In Sikhi we talk alot about the truth, Guru Nanak made a point of making it the most stated word in the Mul Mantar. I know we read it every morning if we are disciplined, the word Sach means truth and the core use of the word is that Waheguru, the name of god is True in the past, is true now and will forever be true. One other way to look at truth is living a truthful, honest life…uh oh I’m pretty sure I learned a lesson here.
I read once that “an omission of the truth is a lie.” If I don’t tell you the truth or a lie then by default it’s a lie. I was pretty sure I knew what that meant but I really understand it now.
I had the opportunity to face down one of those omissions recently. We have a family dinner at my house; once a month and the entire family is invited. Sometimes we have a few family members and sometimes we have a lot but the one thing you can always count on is that my mom and dad will be here. Once upon a time in my younger years that wasn’t always cool but I love having my parents around and I can always count on my parents if I’m having a bad day. Dinner was at 1:00 so when my parents got to the house I asked them to come out back while I cook on the grill(any self respecting southern gentleman knows how to cook)…as I’m standing there by the grill in nonchalantly I told them I wasn’t a Christian. My father said “what, are you gonna be a Buddhist or something?” I told him no…Sikh. That may not mean much to some people out there but in my family I’m pretty sure I’m going to get removed from my grandmothers will. My oh so loved better half and my children knew already but the older generation didn’t. Funny thing is I was thinking to myself before this all went down was, My neice converted to Catholicism from Lutheran so how bad could it really be for me. If you’re not versed in the history of the Protestant reformation ask me about it sometime, then that last comment will be hysterical for ya.
My father actually took it ok best I could tell, he said, “well we live in a country with freedom of religion, I’ll have to read up on it…it’s hot out here I’m going inside.” My mother had the look I was anticipating, a lot of concern and bit of disappointment but she did tell me she still loved me so that’s a good thing. My family is very dynamic and its best to say my brother and I didn’t always make the best choices but as we’ve gotten older our choices seem to be getting better.
Following your faith shouldn’t be anything to be ashamed of but when you live a life in the shadows per say it’s an omission of the truth…and therefore a lie. I’m not going to lie to you and tell you it took a load off my shoulders or created some sort of hallelujah moment but I told them who and what I am and no longer feel the need to worship in the shadows.
I can’t sit here and tell you that opening up like that will make things better but what I learned is that I no longer have to appear as anything other than what I am. Life will continue in a more honest manner.