One of the ways we can learn to grow in the spiritual life is by simply learning to tell the truth. The truth of what we think, certainly, but I think a more powerful truth is the truth of how we feel. Sometimes what we think is an elaborate cocoon we spin to distract us from what we feel. Telling the truth can be a way to put all those glorious thoughts into perspective and get down to the nitty gritty of what’s really going on.
How do we tell the truth? Simple: by noticing what’s really happening, and then putting it into words as best we can. This includes telling the truth to ourselves (sometimes that’s the hardest bit of all), to one another, and to God. Often the truth hurts. The truth that we feel lonely. That we are afraid. That we lack confidence or trust. That we are in pain, we suffer, and all we really want is for it to stop. That we seem uneasy and anxious, and because we are anxious we are busy, and because we are busy we neglect those we love, or even our own health. Even that, sometimes, the spiritual or religious things we do might say as much about how we are angry or fearful as it says about how we love and hope and enjoy.
Sometimes our voices shake when we tell the truth. Sometimes that means we’re really on to something. Telling the truth is not a silver bullet or a magic pill — it won’t make our problems and our sufferings automatically vanish. But perhaps it will create some space in our hearts and minds where we can, even if just for a moment, breathe deeply and sit still and relax into the love of God. That, in itself, can be a powerful healing experience.