Just like in the popular game show of yesteryear, the phrase “truth or consequences” suggests an option of a ‘known’ versus an ‘unknown’ decision … and that whichever you choose, you must live with the outcome.
In my experience, Life is very much just like that. We get to make choices all day long, week by week and year by year. Some might even say that the quality of our Life can be measured by the sum of the choices we make. If this is true, it puts quite a lot of responsibility on the process of decision-making, doesn’t it?
First, the Truth …
But what does it actually mean to live one’s Truth? Is it referring to whether or not we ever lie? And if so, is there really always a consequence to every little fib we might tell – even if the fib is offered to spare someone’s feelings, or to smooth over an awkward moment? Or does living one’s Truth point a little bit deeper … say, into one’s conscience, character or morals? Perhaps it can be both – and all the spaces in between.
In coaching, we often use the phrase “living authentically” … I even referred to this in a previous article. But what does that really mean? My belief is that living authentically connects us to our Truth … and this includes being clear on what we want from Life, and what we’re willing to contribute to it; how we treat people, and how we expect to be treated in return; living in alignment with what our values are, and not abdicating those values for the sake of popularity or convenience.
Then, the Consequences …
It’s often tempting to allow others to influence us, particularly if we have a vested interest in impressing or pleasing them. This is where Consequences come into play, and often regrettably so. Sadly, decisions made this way can often lead to regrets, which in turn can lead to depression and blaming … and a host of other negative possibilities. For example, imagine that you allowed yourself to be persuaded into a decision that has a negative outcome – a decision that, without outside influence, you might have taken differently. Isn’t there a temptation to blame the other person for ‘making’ you choose wrong?
Not only does this lead to conflict between you and the person you allowed to persuade you, it also tends to convince you that you’ve become some kind of victim and thereby are not accountable for the decision – which, of course, is a patent un-Truth. Personal choices are ours and ours alone – we are the only ones responsible for accepting or rejecting any kind of influence, and living in Truth requires us to own that.
And finally, the Lesson …
I’ve talked about the futility of regrets in other articles, so I won’t go into that again – except to restate that mistakes are the greatest teachers we’ll ever have in Life. Making a mistake or a misjudgement can have a serious outcome, it’s true … but finding the lesson allows us to at least recover some value from that misstep. And lessons can be a great contributor to helping us find our Truth, for they often lead us back into alignment with that which is deeply in our heart.
As you evaluate your own Truth, and consider how much of it influences your Life, why not ask yourself one simple question: if you are not now living the Life you want to live, at what point do you plan to begin doing so?
… and while you consider this, remember to focus on the good things in Life!