Don't Worry, It's Not Your Fault

"Although what we choose to believe
does not change what is true,
it deeply affects how we live our lives."

by Peg Coleman

One day while sitting on the lawn of the University of Minnesota campus, listening to a speaker, I heard this startling statement; "truth is true whether you choose to believe it or not." In other words if I choose to believe I weigh 110 pounds, that doesn't mean it's true. I can go on rejecting the truth that is before me everyday, but it doesn't change the facts. Even if those facts are, to me, an "inconvenient truth".

Although what we choose to believe does not change what is true, it deeply affects how we live our lives. Our unwillingness to face what is true is one of the most profound choices we make. Unwillingness to face what is true has the power to keep us in a situation that doesn't necessarily have to exist. By allowing reality (what is true) to be present as we make decisions, we're starting from the only point that actually makes any sense. At times, in our convoluted thinking, we believe that if we choose not to face the facts that somehow that makes them null and void, of no consequence.

All About Choice

Without realizing it, we seem to believe that by basing our decisions upon criteria we select, whether those criteria are true or false, our lives will not be adversely affected. But we're losing because by rejecting the truth, we're creating false situations we would never have had to deal with. If I refuse to acknowledge that I am seriously overweight, I am choosing to open the door to the possibilities of diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease.

It's all about choice, isn't it, and the freedom to choose. But can there be any real choice if we are not considering what is true as one of the possible choices? If we aren't, any decision we make is based on false evidence. By refusing to acknowledge what is true about any situation and therefore not dealing with what is real, we set ourselves up for things that never had to be.

What possible reasons can there be for not wanting to be as informed as we can when we make decisions that affect our lives? One reason may be that we believe the truth will be too hard to bear. Another, that if we face the truth it will demand actions we're not willing to take, or feel we're incapable of taking. Sometimes we're just not prepared to pay the personal price involved in knowing the truth.

Consider the first example. If I finally step on a scale and see that I weigh 210 pounds rather than the 110 I've chosen to believe I weighed, what will happen? I'll be faced with a choice. Based on the facts, I'll have to choose to continue living in my fantasy world, decide the scale is broken, or accept the reading on the scale. If I choose to accept the facts about my weight, another decision presents itself. I have to decide what I'm going to do about it. But at least I've admitted facts into my thinking that weren't there before.

Fabricating Our Own Reality

Why do we seem so unwilling to consider the truth about a situation? Perhaps we believe we couldn't bear the pain that knowing the truth might bring. We may, if we're honest, know that we don't want to change the way we do things. We don't want to deny ourselves anything…not one thing, and it's easier to avoid that happening by fabricating our own reality. But the fact is we don't change what is true by not facing it, even when it seems the most painful thing imaginable.

There is a silent epidemic in our society that is claiming an enormous number of lives every day, but receives virtually no attention. It's the "It's not your fault that…." campaign. You may recall it: It's not your fault you're overweight, its not your fault you're unhappy or not as good at sport, or are jealous or self-centered. No—it's "their" fault or "his" fault or "her" fault but definitely and certainly not MY fault.

This No Fault attitude, as I call it, was ushered in with the advent of No Fault insurance, followed quickly by No Fault divorces. What began as a desire to make the claims process easier in one case, lead to an easy way out for couples no longer "in love". Its reached epidemic proportions in a society where we increasingly refuse to accept responsibility for our own actions. Remember the law suit against a certain well know "Golden Arches" company when a customer chose to hold a hot drink between her legs while driving and got burned? She blamed the company for serving it hot…it was coffee! She certainly wasn't to blame for making an unwise decision. Given the facts, what do you think? Unstable hot coffee, moving vehicle, tender skin...

Live Free or Die

There is a wonderful saying on New Hampshire's car license plate "Live Free or Die". That encapsulates our fight for freedom as a country so many years ago. How does one today, in a society so rife with the easy out "It's not your fault" clause take the first step towards that freedom so proudly proclaimed? One way is to consider the words in John 8:32 "then you shall know the Truth and the Truth shall make you free." What truth are they talking about? To discover more about that, consider these words in John 14:6 "I (Jesus) am the way, the truth and the life…" Truth is not an arbitrary thing, subject to the capriciousness of men. It stands over and above the wrangling, philosophizing and endless discussions.

So how will you choose to live this day? Will you choose a world of your own making, or will you take a new look at things with fresh eyes and new insight that will allow you to walk in the light of truth today? After all, the choice IS yours.

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