Guilt likes to dress itself up as truth. And it’s often very good at the ruse. I remember coming out of an appointment with my analyst really stirred up. We’d been talking about some pretty difficult topics and that inner negative voice had gotten the better of me. I got in my car, and I realized that I was in no condition to drive. That doing so would be endangering myself. I put the windows down and leaned the seat back, pressing my palms against my forehead like I could press out all the chatter in my brain. It all felt so true, so correct, but the logical part of my mind knew it wasn’t. That’s the funny thing about those voices, though. When you’re in their thrall, they can convince you of all sorts of things. Like the words of the logical part of the brain are actually the lie, and the truth has been what they’ve been saying all along. I was completely overwhelmed in that moment. It felt like every resistance I put up only made them louder and louder and louder.
And then I had a new thought about the truth.
Truth doesn’t need to be loud to be heard.
If someone has to shout something at you, that’s probably because they need the violence of their volume to convince you that they’re right. When something is true — deeply, personally, universally true — it speaks to you in a quiet stillness. You know it, on some basic level, as truth. It could be a whisper, but it would still be more powerful than the loudest thunder of falsehoods.
And the moment I thought that, the negative thoughts dissipated. Because they lacked all credibility when they couldn’t shout what they had to say.
What quiet truths have you found in your life?