Whether you believe it is your soul or your psyche, your inner truth is your personal framework from which you view life.
It’s the internal reality that guides you.
But what exactly is your inner truth and how can you find it?
What is an “inner truth”?
To some people, finding their inner truth is about connecting to a deep wisdom within that belongs to a larger consciousness or universal energy.
Discovering their inner truth is a spiritual quest for them. One that’s part of the journey of coming home to find peace and understanding.
Other people may have a slightly different definition of what getting in touch with their inner truth means.
To them, it’s more about learning to identify and listen to their own inner voice to guide them through life.
They are looking for their inner truth to give them clear answers to all those tough questions that have a habit of coming up.
Questions like, what should I do? Which path should I follow? What’s the best action to take? Where should I live? What is my purpose? What is the point of life?
For many years, I desperately tried to find my own inner truth because I thought this would deliver me to my highest purpose or plan.
But, spoiler alert, I soon came to realize I was going about things in totally the wrong way (but I’ll get to that later.)
Whatever it means to you, finding your inner truth is a journey of self-discovery. Here are some tips to help you along yours…
How can you find your inner truth?
1) Trial and error
Admittedly trial and error sounds an incredibly hit-and-miss instruction for finding something as important as your inner truth.
But personal experiences will always be the most significant learning tool we all have at our disposal.
Many of us are so terrified of making the “wrong” decisions in life. But this fear is the very thing that keeps us stuck.
For example, when pondering the question “what’s my purpose in life”, we can get tripped up because we want the answer to come to us before we do anything.
We’re nervous about trying to find out through taking action. So concerned with making a “bad choice”, we put it off and make no choice at all.
We wait until we “know more” or “feel clearer”. But that day never arrives.
The choices we make, whether they end up working out or not, are the very things that bring us closer to our own truth.
Life is the classroom and all lessons can’t be theoretical, they need to be practical. The mistakes we make, just as much as the good decisions, all bring us closer to our inner truth.
That’s because all experiences help us to discover what we like and what we don’t like, what brings us pleasure and what makes us sad, what we want and what we don’t want.
When we resist the urge to label things that happen as good or bad, we can reframe them all as equal learning opportunities.
You cannot “fail” because there is no way to fail. All experience is valuable.
It’s ok to make a choice, change your mind, get it wrong, and try something totally new. Because every time you do you gain more understanding of yourself.
2) Become less expectant and more curious
“Man suffers only because he takes seriously what the gods made for fun.”
I took finding my inner truth incredibly earnestly. I read spiritual texts, I went on retreats, I racked my brain, and sought answers everywhere I could think of.
I wanted to tune into myself. But the more I made it my mission to discover my inner truth, the more distant I felt from it.
The above quote from theologian Alan Watts perfectly highlighted my problem, and one I think a lot of seekers have.
We take this whole life thing far too seriously. In doing so we pile on the pressure that only creates tension.
Moments of true clarity or understanding tend to appear when we are feeling calm and relaxed.
That’s why the anecdote is to learn how to play with life. See it as an endless game to be explored.
Rather than demanding answers, take pleasure in asking the questions. That way we never stop growing, never stop learning and never stop evolving as a person.
The wonderful thing about curiosity is that it removes the self-imposed burden of expectation and restores the wondrous enthusiasm that children have.
Becoming more curious and playful makes it easier to follow your joy. Everything takes on a lighter quality.
The bottom line is: chill out.
If it feels like your inner truth is playing hide and seek with you, don’t get frustrated, play along with it.
3) Learn to recognize which part of your inner voice is speaking to you
Overthinking has a habit of clouding our thought process and leaving us totally unsure what the hell we actually think.
We speak about an “inner voice” as if we only have one, but in reality, we tend to have many. And rather unhelpfully they usually conflict and put forward totally different points of view.
In her book, ‘Whole Brain Living’ Harvard neuroanatomist Jill Bolte Taylor Ph.D. speaks about how four distinct sections of your brain create four unique “characters” driven by different instincts.
- Character 1 – Left brain thinking: The rational character that creates order
- Character 2: – Left brain emotional: The fearful character uneasy about things
- Character 3: – Right brain emotional: The thrill-seeking adventurous character
- Character 4: – Right brain thinking: The most “present”, calm and loving character
Learning to identify who is speaking and what they are being motivated by can be really helpful.
For example, is the voice telling you not to do something simply responding to primal fear to try and keep you safe?
It’s not that any part of us is bad. As Shaman Rudá Iandê points out, there’s a dark side to self-improvement when we begin to label certain emotions as negative and positive.
We can begin to reject or suppress perfectly legitimate parts of ourselves:
“You begin to lock your consciousness into a bubble in which you exist only as your “higher self,” always smiling, full of love and happiness, magnetic and unstoppable…You can deny or repress the negative thoughts and emotions, but they don’t go away…The other approach is to recognize that you’re a human being with every potential within and learn to embrace the full spectrum of your humanity. Stop dividing your thoughts and emotions into “positive” and “negative.”
The better acquainted we become with the different aspects of ourselves, the easier it is to connect with our inner truth — aka the part of ourselves which is our most peaceful, open, and loving self.
4) Stop “searching” for your inner truth
‘Life is about the journey, not the destination.’ How many times have we heard that old cliche?
We know it’s true, but despite this, the vast majority of us are frantically going around trying to fast forward and skip to the good parts.
We’re always looking for a cheat sheet to discover how to dodge levels 2, 3, and 4 and get straight to level 5, so we can finally be crowned the “winner”.
Maybe our quest to find our inner truth is similar. It’s easy to pin salvation on the belief that finding your inner truth is what will progress you through life.
But perhaps we don’t need to “discover” anything in order to be living our purpose. Because life is always happening around us regardless.
What if experiencing it is our purpose? As theologian Alan Watts puts it:
“The meaning of life is just to be alive. It is so plain and so obvious and so simple. And yet, everybody rushes around in a great panic as if it were necessary to achieve something beyond themselves…But you cannot understand life and its mysteries as long as you try to grasp it. Indeed, you cannot grasp it, just as you cannot walk off with a river in a bucket.”
That’s not to say that it isn’t a noble pursuit to actively seek more meaning, purpose, and understanding.
This will always be one of the most important elements of my entire life. But it should be within the context that your life already intrinsically has all the value it will ever have.
Bottomline: Your inner truth is closer than you think
Discovering your inner truth all sounds very grand and almost mystical. But in a more practical way, another word for inner truth could be self-knowledge.
Ultimately, learning to understand ourselves better is what helps us to know what we need and so seek out the people, opportunities, and experiences which will fulfill us most.
In this way, the path to your inner truth lies in cultivating a better relationship with yourself.