The Truth Is Complicated

Photo By Markus Winkler on

Okay, this is not what I sat down to write today. I was going to write something light and fun because the last couple of posts have been a bit heavy. I need light, fluffy, fun so, I thought you might need it too. Then I turned on the news, and now I have a lot of things that I want to say. I have a million thoughts swirling around my head, and I can’t shut them up. I want to! I’d give anything to turn them off and refocus on the light and fluffy.

But that’s not going to happen so, please forgive me. This is going to be one of those days when I need to dump my thoughts onto a page and hope I make a lick of sense. Also, given the subject matter, I’m sure it’s going to be one that no one will read, and that’s okay. I need to give these thoughts and feelings a voice so I can calm them down and shut them up.

So, here we go. Let’s get messy.

I’m writing this on January 6, 2021, and I’m sure you know what’s happening in the United States. I’m truly shocked and horrified by what I’m seeing. These hallowed halls of democracy are under siege. Senators, members of congress, and employees running for their lives. One woman was shot and killed. Will there be more?

Did that just happen? Was this real life and not a movie? It looks like something that belongs in a movie, but it’s on the news. What? How is this real life?

Every time I look at the headlines, I say wow and hold my breath. These are the images I expect to see somewhere overseas, quite possibly in a country I can’t pronounce, but just across the border? I just… Wow, what the hell is going on? I’m sincerely praying for a peaceful resolution and hoping that better angels are working overtime.

This… What’s happening… I have no words. God help the United States of America! Please, stay safe, my friends.

There are so many thoughts and feelings swirling around my head, but there are too many, and I can’t put them in order. We’re one week into the new year, and things seem to be getting crazier instead of better. No, my hope is not waining but today it took a step back and shook its head. Why do we, as a species, insist on making life harder for ourselves?

I would’ve hoped that we’d get past that, but here we are, watching another news cycle play out like an action movie. Not a good movie! One of those D-list, straight to the bargain bin films that I accidentally watch when insomnia makes me its bitch. It’s shocking, disturbing, and I can’t help but wonder who the hell thought this was a good idea.

It’s an awful idea! It should never have been made. What the hell am I watching?

What’s happening, it’s a big deal, and I don’t want to make light of these events or seem dismissive. This is an important moment in history, and we should talk about it. We should stay informed and seek out the truth rather than conspiracies that fuel fear, mistrust, and bigotry. We should dispel the notion that truth is subjective because it isn’t. 

But that’s the problem right there! We’ve taken the idea of truth and turned it into a weapon. We use it to injure, maim, and murder. We manipulate it, mould it into whatever we need to justify our actions. We’ve twisted the truth so much, we don’t even know what it is anymore, and we certainly can’t recognize it when it’s staring us in the face.

I heard someone say that in every situation, there is a universal truth in the middle of the mess. The problem is, we don’t want to acknowledge it, so we seek out a version that suits our ideology. But the truth doesn’t change!

It isn’t your truth or my truth. We can argue the point until we both asphyxiate, but all we’re doing is denying reality. The truth is what it is. It might not fit into our narratives, and it can be quite disappointing. It’s easier to believe in conspiracies because they make us feel validated and, in some cases, righteous.

But feelings aren’t facts, and they often lead us down a dangerous path of self-destruction, isolation, and ultimately loss. There’s that old saying, the truth will set you free, but what it doesn’t tell us is that freedom can hurt. It can break our hearts. It can shatter the ground beneath our feet. It can leave us shaken and standing all alone in a battle destroyed graveyard.

Freedom and truth are two entities we spend our lives chasing. We say that we want it desperately. We claim that it’s worth fighting for. Truth! Freedom! How much blood has been spilt in pursuit of these ideas? How much blood has been spilt in denial of them as well?

We can have freedom and truth, but first we have to accept it as it is and not how we want it to be. The truth hurts, is another saying, and it’s right. Truth is often the last thing we really want to hear. What we want is confirmation of our narrative. Which has little to do with reality or the precious truth we claim to seek.

