Relational Joy Practice: Joining through the truth
I’ll say this first: in relationship there is no The Truth™️. You are having your experience of me/you/us/life, and your experience is true. I am having my own experience of me/you/us/life, and my experience is also true. We can hold these complexities as wondrous. We can also make them a cause of our suffering. We get to choose.
Also: the truths we want to share about ourselves and the truths we want to receive from and about someone else only rarely reside in facts. Facts are important -and- being right about the facts only means we’re right. Being right doesn’t necessarily lead us to right relationship. I am not talking about the facts of what was said or done. I am talking about the truth of what we want, believe, feel, observe, experience, and care about.
The work of joining through the truth is just that… it’s WORK. We choose to do this labor when and only because we want to, when we desire more joyful connection, not more distance and suffering.
What joining through the truth can look like:
• Being committed to listening to the truth of someone else’s experience—not to negate or disregard my own, but as a way to know them better, even/especially if they have accusations that I have hurt them.
• Choosing to courageously share the truth of my experience—not to negate or disregard theirs, but to allow them to know me.
• Choosing to tell potentially uncomfortable or unpleasant truths to someone I care about (with their consent and without cruelty)—not to abuse, punish, or fix them, but because they want to make informed decisions about their participation in our relationship.
• Choosing to receive potentially uncomfortable or unpleasant truths with grace—not to abuse, punish, or fix myself, but because I want to make informed decisions about my participation in our relationship.
What uncomfortable truth have you been holding back?
What uncomfortable truth do you refuse to listen to or pretend not to know?
What skills, practices, and capacities are you developing to make room for more truth, complexity, and difference—your own and others’?
What is possible when you make room?