When we tell our stories – when we explain ourselves – how often do we consider why we are doing so? How often do we realize that when we say we are “speaking our truth” are we failing to realize that “our truth” and “the truth” are not always the same? The truth simply “is,” while our truths are complex webs of our experiences shaping how we see situations. At best they are near approximations. Yet, we love to talk. After all, talking is communication and communication is connection, right?
Speaking is a guaranteed method used to measure how in a given moment when you are speaking, you aren’t learning anything. Speaking and learning are mutually exclusive. The paradox here is that if no one ever speaks, then no one ever learns. At some point, someone has to be a teacher and someone has to be a pupil. These are positions, not hierarchies. Reading offers the chance for contemplation, because we don’t have the authors in our presence to engage in conversation or inquiry. This opportunity for introspection is an often missed opportunity whilst in the company of others. We speak up and speak out to be heard for the sake of social norms, politeness and/or the sake of our egos.
When we tell someone else’s stories – when we attempt to explain someone else’s experiences or perspectives – how often do we consider how we can be doing so, accurately? What right do we have to speak for anyone else? Especially when we’re not necessarily experts at speaking our own truths!
What is the art of connection without excess? Is it a lonely existence, or our fear of loneliness that keeps us from knowing the answer?