I was having a conversation with a wise actor friend yesterday. She’d just gone through the uniquely horrific ordeal of finding an apartment in Manhattan. Seriously, if you’ve never had to do it, count your blessings. On the up side, though, once you’ve survived the soul-sucking New York City apartment search, you know you can do anything. As the song goes, “If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere…”
Happily settled into her new apartment, my friend remarked on how desperation can lead one to be easily seduced by the measurable facts of an apartment: square footage, proximity to subway, stainless steel appliances, etc. “But,” she continued, “I really tried to pay attention to how I felt when I first looked at each apartment, what my gut told me. I mean, facts are great, and we need them, but facts aren’t the same as truth, you know?”
And just like that, a casual conversation about a grueling apartment search became an epiphanal moment of sorts.
Facts are notes and lyrics on sheet music. Truth is what the singer gives to the listener when she’s brave enough to open up and sing from her heart.
Facts are knowing someone’s date and place of birth, middle name, and high school GPA. Truth is knowing you can call that person in the middle of the night and they’ll listen to your fears and talk you off the edge.
Facts are measurements, temperatures, and cooking times. Truth is bringing your homemade banana bread into the office and making the Monday morning meeting sweeter.
Facts are dress sizes and waist-to-hip ratios. Truth is giving thanks for living in a healthy body and choosing to honor it by taking good care of yourself.
Facts are statistics and empirical data. Truth is that unquantifiable sense of something being right, whether or not logic tells us so. When we marry rational, fact-based thought to our far more mysterious sense of intuition, our choices and actions become powerful, compassionate and honest. Go with your gut.