What comes to mind when you hear the someone mention personal truth? I pose this question because when you define your truth, you help to define the world around you. What do you consider important? What do you believe is worth fighting for? What do you strive to become? These are only a handful of the questions that allow you to shape lense through which you evaluate yourself as a person. In the absence of truth, you have no way to measure your growth as a person, your contribution to society, and life lacks meaning as a result of the absence in direction. Essentially, without our truths we are like animals in the wild. Your truth serves as a compass to gauge how well you are doing in life.
Life on Autopilot
If we neglect to declare our truth we create our lives on accident. I believe this is the point Russell Brand makes in his book Recovery: Freedom From Our Addictions with the following quote: “We don’t choose between having a program and not having a program. We choose between having a conscious program and an unconscious program. When you’re not working a program consciously you’re working an unconscious program – the program of your childhood, the program of your culture, the program of your media.”
While in the depths of my addiction, even before my addiction, I felt a complete and utter loss of direction. There were days, weeks, months, and even years where I’d wake up, mindlessly trudge through the days tasks, and go to bed. I had no truth and was missing self-awareness or a purpose. I was being worked by an unconscious program. I believe this is why mental illness appears hereditary, why the sins of the father show in the sins of the son.
A Glitch in the Matrix
Recently I wrote on what I consider the predominating factor behind addiction. I proposed it to be the result of internalizing a false narrative as a personal truth or norm. While the absence personal truth and a false personal truth are similar i’s important to note the difference between the two. There are plenty of poor souls who haven’t developed a personal truth, who work an unconscious program, that don’t become addicted to drugs or alcohol.
The absence of personal truth leads to a life created by default, while a false truth can lead to a life of self-destruction. There are a number of common threads I’ve found in talking to addicts: sexual abuse, divorce, and a lack of identity to name a few. In discussions I’ve had with rape survivors they’ve said things like they felt they were a willing participant because they “could have” said something. Imagine the internal conflict that arises when we believe something to be true about ourselves that is inherently false.
Whether you work a program or live by a code the effects are the same, the establishment of a personal truth. When you become fed up with the monotony of everyday life and make the conscious decision that you want something more, that is the development of truth. When you commit to purging negativity from your life and build respect for yourself as well as others, this is the development of truth. When you develop self-worth and make the choice to build relationships with people who assist in your growth, that is the development of truth. Failing to do these things results in repeating miseries of the past.
When these characteristics of drive, positivity, and value become your truth your energy shifts and you begin to emit them to into the world. You begin to live intentionally, life becomes simpler, and you find purpose. Taking the time to identify your truths, labeling them, and consciously living by them might be the most important thing you’ll do in life.
Nick Kastros is the creator of the Open Discussion Movement. A project with the mission of changing the dialogue around addiction, reassessing the problem of drugs in society, and providing aid. He runs the website ODMovement.com which produces a podcast that’s available on SoundCloud, Google Play, Spotify, and iTunes. You can follow the OD Movement on social media at Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.