“Truth Ache: A truth-ache is a nudging sense of falsity, a symptom of our alienation from true-path, a sign that we are not honoring our divine purpose. They can come in any form (i.e. physical illness, self-avoidant behaviors, a sense of hopelessness). Although sometimes painful, the truth-ache actually contains the seeds of our transformation. It is a divine trumpet call to the paths we are here to walk.” ~Jeff Brown
Jeff posted that as a Facebook status yesterday. I know that feeling incredibly well and am delighted to have a word for it now! I have had truth aches appear in all of the forms he mentions: physical illnesses, self-avoidant behaviors, and that overwhelming sense of hopelessness that is my own personal darkness (depression). In fact, I’ve lived entirely too much of my life in a state of truth ache from trying to live a life that our culture considers to be safe and successful. This focus on the cultural norm coupled with my own disconnection from my intuitive self has meant that even in those moments that I recognized the truth ache for what it was, I only knew that the path I was on was the wrong one but had no clue what path I was actually called to walk. I have been living in the state that Oriah Mountain Dreamer recently described in a blog post. (I’d highly recommend reading her full post, by the way. It’s excellent stuff!)
“When we lose touch with our soul’s longing, we lose our way. We stop dreaming. We start surviving and eventually, we are ambivalent about even that.” ~Oriah Mountain Dreamer>
She talks in her blog post about how easy it is to lose sight of our soul’s longing, especially when we are in intimate relationships with others where it is so easy to put the other person’s wants and needs ahead of our own soul’s longings, to fool ourselves into letting go of those longings in order to ease the relationship. I know I’ve been guilty of that more times than I can count. Most of my adult life has been a long stretch of just surviving and, as she says, being often rather ambivalent about even that. I feel like I’m managed to accomplish little in my life that really mattered because all my energy has gone into survival mode—not actually living, just surviving.
I am in a place now of intense truth ache. My soul is loudly calling for me to listen to its deepest longings and to act on them. I am fortunate in this moment not to have the distraction of an intimate relationship to cloud my hearing of that voice; there is no one who is impacted by my life choices, and no one I need to please in order to preserve a happy relationship. That is particularly good in a time when I am struggling to reconnect to that quiet inner voice of my intuition; there is less static to muddy the waters. I feel like I am learning by the day to better listen to that voice and to clarify my soul’s longings, but I struggle with how to bridge the gap between those longings and my current reality. It’s not easy to determine how to balance honoring that inner voice and moving deliberately toward my soul’s inner longings with acting in ways that are prudent and responsible for being able to sustain those longings in the longer term.