Difficult Truths

We are not equipped to process difficult truths quickly.

Difficult truths take time to understand, to accept, and to digest, sometimes even a lifetime.

These truths take even longer before we can transform them into usable information that adds value to our lives, our relationships, and our communities.

We have built in resistors.

As a means of self protection, whether consciously or subconsciously, we do not want to know the whole truth about ourselves, our experiences, our relationships, and our surroundings all at one time.

It is simply too much to bear.

That is why, with regards to difficult truths, we usually come to a place of understanding slowly, especially with truths that cause us pain.

Of course, we may experience the occasional epiphany, a sudden, perspective-shifting realization, or a life-altering revelation at one point in our life or another, but these experiences are typically quite rare and unpredictable.

There are ways to encourage the occurrence of these experiences, however.

There are practices that are capable of opening up our hearts and minds to a deeper, fuller understanding of the truth, and that give us the empathy, compassion, and patience required to come to terms with what we find out about ourselves and the world we live in.

The truth, even a difficult truth, is not the problem, after all.

It is how we come to know the truth, how we process it, and what we do with it that makes the difference between our experience of it being either traumatic or healing.


Holistic Budo: As it is in budo, so too it is in life. As it is in life, so too it is in budo.

Robert Van Valkenburgh is co-founder of Taikyoku Mind & Body and Kogen Dojo where he teaches Taikyoku Budo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

All photos by Robert Van Valkenburgh unless otherwise noted.

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