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Hemingway has a famous quote giving advice to writers: “All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence you know.”
In our whiskey-sipping, café-dwelling, love-afflicted similarities, I’ve been fascinated with Hemingway since I first heard his name.
Sometimes I’ll look up a quote of his if I’m feeling stuck on what to write. I’ve read this one more than a few times and it should be an easy prompt, only then I’d have to know what the truest sentence I know is.
It fascinates me how challenging I find this question. At the expense of taking a lighthearted question too deep, I think that it’s hard to come up with the truest thing we know because we’re so busy keeping up with all of the half-truths.
Everything on the surface is a half-truth at best, and our lives have been spent on the surface. I think that deep down we all know that most of the things that consume our time and thoughts are not really important. So, when asked what is real and true and important, we have to take pause.
I know a lot of true things. Without pausing, here’re 10:
1. Heartbreak hurts, but being in love is worth it.
2. People can definitely change.
3. The most important thing you can be in this world is yourself.
4. Most people never truly know themselves, only for lack of trying.
5. We are love and abundance by nature, everything else is bullsh*t we picked up along the way.
6. It’s easier to be fake than authentic, but over time it hurts more.
7. Sunshine and good music can ease any problem.
8. People are addicted to having problems and it can be fatal.
9. What we see in the world is a projection and reflection of what’s within.
10. You can’t control how people receive you, so you should stop trying.
I believe every single word above. I believe that those are real and true and important. Still, the question was not to list 10 real and true and important things. The question was to write the truest sentence you know.
What is the truest sentence I know?
I think that the trick to this question is that it can be different each time you ask it. I think that the truest sentence you could write would have to be the truest thing that you are experiencing right this moment. I think it would have to be the thing that you would feel vulnerable to share. I think it has to be a sentence that comes on a beeline straight out of your soul.
So sure, I still think it’s challenging to write real and true and important sentences, but I think that writing the truest thing you know is downright impossible for most of us.
We’ve silenced that part of ourselves. Life on the surface taught us to look around and see the tip of the iceberg and call it the whole iceberg. We forgot how to go within. We forgot how to look beneath the surface.
Hemingway said all you have to do is write the one truest sentence you know. He was talking about writing; I believe this about life. I think if you can move through this world living consistently from your soul-driven-truest-truth, you’re going to live one hell of a life.
What you have to do is make that line from your soul to your head so open and smooth that you can keep up with that ever-changing truest truth. Then, in every moment of every day you ask Hemingway’s question and you act accordingly.
So right now, as I can feel the excitement of the potential of living in a world driven by truest truths, I have to ask myself again: on this Tuesday late-morning with the sun shining, the birds chirping, my hair a mess, laying on the floor in sweatpants, sipping Colombian coffee, what is the truest sentence I know?
Truest truths have rocked, crushed, confused, skyrocketed, upgraded, forever-changed, and saved my life.
And so now I’m asking you, my beautiful friend who isn’t afraid to go deep into your soul, what is the truest sentence you know?