The Value of Telling the Truth

What is the truth?

We are surrounded by liars of all kinds every day. Most people “fudge” the truth to be polite (we are taught to do that), to be non-confrontive, to avoid conflict. Some people delight in deliberately lying (politicians, maybe?) Your neighbor? Your boss?

Who decides how much not telling the truth is too much and who can say when the boundaries become so blurry you don’t know any more what the truth really is?

Truth begins with your body, not your mind. It is in your body that you will find exactly what you are experiencing. If you ignore its signals, and most of us do, you will lose track of its messages and you will be lost. In order to know your own truth, you have to know what you feel when you feel it and be able to express that truth in words. Good luck if you have been taught not to notice what your body feels or to deliberately suppress those feelings. After a while, they just go away and don’t come back. That’s really bad.

One way we describe people who seem lost is to call them senseless. They no longer feel or notice their five senses, grounded in their bodies. If you pay attention to your physical experience over time you will find that, indeed, most of the time your body reads life quite well, regardless of what you tell yourself in your mind. Once you get used to reading your own senses, you can allow them room to be, and that, in turn, allows you to frame your truth carefully. It is almost always possible to tell the truth (as you see it) tactfully and kindly without lying. It’s just that that skill takes time to cultivate.

If you lose track of what you feel you will also lose track of how to sing authentically, because the singing has to feel right in your body. You will allow yourself to become convinced that some sounds are more “right” than others because someone in authority told you they were. You can even get used to those sounds and think they fit even though they really don’t make you happy. If you live with your own deeply felt truth, you can’t help but notice when you are singing in a way that doesn’t belong to you. Your sound becomes a lie. Then what?

You cannot discover any of this by looking outside yourself. The truth is not “out there” it is in you, now. It inhabits your body, always. Learn to listen to your physical sensations and pay attention to your perceptions about them. Keep your judgements at bay. Tell the truth about what you notice. It will keep you sane and make your singing powerful.

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