Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Finding The Truth That Takes Us Home

How do you make yourself available to the truth, even when it's hard?

Whether I am journaling or working on a book, or just posting a brief comment on Facebook, the act of writing brings me to the truth of the moment. Oh, I’m not claiming to be accessing “Absolute Truth” when I write, and it’s not that I drag readers through every detail of my daily life. But, as much as I sometimes try to wiggle away from the truth of the moment, (watching movies, or working too much to avoid some feeling or situation I am not enjoying) I can’t do it when I write.

It’s Facebook that has really brought this home to me. I post daily and my purpose is to offer us all a little daily encouragement because. . . . well, because sometimes  life is challenging and we can all use a little encouragement. But, even if I want to write something I hope will inspire gratitude or inner peace, something I’d like to reinforce our natural courage and compassion, if I am not connected to gratitude or peace, courage or compassion, I can’t write about it. It feels. . . . false. Even if I plan to use a quote from one of my books, I can’t post it if it feels miles away from what I am experiencing in the moment.

Now, this having to write from the truth of the moment, is not always convenient. Sometimes my moments- like everyone’s- suck.  But here’s the great thing about this: because I am committed to posting each day on Facebook, to writing a weekly blog,  a new book, first thing in the morning as part of my daily practise, and because I find it pretty much impossible to lie to myself on the page, when I encounter a  moment that is filled with pain or grief or some other less-than-fun condition- I can write my way into being able to be with it in a truthful way.

However we do it, being truthful with ourselves about this moment, deepens our intimacy with ourselves, each other and life. And, as the Grandmothers of the dreamtime told me years ago- “Intimacy heals.”  

Your way of being aware of and with the truth of the moment may not include writing- may happen most deeply when you meditate, or go for a walk, or go fishing. You may find yourself most present with what is when you wash dishes slowly, or draw, when you listen to or make music, or pray, or dance, or do yoga, or play with the dog.  . . . There are infinite ways to make space for the deep truth of our lives to find us, and we don’t have to do it the same way all the time, although it’s good to find a way that works even when the truth we have to face and be with is hard, even when some part of us would rather not be with what is.

Sometimes, when I feel my own resistance to being with the truth I start writing with the phrase, “I don’t want to write about . . . . “ At other times, when I notice that I am doing everything BUT taking myself to writing, (because the utensil drawer in the kitchen is suddenly screaming to be reorganized or the urge to clean the oven  is irresistible) I ask myself on the page, “What are you trying to outrun?” and see what comes.

The commitment to living a human life fully involves being with the truth of our experience in the moment. That’s where home is. Our practice- however formal or informal- is our way of going home over and over again.

 Oriah (c) 2012


  1. Thank you for this post Oriah. I love the two prompts for when writing does not come easy or we resist it. I find myself resisting the mere act of coming up with a writing schedule that works for me. I often don't write because there is either no project I have to work on or the ones I have I don't 'feel' like working on. But having these prompts will free me from having to choose from the 2. This way I can just write, which is the goal anyway. :)

  2. Dear Oriah,

    Thanks for the reminder "Intimacy Heals", for it certainly has with a troubled young lady I have just met. When I call her into the intimacy of the moment and reflect her beauty back to her, she smiles, melts, and I know some healing has taken place.


  3. thank you Oriah for making the journey home a little clearer

  4. I love "intimacy heals." I've seen it in my life and others lives over and over. When we are willing to experience in-to-me-see, our life is open for insight and healing.
    Like you, when I sit down to write, I have to share my truth of the moment. I worry sometimes that my readers will wish for more positivity or happy thoughts and encouragement, but often all I have in the moment is sadness or disillusionment. It depends on what's happening in life at the moment and lately I've been in a deep valley where all I could write was my healing process.
    I love the way you write and I want you to know "The Dance" was the first book I read by you. It broadened my vision and was the impetus for me to peel back another layer and drill a little deeper. Thank you for honoring your truth and putting it on paper for all to see. Hugs to you. Brenda

    1. Thank you Brenda- and I know what you mean- have been through some very dark periods where my. . . encouragement was muted with the realities of real pain that I also shared. And yet, if we right from anything other than what is. . . it will indeed ring false. Amazing how much I can write from one small ordinary human life! lol.

  5. thanks Oriah for your wisdom. Your words always cross my path when they need to. I just needed to stop running to hear. These are great questions I just need to pause and sit at home. Its time to stop running from myself. thank you again---Mary Lou Hemphill