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The Truth, the Whole Truth, and Nothing But the Truth
Page 2: Will the Truth Really Set You Free?

Although we can't completely know the truth (that is, unless we're on the level of the Dalai Lama or beyond), there are many different ways in which we can work towards being more truthful. First, keep in mind how what you say or do will affect those around you. Do what you say you will do, and keep your promises. Be responsible - don't give people false impressions. Don't cheat on your taxes and don't borrow money you do not intend to pay back. Be willing to look beyond the surface before you judge a person or a situation - that will enable you to walk away with a more accurate idea of what is going on, and you'll be less likely to spread untruths. While Satya encourages the truth to be spoken, it also warns against harming others. A harmful truth ignores the Yama of Ahimsa, or non-violence. When a truth will hurt others, it is best to remain silent (this is particularly good to remember the next time you are tempted to gossip about someone!).

(Article continued below.)

The only time it is always okay to be brutally honest is with yourself. Truth begins at home - if you never lie to yourself about your own nature, capabilities, desires and needs, you are far less likely to lie to others. Be honest with yourself in even small ways. For example, if you are on a diet and you take a bite or two of someone else's dessert, yes, those calories count! And be honest in big ways - if you are trying to push yourself into a profession you hate only because it makes a lot of money, decide what's really important. If you really need job fulfillment, then follow a different career path, even if it pays less. If you don't care about being satisfied in your work but really want the money, admit it to yourself and go for it. Either way is the right way - you'll know you're living your truth if you are happy.

And that's the key to knowing the truth: happiness. When you are not truthful with yourself and others, you feel uncomfortable, uneasy - even a bit slimy. Your self-esteem and self-confidence go down a few notches. It's exactly the opposite when you live the truth. You are self-assured and you feel in tune with the universe. You can look anyone in the eye. An honest world is a joy-filled world. And the more truth you have in your life, the more you will be able to live spontaneously and rely on your intuition. You will know the right things to say (and not to say). And maybe someday, when your best friend shows up with a bad haircut, the right words - which neither lie nor hurt - will be right there for you to speak. Living the truth can be downright magical. You know that saying, "The truth will set you free"? It's true!

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