Progressive culture’s concept of “my truth” is quite vague. It became incredibly frustrating as article after article left me more confused. One source defines it as being true to yourself. As in, listen to your desires and be the person you truly want to be. Another source calls it “a pretentious substitute for non-negotiable personal opinion.” Another says, “sometimes you know something is real and happened and is wrong, even if the world says it’s just the way things are. It’s a call to activism rooted in the individual story, grounded in personal experience.” And still another, “it’s also a well-known tactic in building leadership in community organizing that allows people who are rarely heard to tell their story, learn that they are, in fact, not alone, connects individual experiences to systemic issues, and helps develop powerful public speakers.”
Those words sound cool when strung together in an eloquent sentence. But what does it even mean? Is “my truth” a tool for activism? Is it a tool for connecting people with similar “truths”? Is it a lifelong journey, or is it something you can achieve? Is it something you think or something you do? I am left with so many more questions than answers.
After reading the tenth article, I had to laugh. It hit me! By not having a precise definition, the “my truth” movement is being true to itself. Let me explain. The whole concept of “my truth” is that everyone’s truth is relative, as in, it’s personal to them. Therefore, “my truth” is in direct opposition to objective or absolute truth. To have a clear definition would put an objective truth label on the “my truth” movement. This is contrary to what it stands for! If there were a precise definition, it would defeat the whole purpose of “my truth.” The beauty of the “my truth” movement is that it can be whatever you or I want it to be. To their credit, at least they are consistent with their ideology.
Despite the vagueness, I found two common threads amongst the myriad of articles I read. First, the concept of “my truth” plants itself on the idea that we are innately good. Since we are good, then our truth is good. Second, the “my truth” movement is a way to push back against external worldly pressures. They criticize the world for incessantly sending us messages about who we should be. When we listen to these messages, then it takes us away from us being true to ourselves.
By now, I hope a few fire alarms are going off in your brain. Hidden in the “my truth” movement is a small partial truth enveloped in a load of false ideologies. We’ll unpack why in the next blog post.