Soul Journalism — Tell Your Truth

by Rebecca A. Watson on February 9, 2015

in Family, life, Values, writing

I have been watching a Facebook acquaintance go through a very public breakup from her family. Part of me feels like she’s oversharing, but another part of me is jealous. Like really jealous. Why can’t I be that public? Why don’t I just not give a fuck?

no fucks given

To be fair, there have been times when no fucks were given.

Why? Because I don’t want to hurt people and burn bridges (even if that’s in my stars). Because I still want my family to talk to me, to love me, to respect me.

But I remember being that mad — wanting to peel back the layer of lies and expose everything. God, that desire to draw back the curtain on the shadow of big organizations, of people who put on a good show, rings a bell in my soul.

When the paper I worked for (the one that made all their money through publishing foreclosure notices) bought a bankruptcy firm that also happened to process most of those foreclosures, I wanted to scream “Conflict of Interest!” from the rooftops.

When I heard about the exposure of abuse within various institutes, I was joyful. Not about the abuse of course, but by the fact that finally sunshine was reaching some places — that these boulders that sat in place for millennia were being overturned and the creatures beneath seen for what they really are.

I’m a journalist by education, a writer by nature. I want the story told. I want to be, like Rihanna says, a truth teller. Every fiber of me leans toward honesty and disclosure even when I know that might not be ideal.

My friends use words like blunt and straight-forward when talking about me. I’m proud that the adjective most used to describe my writing is honest.

honesty is the best poetry

When I was young, I was told I was a liar — trained to believe it. I might still if I didn’t recognize the burning light inside me, this bird banging at the cage built around it.

I’m sure my abusers saw it — probably the reason I was called a liar in the first place. But they also showed their fears, their true thoughts. Everyone tells you those if you know how to listen.

“I’m worried you’ll write a book one day and tell everyone what really goes on here.”

I guess even the unevolved are in touch with their intuition occasionally.

And there is a pull to do just that when I watch this Facebook drama unfold in front of me. But I wonder if it would even be a good story anymore, now that my emotion has fallen from its fever pitch. Now that I’ve forgiven.

Or maybe that’s when the best soul journalism, the real truth excavation happens — when you can be objective. All I know is that the light of truth always comes out, whether it’s between a few people or to your whole (Facebook) world.

Light suppressors — your time has come.

Truth tellers — take your mark.

This is an ongoing series about values. You can read the archives here or check out my entire list of  those that are important to me.

Photo credit: Sameer Vasta

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