About “Your Truth” and “My Truth”
By Eric Geiger
Words matter. We deploy them to communicate, to capture what we are thinking, feeling, and sensing. Words can build people up or tear people down. Words can divide or they can unite. Leaders know that the leadership axiom “words create worlds” is true, that the words we use in our ministries and organizations create the cultures we live and lead in. Leaders and teachers care about words because they know the power within them.
But just because words matter does not mean we should play the role of self-appointed “word police” – where we act like it is our responsibility to monitor everything others say and offer continual unsolicited correction. I surely don’t want to be treated that way nor do I want to treat others that way. As a communicator my words are not always as precise as they should be, and I am grateful for the grace others give me, grateful when others look at the whole of my message instead of slicing a few phrases here and there.
However, there are times when inaccurate and hurtful phrases become so frequently utilized and so commonly expressed that they should be corrected.
“My truth” is one of those phrases that should be reconsidered by those who use it. You have likely heard: “That is my truth,” or “know your truth.” We should stop saying that. You may have to catch yourself because it is one of the phrases that has caught on, one of those phrases that people use without even knowing why they are using it.
How dare I suggest that someone should not speak “their truth?” But what if this is “my truth?” Shouldn’t I be able to speak “my truth?” Your truth (and my truth) may not the be the truth, and that is not just my truth but the truth. Here are two reasons we should remove the “my truth” phrase from our vocabulary…