“O I could sing such grandeurs and glories about you! You have not known what you are. You have slumber’d upon yourself all your life. Your eyelids have been the same as closed most of the time. Whoever you are, claim your own at any hazard! These shows of the East and West are tame compared to you. These immense meadows, these interminable rivers, you are immense and interminable as they!”- Walt Whitman
Walt Whitman is not talking about puffing up our personalities. He is talking about getting even the slightest glimpse of the glory and grandeur of our Souls. These words of Walt Whitman’s are full of reassurance. We all need frequent reminding and reassurance that we are so much more than we think we are. We have vast untapped potential, no matter the appearances to the contrary. It is so easy for me to believe thoughts of smallness, inadequacy and limitation. That doesn’t make them true, it just means I am believing a lie which appears true to my limited perception.
Apparent Truth vs. Essential Truth
There is an important distinction here- the distinction between apparent truth and essential truth. Apparent truth is what appears to be true to the eyes of the personality (ego). Essential truth is the deep truth that can only be seen through the eyes of the Soul. Essential truth is by its very nature, reassuring and uplifting as it reminds us of the innate qualities of our Soul that run deeper than the conditioned reactions of our personality.
Speaking Your Apparent Truth?
If I don’t question that my level of perception is extremely limited, I begin to believe that what I perceive- or how I see things is in fact the “truth” and then I defend that “truth” with everything my ego can muster. This is the source of all arguments, fights and disharmony in relationships. Both sides are quite self-righteously defending their apparent truth.
When this is the case, when I “speak my truth” I’m really just defending my apparent truth and often in a hurtful way to myself (through self-criticism) or others (through criticism or condemnation) or life (through complaining). Expressing this kind of truth does more harm than good- even if I think I am “just telling it like it is.”
The antidote is a heavy dose of humility and recognition that I don’t and can’t know enough to make a condemning judgment. Not of another and not even of myself. Silence is more helpful than words when my “truth” would condemn myself, someone else, Life, or God.
Reassurance: Speaking Essential Truth
Essential truth is real truth. It is what’s really going on when all illusions are removed. It’s the essential truth of who you are and who I am and what Life is about. The great spiritual teachers through the ages have seen through the illusions of the world and spoken and written about what the essential truth is. I find it really helpful to spend some time each day reading from sacred texts to be reminded of essential truth when I am continually surrounded by illusory apparent truth
When we speak words of reassurance to others or to ourselves, when we use our words to help others see past the apparent truth to the deeper essential truth, we speak with the tongue of angels and use our voice for its highest and best purpose.The student asked the master, I feel discouraged.What should I do? The master replied: Encourage others. Click To Tweet
When we’re feeling worried or fearful or powerless or trapped, what we really need is reassurance, not sympathy or agreement. Use your voice to speak words of reassurance (to yourself and others). That is the essential truth we are meant to speak- to remind ourselves and others that life is for us, not against us and that we each have access to everything it takes to come through any situation more refined (and its okay to feel whatever you feel in the mean time).