This I Believe

Karen - Venice, Florida
Entered on July 20, 2006
Age Group: 50 - 65
Themes: family, integrity

This I Believe

I believe in truth.

Sounds simple and a bit trite, doesn’t it? But think about it, the success of everything that is important in our lives is based on truth: relationships, friendships, work ethic, religious beliefs and self-esteem. But, how many of us are totally dedicated to truth? How many of us realize that truth is a direct reflection of who we are and our personal sense of honor?

We travel down the path of life making consolations and deals with the truth: half truths and little white lies.

My own personal desire of truth led me to be respected and hired by one of the world’s largest Japanese companies. I learned about a culture whose history and honor is based upon honesty.

I have also painfully learned that the opposite of ‘truth’ is really ‘denial.’ Denying something – fills you with your own sense of what the truth is. Nothing brought my world crashing down more than the realization that the one person I cared for, was indeed living a life of lies.

After our parents died 3 months apart from each other, my sister and I had become incredibly close. She is all that I have left. But, I was in denial. Denying the fact that she had chosen a life filled with excuses. Rationalizing her husband and family filled with hypochondriac illusions, moving from place to place just before foreclosures, borrowing money from every stranger and family member so they could live well and then apply for state assistance. I denied it when one at a time, friends stopped talking to them and relatives screened their calls. When her husband’s livelihood meant working a few months and making money from the disasters in the country. To then await and watch ‘the money channel’ – their reference to The Weather Channel.

It’s easy to be in denial when someone is 3,000 miles away. But, ‘truth’ hit me square in the eyes when they arrived to live with us. Giving is a portion of my nature. And our family opened our doors. We gave, and allowed ourselves to be used; just like all of the others. Then they left.

It is not an adage to say that ‘truth hurts’. Struck in the heart with pain and anguish; I finally saw what my sister had become. Anger at my own foolishness; helping people that will not help themselves , except to a handout. A hard lesson to learn, when one feels so strongly about truth.

Everyone has experienced these life lessons. It’s a sense of betrayal and self-realization and we know we will never let it happen again. So, I wiped away my nightly tears and embraced the trademark statement of my counselor: you can’t change others, you can only change yourself. To allow this – is to enable it.

Truth, you see, had informed me that I must close a door. And so, I took the path of tough-love. Sending a few books that had been of help to me in my own past therapy, I ended communication.

It is up to her to recognize and do something with the path they have chosen. I will love her always in the deepest part of my soul and will welcome a day when her realization occurs. But I don’t know who she has become.

For now ~ they have moved to a town in Idaho. Where her husband waits for the next disaster and she teaches school part time.

I believe in truth and must tell myself this every day. The price is a heavy burden. It would be so much easier to just ignore it.

But then, I would not be truthful to myself.