There is truth and then again there is truth. For all the world is full of people who go around believing they’ve got you or your neighbor figured out. There really is no bottom to what is not known. The truth is endless. As are the lies. ~ Philip Roth
You are more than the idea an acquaintance has of you, which is usually a dissection of a mere piece that broke off of you once.
I have been that dismantler before. I’ve been handed the limb, torn from the body of a truth I wasn’t at liberty to meet. So I took the limb and studied it, disassembled it, put it back together in a way that formed something that resembled a whole, and used it as a counterfeit of the truth.
It became my truth, it was all I had to go by. Others used it too, but morphed it into some other mutated version of the truth. I’ve taken someone’s experience or action and divested the whole of its integrity.
This is what we do as humans. We have a hunger for understanding; for conclusion. When we don’t have access to it, we conceive it.
And the ever-moving, steady-oiled rumour mill breathes on.
For me that is, until I heard a phrase that encouraged my mind to readjust itself.
“What we know is a drop, what we don’t know is an ocean.” ~ Isaac Newton
Coupled with that, and my own experience as a mother that was met with the same ignorant conception.
I’ve stripped myself of the sporous beast of judgement.
It was a toxic thing that led me into negative “realities;” perceptions I built myself. It was a world of terrible ideas I had of others: their ugly conduct, unsettling personalities, deceit, lies…the list goes on.
Don’t get me wrong, I still catch myself slipping into it sometimes. It’s a default setting for humans—when illusion is more sensational than authenticity, and when learning the facts takes the kind of effort most of us don’t have time for.
Most times, however, I experience a sense of weightlessness when I deny myself of assumption. I have an inner dialogue that happens when I hear a rumour. More precisely, it’s an inner retrieval.
I remember myself after my marriage, when I wasn’t there for my kids, when I broke a good man’s heart, when becoming selfish was my only option.
I remember hearing the “story” about a mother who had done the same thing, long before it happened to me.
I loathed that woman. She made me physically sick. Her choices were incomprehensible. I could never do that. How could she be capable of it?
And then, in the grandest lesson of my life, I became that woman. And being that woman wasn’t at all like I thought it was.
Sitting in my paragon of righteousness, I felt she had an empty heart, an evil soul, incapable of remorse.
It turned out, she had a heavy heart that overflowed with guilt, self-loathing, hurt, confusion, loss, panic, helplessness and love so pronounced it was agonizing.
It turned out that her soul was transcending. The lesson she was enduring was reprogramming future actions, cultivating forbearance, and instilling humility, entirely shifting her ardor to a state of resolution.
It turned out that remorse was so potent in her days that she became consumed by it, to the point it eradicated her spirit. She was forced to reclaim it, bit by bit, over years of restitution.
The truth was more layered, more convoluted than I could have ever imagined. I had misapprehended it by taking the limb that had been ripped off and mutating it, understanding it and selling it as the complete sum.
It’s an incredibly liberating feeling to shed yourself of the heavy weight that rumours are. The foul, disfigured versions of someone’s truth weigh grossly in the gut, unsettling your energy and congealing your heart. Pressing your understanding tightly into a corner, stripping it of compassion and openness.
The moment you refuse a word, a rumour, a fraction of someone’s truth, you’re immediately denied a suffocating enslavement.