Food for Thought

In a world where information and misinformation abound, the truth is hard to recognize. Even truth itself depends on context and perspective and some truths seem “truer” than others. We often think of truth as something relating to the external world. This kind of truth is grounded in facts, scientific inquiry, biology, physiology and other areas of study, but there is also another realm of truth—our personal truths.

Most of us were conditioned as children to respect our parents and other adults, particularly people in positions of authority, such as teachers, doctors, police officers, and judges. As children, we adopted our parents’ world views and attitudes without question and as we got older, slowly began to recognize ways in which our thoughts, feelings, opinions, and ideas differed from those around us. If we were fortunate, we had parents and teachers that nurtured our individual feelings and perspectives. We began to discover our own truths.

Many girls and women were never taught to recognize their individual opinions or to appreciate them as valid and important. Some were actively discouraged from having or expressing attitudes and opinions that differed from those around them. We may have stayed silent about the truths we did know about ourselves when these truths might make someone else look bad or jeopardize an important relationship.

However, as we get older, many of us develop more confidence in our perceptions of the world and our judgments about people and situations. We may become less fearful of disappointing others and more resilient in the face of disagreement from others. If we have been victims of trauma, we may find the courage to believe ourselves and disclose difficult truths to others. To speak our truth is an act of bravery and self-affirmation. In the process of sharing our individual perspectives, we often find that we are not alone in our experiences and can find shared truth and meaning. Let’s talk about what speaking our truth does for our lives.

Questions to Consider:
1) As a child, were you encouraged or discouraged from discovering your own unique perceptions and feelings about things?
2) What influences may have caused you to doubt your own perception of the truth?
3) When did you become able to begin acknowledging your own perceptions of things and speak about them?
4) Share a situation in which you spoke your truth and what happened as a result of that.

Created by Dr. Beth Firestein for Wise Women Group. [Copyright 2019]