I’ve been watching the reality show about Ryan and Tatum O’Neil on the OWN station – the tumultuous father and daughter relationship resulting in a separation and silence for the past 25 years. They both agreed it was time to put the past behind them and try to begin again to rebuild their lost relationship – through this series on cable.
It has been very interesting and heartbreaking at the same time. To get a glimpse into someone’s pain is never easy – to feel hope for them as they talk and uncover much of their difficulties – and why things went so bad for them. Through counseling, alone and together, they are getting to the deep issues which caused their separation in the first place.
But what I’ve noticed is this: We all have our own truth. It is ours.
Truth cannot be negotiated or argued. It is different for everyone. It is something that we believe about ourselves, others and our situation.
In having my truth – I am not saying that you do not have yours as well – but my truth – is my truth. It is my version of the story – it is what I believe in my heart of hearts.
We do damage to ourselves and others when we try to rewrite their truth for them.
When two people have different “truths” – and will not validate the other for having their own unique truth – there can be no settling of accounts – no matter how much counseling they have. And at the end of the day – their personal truth will be all they have.
I really believe with all my heart – that all people just want to be recognized and validated for having their own truth. No matter how weird it may sound. Even if you think you know better and think they are ALL MESSED UP. We want someone to say to us, “I understand. I get how you could feel that way. I see you” So often we never get that response that we are seeking.
All Ryan needs from his daughter, Tatum is this: “I see you Dad – I’m just as much to blame as you are” And Tatum needs to hear Ryan say, “I take ownership in my part of our separation. I made many mistakes and I’m sorry you felt abandoned” Isn’t it too bad – they will probably never be able to really say those things to each other – too much history – too much blame – too much sadness.
I am glad to know this: The only solid place for me to go when regarding the “truth” is Jesus. The Bible tells me that He IS the Truth and the Life. And with so many personal “truths” out there – varying with every person on the planet – He is the only constant who never changes. I can run to Him – feel that acknowledgment and validation from the source – the creator – who holds My past with all of its regret – the present with all of its unanswered questions – and the future with all of its secrets, not yet revealed to us. When others shun, devalue and withhold from us – He is there holding out loving arms of truth to me.
Do you allow others to have their personal truth? Do you feel validated from others? Have you acknowledged Jesus to be the only real truth in your life?