What do you think of that?
The truth doesn’t matter.
It’s a bold and somewhat frivolous statement, isn’t it?
You might be shaking your head.
But hear me out.
Yesterday I wrote something deeply personal. It’s a piece I’m not ready to share publicly, but I do anticipate publishing it at some point in the future (most likely in my BOOK!).
In the meantime, I shared it with a few people close to me. One of those being my husband.
His response to me baring my soul was “That’s interesting.”
After 16 years of marriage, I am pretty good at reading between Brian’s lines.
I interpreted “That’s interesting” as “Lorna, there is no way that it happened the way you are portraying it. You are making most of that up, it would be impossible to remember.”
My husband is a pragmatic guy. And do you know what? He is absolutely right on this one. There is no way that I can remember specifics from childhood.
This is where “the truth doesn’t matter” comes in.
You see, there are only two things that children cannot tolerate.
One is to not know the rules of how life works and the other is to not belong.
Children will take in, make up and believe anything, including lies about themselves, to support them feeling understood and a part of their tribe.
So as children, we all made decisions about ourselves, other people and the world in order to feel love, safety and belonging in our family of origin. Even when those decisions were grossly off the mark.
We then grew up believing that those things were actually true.
So it isn’t what happens to us in life, it is the meaning that we make of what happens.
Back to Brian and his “That’s interesting” line.
Even if my recollections and puzzle pieces from childhood are somewhat off base (as they inevitably are), that isn’t the point.
The point is that I believed things about myself because of the way my little self interpreted the goings on around me.
And until I examine those beliefs in order to disabuse myself of them, they will continue to shape my life.
The meaning making doesn’t end because childhood does.
When our five were little, Brian used to come home from work worn out and needing time to wind down. In my exhausted, 24/7 mom brain, I made that mean he didn’t love me.
Do you see how needing to relax after work doesn’t necessarily mean “I don’t love you”? That the two might have nothing to do with one another?
But when I believed that the two were equal to each other, that made me feel lonely and unloved.
As you can imagine, having that feeling did not play out very well in my marriage. I withheld, he got more distant and so on and so forth.
But once I examined my belief, it was easy to understand that Brian needed some time to himself after a long day.
After I stopped thinking it had anything to do with me, I was able to support and even encourage him to take the time he needed.
I also was able to ask for Brian’s attention at more appropriate times so that I could feel the love and connection that I was craving.
I hope it is clear now why I so boldly stated “the truth doesn’t matter”.
When it comes to the ways that we interpret our place in the world, it isn’t what actually happens, but the meaning that we make of it.
Whether the childhood recollections that I wrote about yesterday are true or not, I gained a huge understanding that I can now work on healing.
If you think that the meaning you are making of situations in your life aren’t serving you, please hit contact in the upper right hand corner of this page to schedule a Discovery Call so we can do some examining.
It can make all the difference.
In order to change your life, you must first change your mind.