Live Your Truth, Even When Nobody Likes It

February 13, 2023 Joanna Satterwhite

I hate the phrase, "live your truth." I really do. Besides being tragically cliched, relegated to Instagram captions and gift shop t-shirts as it is, "live your truth" is generally marketed as a philosophy that will always yield a good outcome: live your truth, and you'll be radiant, prosperous, and probably really great at yoga. Live your truth, and achieve perfect bliss. Rarely have I heard a person or a piece of content urge me to live my truth and insinuate anything but a wonderful result. 

What It Really Means to Live Your Truth

Allow me to be among the first. 

Here's a hot take: if you really want to live your truth, you're prepared to lose any number of things like friends, jobs, and followers. Charles Bukowski, the American poet, says it best in his poem "Roll the Dice." 

if you're going to try, go all the

way. this could mean losing girlfriends,

wives, relatives, jobs and

maybe your mind. 

go all the way. 

it could mean not eating for 3 or

4 days.

it could mean freezing on a 

park bench.

it could mean jail,

it could mean derision,



isolation is the gift, 

all the others are a test of your 

endurance, of

how much you really want to 

do it. 

Bukowski would've recoiled at the verbiage of living his truth. He would describe this philosophy with more snark and attitude. "Stick to your guns, even when they're smoking," perhaps.

No matter how he'd reformulate the cliche, he would get to the essence of it underneath all of the newfangled garbage. It's this essence I'm sticking my neck out for now. If you're going to bother finding your truth—a feat many will aspire to but few will actualize—then you ought to be ready for the worst. 

Being Willing to Lose Everything Will Allow You to Gain Anything

These past couple of years has been an experiment in living my truth. I dropped out of a graduate program with absolutely no plan for what I'd do next. I began a Substack, spilling my soul in embarrassing, sappy detail. I stopped trying to please every moronic man that crossed my romantic path and accepted a potential lifetime of solitude and celibacy. I lost my two closest friends, one of whom won't even talk to me anymore because I spoke what I believed. Writ large, I invited chaos, ambiguity, and discomfort into my life to abide by my intuition of what I was meant to be doing. The going's been slow and blind, filled with no shortage of fear and anxiety.

But the going's been worth it. I write this next to the man I have every intention of turning into my life partner. I waited for him, and he came, and even though he still leaves the toilet seat up and is blaring not one but two sports programs from different devices, inhibiting my attempt to string coherent sentences together, he fulfills everything I was willing to give up everything to wait for. The bounty doesn't stop there. I'm one step away from being hired for my dream job. I completed a screenplay in December that a working TV writer has agreed to read. As if all of this wasn't enough, I've fallen into new communities, made new friends, and feel no resentment or regret toward those I've lost. My truth is yielding gifts beyond my wildest hopes.

All I had to do was live my truth and deal with the pain and fear that comes along with being myself.

APA Reference
Satterwhite, J. (2023, February 13). Live Your Truth, Even When Nobody Likes It, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 24 from

Author: Joanna Satterwhite

Joanna is a writer and teacher based in Atlanta. Find her on Substack and Instagram

Leave a reply