Maybe that’s why we spend just as much time and effort running away from the very things we’ve spent our lives chasing? That’s something to think about when we’re arming ourselves for battle. Are we fighting for truth, justice, and freedom? Or, are we out to destroy it because it looks like a monster?

I cannot express how important these questions are, especially now. What do we really want? What are we really fighting for? What truth will give us the freedom we crave or, do we prefer to live in a state of denial?

In this particular fight, down south, I don’t have any skin in the game so, I can’t talk. But it is a dilemma that I see played out in my country as well so, it is universal. It’s a very human desire that has nothing to do with borders, religion or politics. Though, those things are the spark that lights the fuse.

In my country, at the moment, the problem with truth is not as dramatic as the images coming from the States. It’s more surreptitious in nature. It’s often dismissed as the product of a certain upbringing or the lack of — how do I say this nicely?— education. 

If I want to be overly polite and uphold the nice Canadian stereotype; I’d call these people innocent in nature but not in deeds. They carry banners that read Hugs Not Masks, and they’re anti-everything. They promote conspiracies and think they are speaking the truth. They’re convinced that the government is out to get them and that anyone who cares about others is a socialist commie.

Which…Okay, I don’t know how you combine those two ideas, but I’ll be nice.

Just because it’s not as vigorous, doesn’t make it any less vile or cruel. Hearing people scream about truth and freedom while denying facts and reality is a messy dichotomy to process. Especially when it’s your life they’re willing to sacrifice for their comfort and freedom. Is this as far as we’ve gotten in our evolution? We’re still happy let other people suffer and die? Would we really sacrifice a life if it means we don’t have to wear a mask, stay home, or keep our distance?

As the person you’re sacrificing, I gotta say, I don’t know if I can ever forgive you for what you’re doing. How do I look at you the same way? Your truth, your freedoms, and your fight will cost me my life. How is that okay with you? How is that God-loving from a person who claims to be God-fearing? How are you okay with that, and how can you still call me a friend?

I hear so many versions of the truth being flaunted, and I understand how hard it is to sort through the noise. There’s always someone out there trying to make a quick buck or gain more power. Since fear sells better than sex, why not use that to stir the pot? It’s not right, it’s not okay, but it works and the truth becomes lost in the fear.

My truth right now? I’m afraid of the world. I’m angry and overwhelmed by the level of vitriol out there right now. I’m sad for all of you who are suffering, living in fear, and pain. My heart breaks for the truth seekers. They’re silenced and mocked by those who’ve embraced the conspiracies and worship the fear-mongers. I’m praying for those who are peacefully standing their ground. These people are fighting for a truth that’s messy, complicated, and hurtful. A truth that would be easier to deny, but these defenders of truth don’t take the path of least resistance.

Scientists who work hard to save lives despite the noise and misinformation. The people who are fighting for social justice, and work tirelessly to create an inclusive world. The grief they take from those who benefit from the status quo is unreal, but still, they stand because the truth is, equality for everyone is vitally important. There are so many people who, despite the complications, embrace an unwavering truth that all people are created equal and are deserving of life.

These people give me hope on days like this when truth is on sale and fear is a hot commodity. They don’t waver. They hold the line and keep on with the job at hand. They point us in the right direction. And my God, bless you all for you are doing!

I know that these ideas are a bit heavy, and with everything going on, they feel obscure. It’s a lofty sense of idealism amidst conflict. It’s an idea that hasn’t fully formed like an infant in the womb. Precious, beautiful, but it doesn’t quite feel real until it breathes on its own. 

But it can, and that’s the most amazing thing! Truth doesn’t die, it can’t be killed, and it can’t be hidden for long. It always shows up, and when it does, I have to decide if I’m ready to embrace the complicated, messy truth. Or, am I going to take the easy path?

God, help me embrace the truth.


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