The Next Chapter: The Joy Diet – Chapter 2 – Truth

by Valerie on October 2, 2009 · 17 comments

Today, we are discussing truth as part of Jamie Ridler’s online bookclub, The Next Chapter on The Joy Diet: Ten Daily Practices for a Happier Life by Martha Beck.  Truth is the second menu item of this book.  

What was especially interesting to me about this chapter is that it felt very familiar to me.  Unlike with “nothing” where it took me working through the chapter to realize I had been practicing nothing quite a bit myself, thr truth chapter actually felt familiar.  You see, in the last few years, I have made it a practice to be brutally honest to myself about my feelings.  It all started in 2001 when I got rid of two really bad habits (a bad boyfriend and a bad cable news addiction, which was more like a negativity addiction) and realized that I had been lying to myself to keep both habits around as long as I had. When I realized that, I swore never to lie like that to myself again.  And so the questions that Martha Beck suggests (what am I feeling? what hurts?) felt familiar.  Her question “what is the painful story I am telling” and “is my painful story working” and “can I think of another story” felt similar to my own “if x hurts, is it because it should hurt, or am I making up a story around it?” 

One of the things I have learned about truth, however, is that it is ok to sit with the truth for a while – truth can be joyful, but it can also be painful.  And sometimes, sitting with the painful things helps me understand them.  Finally, nothing and truth for me can be really intertwined – i.e. when I do the ticker tape exercise and name my feelings as thoughts flow by, I work hard to be truthful to myself.  

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jane October 2, 2009 at 6:49 pm

Like you, I also found this chapter familiar. Partly because I've done this truth work in the past and was familiar to the questions and process. But also because I've been on this journey for quite a while and find myself questioning my "painful stories" whenever they come up. This was the first time however that I can really see how the other menu itmes work with the truth questions. It all makes better sense to me now.


2 KathrynAntyr October 2, 2009 at 7:06 pm

Sitting with truth is a great way of putting it. We often want to rush results when what is needed is to just sit with it. Great job outgrowing the unhealthy relationship and news habit.


3 Karley October 2, 2009 at 7:26 pm

Great post, CGL.
I commend you on realizing–and doing something about–what had become your truth…GREAT WORK!


4 stargardener October 2, 2009 at 8:21 pm

"it is ok to sit with the truth for a while" Those words are like a salve for me … I just jotted them down in my collage journal. Thanks!

Congratulations for embracing the courage to make those difficult decisions in your life. \o/


5 Pink Heels October 2, 2009 at 8:23 pm

I agree. As you and your readers shared, I too have also gone through this phase of exploring truth. Through that process, I have learned to love and accept myself while maintaining positive perception of the truth.


6 Lavanya October 2, 2009 at 8:39 pm

Letting ourselves hear and digest our truths is such an important endeavor. Most problems/troubles seem to stem from lying to ourselves.
You seem to have done a super job of acknowledging difficult truths, as well as doing something about them!!


7 Diva Kreszl October 2, 2009 at 10:14 pm

It was indeed amazing how our 'nothing' coincided with 'truth'!


8 Ellecubed October 2, 2009 at 11:18 pm

I absolutely loved the way you wrote about truth. I also really appreciated the connection you made between truth and nothing. Thank you so much for sharing your week (and past dealings) with truth.


9 Lisa October 2, 2009 at 11:31 pm

I agree… if we allow ourselves to sit with truth, even if it's dark and cumbersome, we can let a little light and healing in…. beautiful post!


10 Melita October 3, 2009 at 12:37 am

love your truths. it is really hard to give up something that has become part of our lives for so long but we have to be true to ourselves first and foremost. we have to live our own truths day in and day out so why not make them good ones đŸ˜‰


11 Ananda Leeke October 3, 2009 at 1:26 am

Hi CityGirl. I so love your blog. Okay I wanna just high five and amen you on this passage below.

"One of the things I have learned about truth, however, is that it is ok to sit with the truth for a while – truth can be joyful, but it can also be painful. And sometimes, sitting with the painful things helps me understand them"

I have learned that too. Well said. Are you based in DC? I am asking because I want to reference your blog in an article about DC blogs for Let me know soon. I am writing the article for Tuesday.

Enjoy your weekend!

Peace and Truth,



12 Karen D October 3, 2009 at 4:06 am

I like what you say about sitting with the truth, it can be painful but also joyful, thank you for sharing your week of truth.


13 Sankofa Doll Artistry October 3, 2009 at 10:10 am

Wow- "it is okay to sit in truth for a while." I like that. Thanks!


14 Genie Sea October 3, 2009 at 2:56 pm

This post resonated for me, much in the same way it did for others.

I invite my truth to tea and sit with it a while, listening to its story. Gotta give the little rascal it's time to speak, or it will begin to shout.


15 Lucy Ladham-Dyment October 3, 2009 at 3:08 pm

Great post.


16 Lawendula October 3, 2009 at 5:28 pm

Great, that you're in (the paper swap I mean) :) enjoy your weekend!


17 Dia October 4, 2009 at 3:48 am

'Sit with it' is something I try to do when wrestling with decisions – nice to see that concept in this context – & love Genie's idea of having a cup a tea w/ one's truth!

Congrads also, on ridding your life of those heavy influences – I have also done that! Boyfriend – haven't had TV (except for movies) for most of my adult life :) but how powerful, those self commitments!


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