, manipulating young woman with social anxiety that I used to be. With the encouragement of my partner I excelled at learning my craft of living sustainably, creating a network of like-minded people, organised events, gave workshops, was one of three to establish a package-free store with wherever possible local or national producers and suppliers, founded organisations. But old patterns still held me tight within their grasp, I was unforgiving with myself, I demanded perfection and felt the pressure to lead a dogmatic life according to every principle the sustainable community adhered to. Every aspect of my life was controlled by being the perfect example of how to live in alignment with our Mama Earth while remaining living within a small city. From my bank account, to my electricity provider, from package-free, local, organic and vegan groceries to secondhand clothes, interior, from working in a job that served a higher purpose to only taking public transport but still having everything at walking distance. With time the joy for this lifestyle faded, volunteer work perished to a 'have to' aspect of my daily to do lists as my hours were raised at my daily job. On top of that I committed to adopting the light of my life, Marjorie, and I so wanted to be the perfect dog mum, all she deserved after having such a rough life.
Needless to say that my mental health spiralled down and all that I had build collapsed into the valley of nothingness again. The same questions started piercing my soul at night. What was my purpose, was that all there was for me? Looking back now this shift in perspective really marked the beginning of a much deeper calling, a call to action, a call to a new adventure. But back then I was living a life I had worked hard to accomplish and yet needed to deconstruct one piece at a time. Strip myself of any preconceptions I had about what my goals were initially and who I thought was.
It began with the end of my relationship with not only my partner but also my best friend. Followed by a radical cut with my duties, reducing the hours at work and starting to detach myself from every volunteer function I served. All of this were contributing factors to spend more time outside with Marjorie where I felt truly centred and in tune with my core.
Sometimes I feel like she was the one who put me on the path in the right direction. The endless hours spend with her in nature calmed me, deepened my need for tranquility and serenity. My focus shifted back to my goals in life and what I truly wanted to do, what I needed in order to feel like myself, feel grounded. This image of all of my belongings in one backpack came to my mind, with Marjorie by my side, travelling the world and experiencing everything life had to offer. I was called to act upon my most deep, inner desire to be free. Since I started my healing process four years ago, every image I had in my head about what I wanted my life to look like became a reality until that reality did not serve me anymore, so I removed layer after layer, I did not even know why, I just felt the need to rid myself of every possible expectation.
In hindsight it is obvious that what I wanted was freedom. Being free can mean so many different things to people, for me freedom goes hand in hand with change. Change is exciting, a new chapter, sometimes even a new book and for my restless heart it is the perfect go to method to re-think every aspect of who I am.
Slowly a plan hatched and it became clear that I was about to embark on a new journey in a different country. As a ten year old girl I had said I wanted to go and live in Great Britain, twenty years later I had the courage, the self empowered trust in myself to do it, by myself and without any certainty of what my future would look like, how everything would play itself out on this great stage called life. All that mattered was the simple and plain fact that I could not go on living the life I had. All that mattered was the knowledge deep down inside of me that in order to be free, I needed change. The second pillar of my truth anchored: Change.
The first months in Scotland brought me the last missing piece. Due to the kindness, generosity and heartfelt encouragement of my hosts, I started to actually belief in myself, I started to see that I had indeed things to offer. And with that new sentiment of actually feeling appreciation for my work as well as my personality traits, I started to become aware how far away I was from loving myself. People that only knew me for a month saw more in me than I ever had. To be honest I was shocked and after digesting the fact that I did not even really knew what true self-love meant, pure determination kicked in. I had learned about empowerment, which meant I can learn everything, even falling in love with myself.
A lifelong war with my body, my looks, my character, my intelligence, my insecurities of every aspect of me- and suddenly I was determined to change my perspective. I immersed myself into every YouTube video I could find about self-love, did daily guided meditations for self-love, read books and articles, dived headfirst into a month long self-love challenge, practiced mindful journaling to get to the roots of thought patterns and belief systems. I was so eager that once again I fell into a trap that always happens when I get excited about something. I forget that the path is the goal. Even so, I know I am on the right one and therefore I am still on my way to self-love. When could there ever be a better time than now to fall in love with me, myself and I. The third pillar of my truth anchored: Self-Love.
3. Famous Last Words
To conclude this essay I want to switch from the me and I to the people that made my growth possible, for better or for worse. Thank all of you bullies who made my life hell, through the deepest pain, I can now give the highest love. Thank all of you that showed me the greatest disappointments and made me distrust myself and humanity, for now I know that all the bad served me as a mirror. Now I can see that I brought the spectrum of negative into my life to live through it. It was, as painful as it is to admit this, a direct reflection of what I brought into other people’s lives. I am not a victim, I am responsible for my actions, I own them. I cheated, I lied, I hated, I wished deaths, I bullied, I mistreated, I exploited, I disregarded. I was cheated on, I was lied to, I was mistreated and hated and bullied, I have been exploited and disregarded, I was beaten down.
I can change, I am changed, I will always change to be the best version of myself, with kindness and love.
So, thank all of you that stood by my side, thank all of you that spend their time with me, that made me laugh, that taught me lessons, that brought me to my knees and lend me a hand to get back up again, thank you for sharing, thank you for caring, thank you for believing in me and my visions, my aspirations, thank you for being there in the darkest hour and thank you for standing with me on the brightest of days. I cannot express my gratitude for all of you out there, for all you have done for me and build with me. I am beyond love for all of your kindness, consideration, generosity, support, trust, friendship, kinship and heartfelt love.
If I have learned anything from this essay than this: We are all connected, it does not matter how different we think we are in race, culture, beliefs, religions, traditions or mindsets- in the end we all are an Earthling-Family and I humbly bow to each and everyone of you for having been or still being a part of my life. I wish all of you truth within your life.
Thank you, love and light, beloved souls