What is “the truth?” A quick lap around the internet will offer a lot of theories and definitions. Some believe there is no “absolute” truth while still others point to their respective religion and science to determine “the truth.” It seems the only absolute truth I can find is that not everyone can collectively agree on what is truly, well, true. Of course that’s my opinion, so likely also not true. Makes my head hurt.
But what has been on my heart lately is our own personal truth. What do we believe is true about ourselves as individuals? I recall a leadership seminar where we talked about something called Johari’s window.
This “window” is a representation of how we offer glimpses of our personality and subsequently our truth to those around us and how we are in turn perceived through four quadrants of a window. The first quadrant depicts the side of ourselves visible to the outside world However, it is only a partially true view because we hold back what we don’t want others to see. We hide parts of our truth in quadrant one. Conversely, quadrant two depicts the view those around us have formed about us based on what we offered in quadrant one. Those around us rarely have the same perception of us as we think they do based on what we’ve offered in that first quadrant. Quadrant two is others’ perception of our truth.
Then there is a side we offer to the outside world that is free of any facade and this makes up quadrant three. It’s the closest thing we have to our actual truth because we’ve held nothing back. It also represents things about us we and those around us can agree on. And finally, there is a big “unknown” area that makes up quadrant four. Truth lives there too, but we aren’t aware of it and subsequently neither does anyone else. I like to think of the fourth quadrant of Johari’s window as the part of you living way deep down in your soul just aching to be discovered because it is here you find who you are and who you were meant to become. Here lies your truth. Here is the journey and path I find myself traveling lately.
There is a quote attributed to a number of people that says the two greatest days of our lives are the day we were born and the day we discover why. I for one cannot assume discovering why we were born takes place without some effort on our part. I’ve reached the age where I believe I am capable of doing and accomplishing more. Don’t get me wrong, I thought the same thing in my 20s, but this time I think my purpose stands free of a tax bracket, a title, or square footage. This time I’m looking to my creator and asking if I’m doing what I’m on this earth to do. What am I doing that has meaning and is bigger than myself? What am I doing for those who are here when I’m gone? I don’t think I am doing enough. But, I have a sneaking suspicion I might be doing the things I need to do to prepare me for it. I believe, now more than ever I’m meeting specific people who are helping me learn about myself and pointing me down the path that allows me to achieve my purpose. I’m growing. If you’ve read my previous blog, you know I’m growing up and growing young. I’m getting closer to my truth.
What does any of this have to do with an aging singer songwriter? Well, for me everything actually. I learned many years ago that music is the gateway to my personal truth. From the songs I love to hear to the songs I write, music has allowed me to better understand the world around me and express how I feel about it. It provides me an opportunity to make sense of things. It gives me a voice I don’t think I have otherwise. It gives me the opportunity to share, acknowledge, empathize, and love those around me. It does for me all the things I want to do for myself and others, but am unable in any other way. Simply put, it offers insight into my truth. Insight for me and those around me. I’ve known this all along, but I think I chose to ignore it. I chose to offer the side of me I thought people would want to see and hold back parts of my truth. I chose to spend my time as an artist and songwriter in the first quadrant of Johari’s Window. No more.
I am in the studio recording six songs this week and for me this album has been an enormous step in discovering my truth or at least a part of it I wasn’t aware of previously. I’m proud of songs I’ve written in the past and the work that went into creating them. I think I came very close to delivering them as truthfully as possible at the time, but 2020 for a lot of reasons has forced me to really seek my truth. I jumped headlong into Johari’s unknown fourth quadrant looking for my truth. Ok, in some instances I was pushed, but the result was the same. You’ll hear songs of mine you’ve heard before on this latest release aptly titled “The Truth in Me.” On the surface, many may not even notice a change at all. My songs will sound very familiar stylistically. What has changed is where these songs are derived. They came from my heart and this time I delivered them from a place I didn’t know existed down inside me. And that made all the difference, or so it seems. They offer glimpses into my truth.
I don’t really know what this all means in the grand scheme. While I love music and hope it is the vehicle I get to discover and live out my truth through, I can’t make that assumption. Doing so would presume I already know my truth and frankly it would be untruthful. I do believe it is however the vehicle being used to help me discover that truth and I’m meeting some really amazing people on the journey. I’d like to believe I’m making some decent music as well. My sincere hope is that music and maybe this blog is helping you find you’re truth as well. We all need a lot more truth in our lives these days. I hope you’ll continue to take this journey with me and check out my music once it’s released. I love y’all.