When framing a question to a colleague recently, I characterized something as a “story.” He responded that it was not a story, it was the truth. The comment struck a chord, and likely a different chord in each of us.
It caused me to ponder my personal need for compassion and a societal demand for truth. I have a need for compassion, to both receive it and give it. When I do not behave compassionately, I do not meet my own need for compassion. (A need for compassion may also not be met when someone ignores or does not acknowledge pain). After talking with my colleague, I started to question whether my choice of words met my need to behave compassionately. I hoped he did not perceive my characterization as an insensitive questioning of his veracity.
It also gave me pause to question truth. Based upon my learning and life experiences, I see certain things as my truth. Your time on earth has been filled with different experiences and teachings leading to your personal truth. Our truths are not always the same. Depending on what view you have of an elephant (front, side, back, top, bottom), and your physicality and experience, you will likely see the truth of the elephant differently than me Does that make either less true?
This arises in the context of conflict resolution regularly. Each person encounters a situation in a separate and individual manner. These individual experiences create a personal sense of truth. What is your truth? How did it come to be your truth? When do you question it?
Mediation and conflict coaching provide space to speak your truth, consider needs, and create ideas for resolution.