a process of refining the truths

'An honorable human relationship — that is, one in which two people have the right to use the word “love” — is a process, delicate, violent, often terrifying to both persons involved, a process of refining the truths they can tell each other.' (Adrienne Rich)

Before we can do so, there is another delicate, violent, terrifying process we must undertake, the process of refining the truths we can tell ourselves. The two processes are linked, not only because one requires the other, but also because sometimes they only way to tell a truth to oneself is by telling it to another.

The degree to which one can bear truth - without dying of thirst at sea - relates to the degree to which one can love another deeply and honestly.

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