In this essay, I explore the importance of living in and telling the truth and survey the fallout when we don’t.
I’d like to think we’re all on a journey toward something that we find important. This journey is tumultuous and full of disappointing moments. These moments are often like tragic events in history; in the Titanic when the hull of the ship snaps in half and water rushes in, the silence of the mat when Muhammad Ali has knocked out Sonny Liston, the tears of a mother over the casket of her child. Seeing a person spiral deeper into the chaos caused by their own lies is like watching an accident in slow motion, you can’t look away.
It can be difficult dealing with and accepting the truth. The truth can be a bitter-pill to swallow. Like death and taxes, truth comes back with a vengeance, raging and wild. Uncontrolled and confident, the truth is independent and self-sufficient and a force of freedom in our lives. As children, we’re often punished when we tell the truth. We’re silenced, quieted, and smothered. We’re told to tell the truth in a way that will keep other people comfortable. We’re told to tell the convenient truth, the truth that gives us warm butterflies, a truth that is easily digestable.
We’re told to tell the convenient truth, the truth that gives us warm butterflies, a truth that is easily digestable.
The truth, ultimately, can’t be contained. It bubbles up, leaking out of our inward parts, telling on us even when we try to keep it silent. Often, we treat truth likes it’s an option, an alternative, the auxiliary and backup option, but it’s not. It’s the primary issue.
The thing about truth is that it doesn’t hide. No matter how much we attempt to crush, destroy, and suppress the truth, it comes back like a boomerang, reflecting in every area of our lives. When you attempt to contain the truth, to sequester it with the lies of life, you end up cracking the way a statue cracks on the hard floor. The truth cracks any masks we hold. It is a light that shines through and into darkness.
This is what happened in Coco, a film about family and the way we remember our loved ones. in the film, an entire life and memory was built about a powerful man that was built on a lie. Then the truth showed it’s face, proud and unashamed and everything came tumbling down when it did. The cracks got wider and deeper. The lives that the family once built was destroyed and had to be re-created. It’s this moment of recreation that we must be committed to – that we must engage with.
We must let go of the lies we’ve invested in, admit the truth and re-build our lives and ourselves from the ground up.
We must let go of the lies we’ve invested in, admit the truth and re-build our lives and ourselves from the ground up. You can only swallow lies for so long. Eventually, the truth comes out. And you’ll have to rebuild with whatever tools you have in hand when it does.
Ugochuckwu Unigwe is a writer from Atlanta, GA. You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram at @ayyebruhham.