Speaking your truth

We have a duty to speak our truth. It’s a thought I’ve run into from a number of sources – fabulous Kris Hughes has been talking about it, and it’s a key part of Cat Treadwell’s work.  Throw into the mix the Quaker virtue of speaking truth to power, and good old Iolo Morganwg with The Truth Against the World and it’s clear that truth, personal truth, has to matter to a Druid.

One of the things about personal truth is the implication that other people’s personal truths will be different, and just as valid. If our truth suddenly looks bigger and more important than other personal truths, we’re on the road to dogma, one true way and generally feeling a lot more important than is good for a person!

But what is personal truth? It might be a number of things – it could be the truth we experience in the moment, or the product of long hours of deep contemplation. It might be the code we live by, the way we make sense of things, our beliefs about the sacred, the divine, or what it means to be human. Our truth could be political, anarchic, all about activism. It could be driven by a sense of duty or a longing for freedom. It may come to us in a flash of inspiration, and our truth may be all about awen.

We have to do more than speak our truth in the sense of making big statements about it. We have to speak it every time we speak, and act with it every time we act. Or at least, try to. We’re all flawed and fallible, and capable of not fully manifesting the things we think matter most.

And when someone else’s truth seems to grate against our own, or threaten it, or compete or conflict or any of those other things we might feel unsettled by, that’s ok, and we need to be ok with it. Their truth is not our truth. Their path is not our path. Their difference is not a criticism of our truth, nor is it a threat to it.

What is my truth? It’s a question to ask, and ask again because the answer is bound to change. What is it in this moment, this day, this year? What have I learned that has changed my truth? Who am I becoming? Who do I want to become and what do I want my truth to be? Described like this it may sound a bit vague and woolly, but the answers are always going to be substantial and informative.

I write this at a time of both deliberate, and of unsought change. Change is thus part of my truth right now, and the scope for change and the need for it. I question my sense of self, and wonder how to know what the truth of me is. Is my truth what I think? Can I discover it in the words of the people who value me most, or the words of the people who like me least, or somewhere in between?

My truth is the joy I take pouring time and energy into good projects, supporting awesome people, seeing great things happen. My truth may be that writing non-fiction books doesn’t suit me very well. My truth is whatever’s inspiring me right now, it’s how I’m interacting with the people I love, and it is the deliberate choice to walk away from the people who bring me down and who don’t like what I do. My truth is that I need to be in spaces where I am valued, and where the work I am drawn to do has a place and is valued. My truth is that I’m more tired than is good for a person, and I need that to change. Many stories, pulled from the air today. Tomorrow, I would say something different.

What’s your truth, and what do you need to do to speak it into everything you say, and carry it into everything you do, and what happens if we do that?

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About Nimue Brown

Druid, author, dreamer, folk enthusiast, parent, wife to the most amazing artist -Tom Brown. Drinker of coffee, maker of puddings. Exploring life as a Pagan, seeking good and meaningful ways to be, struggling with mental health issues and worried about many things. View all posts by Nimue Brown

15 responses to “Speaking your truth

  • Belinda

    This post really struck a chord within me! My life is undergoing major changes right now and my truth is to realise this and understand that these things aren’t going to happen over night. My truth is to take a step back, allow myself time to contemplate how these changes are going to make a difference to me and the peole around me, Not to get frustrated and defeatist with my efforts and to accept that the path chosen for me is not going to be any easy one. Truth is an important part of my realtionship too….that’s why it works.

  • Martin

    Great article. I find that I don’t speak my truth enough and this has had consequences for me. I am however, learning to express and accept my truth slowly and surely.

  • Murr

    Wonderful article, well spoken!

  • john

    That was indeed a great article and so very true.

  • tommyelf22

    “What’s your truth, and what do you need to do to speak it into everything you say, and carry it into everything you do, and what happens if we do that?” <— Good question. I think I shall write about that. 🙂

  • Living Your Truth Out Loud « Life With Trickster Gods

    […] In a recent post, Nimue asked: “What’s your truth, and what do you need to do to speak it into everything you say, and carry it into everything you do, and what happens if we do that?” Before I continue on, let me encourage you to go read Nimue’s very thought-provoking post. I’ll wait patiently here at the keyboard. […]

  • lornasmithers

    These are questions I’ve been confronting over the past few weeks myself having strayed a bit over the past few months. It’s so easy to surrender our truth for what we think people to want us to be…

    ‘when someone else’s truth seems to grate against our own, or threaten it, or compete or conflict or any of those other things we might feel unsettled by, that’s ok, and we need to be ok with it. Their truth is not our truth. Their path is not our path. Their difference is not a criticism of our truth, nor is it a threat to it.’ – Yes, this is definitely one of the traps I continue to fall for!

    Likewise I’ve also been identifying areas that others are very good at (community leadership and activism) that feel more worthwhile and are far more applauded than what I’m good at (poetry and vision) yet come to realise they’re not things that suit me…

    I will be returning to this when I need a reminder!

    • Nimue Brown

      It’s book sales for me. I have friends who write far more marketable fiction, and of course get the sales that go with it, and I get terrible attacks of feeling like I’m failing… Important to remember what the point was in the first place!

  • Merri-Todd

    Reblogged this on Antinous for Everybody and commented:
    I think Nimue’s words are true for all of us, not just druids. We have a duty to speak our truth.

  • Ttroika

    Your post speaks to me in many ways. I am currently going through life changes and it isn’t really about me facing up to truths but me speaking the truth and now in a confrontation with others in my life. Thus bringing about some major life changes . Your post reaffirms my belief and my stance on the situation. Thanks for sharing this.

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