Saturday, October 3, 2009

The Joy Diet - Chapter 2 - Truth

This week's chapter in The Joy Diet, hosted by Jamie Ridler, was about truth, and more specifically our own truth and the stories we tell ourselves.
I find that I often hear about "the truth" as though it is something absolute. I don't know about you, but I find truth to be highly subjective. And because of that I try to never presume I know someone else's truth.
I have trouble enough knowing what's true for me... I realized many years ago that lying to myself doesn't help me or anyone else, but still sometimes I tell myself a story and don't even know it.
Last March, for example, I was talking with an artist and professor at the school, where Daniel teaches. When he asked me if I was also an artist, I told him no, that I wasn't. At that moment I heard a very clear inner voice saying: "Stop lying to yourself." To say I was startled was an understatement - I don't usually hear voices...
The very next week I started painting and now I know that I have been an artist all along, even when when I was telling a different story.
The thing is...I didn't even know that I was telling myself a story until I was startled enough to see my truth!
Just this week when I was taking kayaking lessons, I was confronted with another story I was telling myself, namely that I don't really like being on the water that much. The truth, however, (my truth) was that I just have some irrational fears to overcome and when those were confronted, I LOVED being on the water.
So, even though I try to be truthful to myself, I still have stories I make up and that's fine.
We are all trying to do our best with the baggage we carry, the things we've learned and unlearned along the way, the relationships we are trying to form, the situations we are dealing with in our lives, and the many fears we all face every day. At some point or another, we've all been injured and many of the stories we invent have helped to protect us.
(All photos were taken when we traveled in Ireland in August of 2008)

So when I tell myself a less than truthful story, I try to remember to be kind to myself. I know that when I'm ready, I'll change that story, and as soon as the story changes, so will my life!


  1. What a wonderful post. I loved your photos they are beautiful and your statements about truth are oh so true. Thank you.

  2. These simple truths put you head and shoulders above many of us as we all struggle to understand what is real in life. Studying oneself from afar can be both fascinating and a bit unnerving at times.

    Ireland is amazing, being half Irish I suppose I should attempt to visit someday...

  3. Well, ain't dat da troof! Seriously, Silke, a gem of a post and much food for thought.

    I'm always telling myself when I look in the mirror (from a distance) and mutter to myself, 'hey, I don't look all that old, really'. Getting a close-up brings me nearer the truth with a jolt! Ah well, that's vanity for you, huh?

    OH! I received my Egret print today and I'm just totally blown away, Silke. It is even better - if that were possible - in 'real life'...I LOVE it. Thank you so much - and, yes, you really ARE an artist. xxx

  4. My grandmother left Ireland by herself at sixteen. I cannot imagine how hard that must have been but looking at your wonderful pictures it must have been harder than I could ever imagine. I think one of the keys to looking at things in a truthful way is exactly what you said, we will be able to do it when we are ready. Until then we must be kind to and patient with ourself. Thank for a wonderful post.

  5. my favorite part? "I find that I often hear about "the truth" as though it is something absolute. I don't know about you, but I find truth to be highly subjective. And because of that I try to never presume I know someone else's truth."

    that is beautiful and should be the basis of all human communication.

    rationalizations and lies we tell ourselves are sometimes the only thing that get us through the day but at the same time so damaging. I try to be truthful with myself but sometimes I think we also err on the side of trying to be too truthful and therefore keep ourselves weighed down.

  6. great journet into the 'truth'...I have found that reading everyone else's post has given me great insight into my own 'truth'.

  7. There are certain blogger friends who I go to to awaken my're one of them...Thank you for being my guide.Some people have Spirit guides...but you have become one of my everyday Life Guides...
    SUCH a wonderful post...I try and do the same and since turning 30+ *smile* I have become more aware of own and others.
    OH...and that shot with the stone steps running into the sea...beautiful...and the wall inbetween the rocks...this is when we know the truth...when we know we are supposed to roam and leave our mark...but this is done in the kindest most gratifying way.
    Have a lovely day.

