The Truth?

“If you don’t have the experience of something you’re not at liberty to write about it.”

Do you agree?

Can I tell if I’m telling my truth? Am I writing for an audience that I’m trying to impress? Am I trying to impress you right now?

Here’s what I want you to know: I struggle to tell the truth because sometimes I don’t know what it is until I write about it. Which… is probably why I write.

What’s the truth?

In recalling from altMBA that we are all irrational, I can assure myself that even if I think I’m telling the truth, I’m probably not. Or maybe, it’s my truth today, but it will be different tomorrow. Is that possible? Does truth change day-to-day?

Do you want the truth? “You can’t handle the truth,” Jack Nicholson’s character says in the movie A Few Good Men. The truth can remind me of something. It may remind me of hurt. I don’t know. Or happiness? OR wishes, that are not the truth… just wishful thinking.

Here’s the thing: Stuff “above the fold” or at the top of the iceberg above the water may or may not be the truth. The stuff below is the ‘truth-y’ stuff. And I should go there more often to write my truth, even if it hurts, and maybe even if I have not experienced it directly. Is that cheating?


Author: Kathryn Atkins

I write to live. I live to write and have recently published a literary collection, "Giving My Self to the Wind." I am a Huffington Post blogger and LinkedIn contributor. I play the piano by ear, I do Yoga, love TED talks, read a lot, and dance Flamenco. Married with grown children, I'm on my second or third self.

3 thoughts on “The Truth?”

  1. You have lit a fire in me! I think about “truth” constantly, and share many of your questions.

    A marriage counselor once told me I was accurate in my observations, but wrong in my conclusions, “…there is a difference in what the facts are, and what they mean,” she said.

    A minister told all of us (the congregation), “…(that) we know truth by it’s ring. The ring of truth appeals to our second senses. We almost feel truth in our souls, our stomachs, and our body.”

    When I hear or read anything, it has to pass both tests: 1) if it’s information, is it accurate and observable? 2) if it’s opinion, does it have the ring of truth?

    Then there is often a bigger question, “…is it all the truth?” When you can answer that, you are at liberty to write about it because then you know what the truth means.

    I find your writing to be very honest, you give your reader wide latitude to agree or disagree.

    But you have made a very good observation, that you should go under the water to find the truth, even if it hurts.

    1. Thanks, Scott. Good to hear from you. I think outer truth is one thing. I’m seeking my truth. The “facts vs. what they mean” as they said. It should be easier, but It’s perhaps harder because of our narratives… the stories we tell ourselves sometimes just to make it through a day, never mind a week or a life. Truth in today’s world of fake everything puts us all at risk of living in the bubble.

  2. We’re watching the Derek Chauvin trial right now. I think the “facts and what they mean” should be obvious. But the outcome of the trial and reaction on the street will tell, won’t it? This will be a good test! Good luck on finding “your” truth in the midst of fake everything. I’m right with you on that.

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