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“Is It Always Better to Know the Whole Truth?” 

Unless we have a way of addressing the hurt we feel, we may find that our emotions haunt us


A while ago I was fired from a job that I worked at for six years and loved. I wasn’t the last one to join the team. I was told that the reason for letting me go was that the business wasn’t doing well and that they would rehire me when they could. However, after a short while they hired someone else.
I was very hurt at the time, and I still feel the humiliation. I feel that if I knew the real reason why they chose to let me go I might get over it more easily. But then sometimes I feel not knowing the truth is saving me from deeper humiliation. What are your thoughts? And how can I put this whole episode behind me?


We humans are very sensitive to experiences of loss, rejection, and failure. Unless we have a way of addressing the hurt we feel, we may find that our emotions haunt us, lingering inside our hearts and popping up throughout our lives as they’re triggered by myriad experiences and events. The key to really moving on is to fully process and release the hurt.

But how?

You suggest that knowing the truth about what really happened might help. But then you recognize that this information might add another layer of pain. Perhaps their reason points to an intrinsic deficit you have — maybe they think you’re not competent enough or maybe they have complaints about your personality.

I once had a client who was struggling with firing an employee who had terrible body odor. No one could work near the person and gentle hints weren’t working. My client didn’t want to humiliate the person, so he wanted to give him an alternative reason for the dismissal. Of course, it would have been more helpful to that person to hear the truth so he could ultimately find success, but my client was more interested in easing his own discomfort than taking care of the employee’s overall wellbeing.

The same dynamic sometimes occurs in dating. Let’s say that a particular girl doesn’t understand why, after five dates, a young man ends up saying “no.” She’s hurting and desperately wants to know why. She pushes the shadchan to share the truth.

But what if the real reason is unmentionable? Over the years I’ve had many clients who felt tortured over the fact they just couldn’t say “yes” to a shidduch because of a lack of attraction. Isn’t it kinder to make up some other reason by way of explanation?

Keeping these examples in mind, you can pursue the true reason for your dismissal if you feel knowing will help you experience success in the workplace. But if you’re already doing well in that regard, it might be better to just live with not knowing.

The discomfort of confusion and uncertainty is something we all encounter from time to time, and is just another feeling that you can process and release. All emotional discomfort resides inside of us; we can only heal it by going inside ourselves, straight to the heart, where the pain is sitting. If we go to our head and repeatedly “think” about the incident, we can never heal it. We have to actually feel it.

However, just feeling it isn’t enough. That can simply recycle the hurt over and over again. We need to process the feelings in order to transform them.

This requires skill and knowledge.

There are many, many ways to process negative feelings. One of my personal favorites is EFT. Thinking about your pain without tapping on the EFT points strengthens the pain network in your brain, whereas thinking about your pain while tapping, reorganizes, clears, and heals that network.

Because EFT is so powerful, it will work quite well even if you never officially study it. Simply search online or in any EFT book for “EFT Tapping Points” and then use your fingers to tap on those eight points in sequence, over and over again on your body while you bring the situation to mind, remembering and feeling the hurt, sadness, disappointment, anger, upset, fear, loss, grief, embarrassment, humiliation, betrayal, and other feelings that you undoubtedly still hold inside.

The tapping will allow you to feel all of this without falling apart, but most importantly, it will transform those feelings, bringing emotional relief, mental perspective, and spiritual solace. Finally, you will have the peace you are seeking and you’ll be truly free to truly move on.


Have a question for Mrs. Radcliffe? Send your queries about parenting or personal growth to familyfirst@mishpacha.com


(Originally featured in Family First, Issue 773)

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