From the Headmaster's blog...
Posted 7 March, 2019
When was the last time you challenged your truth?
By Senior Pastoral Care Coordinator - Mrs Emily Madden
Throughout last year in a new position of responsibility I considered some of my own so called ‘truths’; what I perceive to be ‘right’ or ‘wrong’; beliefs about my own capabilities and that of others. I came to some new realisations, which I would like to share and hopefully encourage you with.
1.“Facts are from the head; truth is also from the heart”.
Philosophers continue to argue about definitions of truth. This thing which we seem to rely on almost every moment of every day is so difficult to define. As humans we often believe something to be true if we can back it up with clear facts. However, it’s not as simple as this. One writer described the difference between truth and fact as: “Facts are notes and lyrics on sheet music. Truth is what the singer gives to the listener when she’s brave enough to open up and sing from her heart”. The way I view and understand our world may be remarkably different to someone else. Unfortunately, this often leads us to form ideas and judgements that impact the way we communicate, interact and treat one another. How often do we ask questions rather than give an opinion? When you have a conversation with someone, do you listen with no agenda or do you already have an answer ready to deliver?
2.Truth tells me “I am not stuck”.
It is estimated that we have around 50,000 thoughts a day. Some 95% of our thoughts are repeats, which form, strengthen and reflect our beliefs. Some thoughts have been built by our culture, the media, and religion. Some are influenced by our nature, how we have been brought up and our personal experiences. Many of our ‘truths’ hide in our thoughts more comfortably than our words. They are often the thing which controls us, directs us and influences how we treat ourselves and others. Sometimes we drift along with the common message, the popular, loudest voice. We lose touch with what we actually believe. Truth tells me “I am not stuck”. I recently read that, “You can change your inner dialogue; you can rewrite the narrative in your mind; you don’t have to submit to the way you’ve always told yourself the story”. Challenge your truth.
3.Truth tells me “weakness can be our greatest strength”.
Last year I was part of the team who travelled to Vietnam, to experience a different culture, to support a family in need and learn more about myself. I didn’t quite expect to be challenged in the ways that I was. I believed that, as a leader, I was there to support others rather than the other way around. My ‘truth’ was turned upside down. During the build I relied on the support of my team to deal with challenges such as heat, exhaustion and physical strain. I needed their humour, enthusiasm and sense of crazy fun to keep me motivated and energised. We all discovered more about ourselves and each other. Through interacting with the family, workmen and people from the local village, I was reminded about the meaning and importance of gratitude, humility, selflessness and simple joy.
The Bible encourages us to challenge our truth. To think about what we are doing; what we are thinking or believing to be truth. Are your thoughts directing you to speak and act in ways which are counterproductive? Is your motivation based on wanting to impress others and to fit in with what’s considered ‘normal’ or popular?
Romans 12:2 reads:
2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is - his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Believe the truth that you are not stuck. With courage and discipline you can become more aware of the messages you are repeating; you can transform your thoughts and habits.
Believe the truth that you don’t have to be perfect. God’s love for you is bigger than your mistakes. You belong not because you choose to think, speak and be like everyone else.
You belong because you are here.