Growing up, I was indoctrinated in the Catholic Church without much of a choice.
But I quickly began to notice contradictions between what the Church said and how people acted. For example, my 9th grade religion teacher - Ms. Seasholtz - was one of the crankiest, hot-tempered, discompassionate, people I’d ever met. She didn’t care if the Pope personally invited you to a five-course meal at the Vatican, if you didn’t get your flashcards done on time, you would fail her class.
Given these contradictions, I began searching for truth in other ways. I meditated with monks. Did psychedelics with shamans. Took yoga with yogis. Sat in therapy with therapists. And even tried a $5,000 course by some guy named Joe from the internet.
So after all this searching, have I gotten any closer to Truth? Well, kinda.
I’m realizing that Truth is a process. Not a belief. Not a framework. Not a ritual. A process. The Truth preached by Jesus, Buddha, and some guy named Joe from the internet, isn’t the 10 commandments, the 4 noble truths, or the 7 distinctions. The Truth is who they are day-to-day. How they speak and listen. How they work and play. How they love and hate. Nobody's perfect, but Truth isn't about perfection. It's about committing to the process of embodying Truth day-to-day.
Teachings are helpful, but they're also just guideposts along the path of Truth.
We spend our lives walking the path of Truth, following these guideposts, hoping to get to the destination before it's too late. We get all serious, memorize the rules, shame ourselves when we don’t follow them, have flashes of insight followed by years of forgetting, and may one day feel enlightened until our mom does that annoying thing that moms do which shows us maybe we aren’t so enlightened after all.
We struggle in search of Truth, only to realize it’s been within our reach the entire time. This may sound like poetic gobbledygook. But if there’s anything I’ve learned the past few weeks, it’s to look inwards. Truth isn’t just rainbows, butterflies, and smiles. Truth is the full range of experience. The joy and the anger. The success and the failure. The pleasure and the pain.
Living in Truth is about deeply feeling this full of range of experience. It’s about understanding what you truly want and going after it. It’s about understanding who you truly are and becoming it. It’s about understanding what life truly is and enjoying it.
That is Truth.