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tedibear's avatar

If the truth hurts, how does one accept that truth and learn to live with it?

Asked by tedibear (18815points) December 31st, 2012

Most of us have heard the old saying, “The truth hurts.” And in some cases, that can be true. I venture to guess that the truth stops hurting when the person who is hurt accepts the truth and moves on. And there’s my question. If the truth, or reality of a situation or circumstance, is real and not going to change, how does one accept it?

Or is it basically like mourning, where everyone processes the loss in a different way and within a different time frame?

I’ve put this in social so that you can share any stories you might want to regarding this subject.

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14 Answers

Coloma's avatar

What other choice does one have?
There is a saying that ” when we fight with reality we suffer.”
You can fight it all you want but the only sane thing to do is except that everyone gets their share of unhappy pie, the portions just vary.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Adjusting to a hurtful ‘truth’ is exactly the same (to me) as the grieving processes. You go through the steps in the same order as well.

burntbonez's avatar

I find myself saying “so it goes” all the time. I am trying to bow to the inevitable. Accept that there is nothing I can do about it and therefore must live with it. But I find that acceptance comes slowly, if at all.

gailcalled's avatar

Given the other choice, one learns to live with it.

wundayatta's avatar

It is what it is. I want it to be different, but I see no way to make it different. So I have no choice but to live with it, or not live. I’d rather live with it. It eats away at me from time to time, but at other times I remember to be grateful for what I do have, even if it is not nearly what I would like to have. I have a little bit of happiness. Sure, I’d love 100% happiness all the time, but that’s not possible. Let me be happy I have the happiness I have. After all, I could have nothing at all.

Bill1939's avatar

It depends upon to what the truth is relative. In general, a truth hurts because it shatters one’s illusion. When someone you love turns out to be something quite different from what you thought they were, it is kin to death. Someone you thought you knew has ceased to exist, and a less desirable person is in their place. All of the stages of grief will apply. Conversely, a more complex understanding that convincingly refutes a simpler understanding will render the simpler understanding irrelevant, but with little if any angst over its demise.

Shippy's avatar

I think @KNOWITALL put it very well.

hearkat's avatar

Truth is objective; if our reaction to a truth is unpleasant, then it is on us to figure out why this fact surprises and upsets us, and what difference it makes in our lives. Why did I not already know this or see it coming? Why was I in denial? What does this change? We go through our days with our concepts of how things are. If we suddenly find out that things are not what we believed them to be, then it is similar to handling a death – we have to let go of those past beliefs and then reassess and rebuild our lives and our futures based on this new information… very much like grieving.

In my own experience, I was abused psychologically and sexually by a family member during my childhood, and my parents did not intervene. My adolescence and early adulthood were haunted by the “what-ifs” and “should-haves” and “if-onlys”. Eventually, I realized that all that wishful thinking for having a normal childhood could never make it so—nothing and no one could rescue me. I had to let go and grieve for the childhood that was taken from me. I had to accept that I would never feel loved by my parents, and that I had not treated myself as lovable, either. I had to forgive my parents for their ignorance, forgive my perpetrator for his selfishness and refusal to accept responsibility for his actions, and to forgive myself for allowing the victim mindset to consume me for so long, resulting in many poor decisions for which the consequences continue.

The fucked-up past is what it is and cannot be changed. I had to accept that I was here on this day at this time with this history behind me; and then to choose who I want to be as an adult, and what direction I want my future to take. I had to accept that I can not change the minds or actions of others – their denial protects them from the guilt which they simply could not bear, if they ever could comprehend the damage that was done. I can not change the past for my own child, who now bears the burden of mistakes I made before I had my own epiphany. I can not control him or his thoughts, feelings, or choices. I must bear my own guilt for the damage that was done, and I have apologized to him and we do talk openly about everything. This is my truth. I must do all I can on this day and at this time to live my life for this moment and so I will not look back on it with regret.

Being consistently open, honest, and realistic is the best way I have found to prevent the moments when one has a painful awakening to life’s harsh truths. I see other people withhold information information or even lie to others for the sake of their “protection”, but the truth seems to ultimately find its way, and it seems much more difficult to handle when it has been covered by deceit. I believe it is more loving and respectful of others to provide full disclosure and allow them to make their own decisions based on truth.

Coloma's avatar

@hearkat Beautifully said, and I agree 10,000%.
Deception takes away a persons right to make decisions based on fact and truth, not illusion. The real “crime” of deception is robbing another of all their options.

Unbroken's avatar

I think a good way to start the process is to go ahead examine whatever conceptions you have about the thing you cannot change.

Discover why you are angry; ie ashamed, embarrassed, hurt, at a loss, and see if those would be worth reconsidering.

Or how you can change the outliers or your response to them and maybe work them toward a goal or at least into your life fluidly.

By doing that you have some modicum of control or peace and knowledge of the situation, maybe a solution could be aided by research, thus being here.

I think the biggest issue we face today is the misconception that movies and books give us. That a problem could occur escalate and be wrapped up with some sort of ephihany or solution, in no more then 3 hours.

It can take many ephihanies, my tip write them down you will need to remember them, months and sometimes more to generate change and cope.

Peace does come.

marinelife's avatar

You start by accepting it. Then you feel any pain that comes with that. Then, gradually, you move on.

augustlan's avatar

I think you have to start with being honest with yourself. Face the truth of the situation head-on, and allow the grief to come. Acknowledge it, including any part you may have played in it, then put it in the past. As @hearkat said, you have to decide where you want to go from there, and take responsibility for your future direction. Nothing can be done to change the past, but your future doesn’t have to be completely out of your control. Therapy/counseling can be very helpful during this whole process. It helped me a lot.

tedibear's avatar

Excellent answers from everyone, thank you! This is why I love Fluther. Wisdom, kindness and good advice rolled into one.

Self_Consuming_Cannibal's avatar

I think the truth hurts because it’s what real. Sometimes shows, movies, books, etc. can make us sad but if you want real pain step into reality.

But at the end of the day I would rather know reality and suffer, than be blissfully ignorant. The truth will always catch up to you and the sooner the better.

“Why sell me your lies when I’ll buy the truth?”—SCC

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