I tend to think Stephen Colbert has it right when he calls truth “truthiness”. We often think that the truth is permanent and never changing. However, the inverse is actually the reality. Here are two examples in which the truth is ever shifting:
This first example is beautifully stated by Aadil Palkhivala in his book “The Fire of Love”. Think back to your first yoga class. Your teacher asked you to take triangle pose. This new pose felt difficult. The best you could do was side bend, lean forward and try to touch the floor. After this first class, your teacher explains that you really don’t need to touch the floor. You raise up a little higher and your teacher guides you to lean back slightly taking the bend out of your spine. After a few more months of practice, your teacher asks you to reach toward the ceiling and spread your fingers to open the upper back and chest. You spend time here, expanding your energy out. After more time in class, your teacher asks you to draw energy in- imagine your feet are pulling closer together and shoulders draw energy in the body. In each stage, this is your truth. This is the truth of triangle for your body on that day. Each variation of triangle is beneficial, but as your awareness of your body unfolds, your truth becomes layered and expands.
The next example comes from personal experience and experiences I have seen from others around us. Say you meet a friend. This person seems nice enough and you would like to know them better. You take some time getting to know them and actually think you are friends. Next thing you know, you are at dinner and this person says something competitive toward you or hurtful. Now, you are not sure this person is a friend. You continue on and try having dinner again. You discover another hurtful comment. You assume the person does not like you and you stop wanting to be friends. Every time you receive a message from this person, you assume it is filled with something negative. Your truth about this person has now changed. A month later, you find out this person was suffering from depression and low self-esteem. The comments truly had nothing to do with you. Each message you perceived as negative, now feels different. You now understand and can be more open-hearted.
Our view of the world changes based on our life experience. The things we hold on to so firmly are often rooted in our own narrow view of the world. As we learn more and more, we find truth is elusive and we can only define truth for ourselves, however, don’t be surprised if what is true for you today changes tomorrow. Once we discover the path of yoga, we find everything exists in duality- there is no more black and white. Life is all about the shades of gray. Just widen your eyes, expand your mind and be open to it all.