  8. This is such a beautiful post. Thank you so much for sharing your journey with truth.

  9. A most excellent post, Silke! You are so right, there is no absolute truth. I wonder though, if sometimes the stories we tell ourselves are not so much protection, but hinder us from reaching our potential, because we are afraid.
    It was wonderful to read your thoughts and the Ireland photos are so beautiful!

  10. What great truths you uncovered this week
    Thank you for sharing them here.
    The photos are beautiful.

  11. Oh, wow, everybody, your comments are just unbelievable! They are always wonderful, but this time I wish we were all in the same room together, sipping tea (or whatever else), eating cake (I'm German after all and cake is a MUST), and having this discussion in person!

    After reading each comment, I could write a whole other paragraph! You all have such insight and you give me so much!!

    You have no idea how you've changed my life - you are helping me tell a whole new story and I like it!

    One more thought I had - and this one is even more basic than the others in my post. I wonder if what we all don't want is to simply be loved and accepted for who we are - warts and all. And because we often don't even accept ourselves (most important of all), we think we must be different than we are and start making up things and trying to be who we think we should be to gain others' love and approval. When the only person we really need approval from is us, ourselves. Basically, we approach our feeling of self-worth from the outside in rather than the inside out. And in that fear of not being loved we abandon ourselves by denying our truth, and often life passes us by!

    Oh, there is so much food for thought here in your comments!! I'm so grateful for you all!

    Love, Silke

  12. Yes, I try very hard to be kind to myself. Everyday, I introduce myself to me... and the real ME unfolds before my eyes... the more I know me, the more I love me.

    This is a beautiful post, Silke, that's why I keep coming back for more.

  13. Ah, Silke - what a wonderful post - & the pictures - breathtaking! don't you love it when your inner voice catches you - 'ee hem!! You were saying??'

    I loved your addendum comment on seeking love & approval - & SELF approval most of all!
    Thank you for sharing the insights & many blessings

  14. Beautiful post accompanied by beautiful photos... isn't it interesting how our stories can be wrapped around our fears? Good for you for re-writing your stories and taking leaps of faith!

  15. Oh, such a great post! And the pictures are breathtaking. I would love to go to Ireland. Your insights fit us all, and the wonderful part about it is that we are in control of what we tell ourselves...must take responsibility...must take action. Hugs to you,Lynda

  16. Hi Silke,
    I learnt long ago that lying to myself is totally counterproductive. the only way I can function is by being honest with myself. I don't mind telling (little white) lies to others, particularly if I don't want to hurt them but never again to myself.
    Have a lovely week.

  17. What a wonderful post Silke - you are a constant source of inspiration - thank you!

    I loved the beautiful photos too - I could have guessed a couple were in Ireland - a beautiful country with beautiful people. Your photos were a nice choice with your writing.

  18. I agree with you about the truth being subjective. I have always thought it to be a multi-faceted thing, not one single thing. It depends so much on your perspective as to what you actually see - there is more than one truth. So changing our stories can be beneficial.

  19. Hi Silke,

    This post is full of wonderful insight, and the comments are gems, as well. Your photos are gorgeous!

    I'm so glad you are opening up to all the wonderful things in your life that you've been talking yourself out of. I've been doing the same thing lately. It feels good to break free of those mental barriers, doesn't it?

    And thanks for all the kind comments you always make on my blog! They are always very special to me.

    I hope you have a terrific week!


  20. Silke, this is just about the most truthful and wisest post around. And your Thank you for being are such a gift....xo

  21. Yes, indeed Silke - be yourself!! Lovely post with wonderful photos - thank you!

  22. I agree! with what? with so much of what you say here! Truth and convictions are life sentences I once wrote. Staying open gives you freedom to understand a moment. Blessings friend.

  23. This post is full of wonderful photos.Thanks for sharing all this stuff.