As Police Officers, a lie we tell ourselves and our peers is that we, “Have it all together.” We all know fellow cops who hold their mental and physical stressors inside and act like all is well.
I have hidden my feelings at crimes scenes, car accidents, roll calls and in peer groups. More recently, I have hidden my fear of doxing, canceling or worse – over my writing. This is not normal or healthy.
Matthew West points this out in his new song, “Truth Be Told.” While listening to it recently, I couldn’t help but think of the many officers who are struggling during these difficult times of riots, failed leadership and weak politicians. Most stinging is the betrayal by our supposed ‘leaders’ of Law Enforcement Officers across the country.
COMING ‘ROUND TO THE TRUTH
Matthew West encourages listeners to NOT hide their scars or problems out of fear of what other people will think. He calls his song “autobiographical.” West wants people to know that nobody’s life is perfect, so there’s no reason to keep the messy parts of our lives a secret.
West then adds, “This song is an honest attempt by me to be, well, honest.”
I know plenty of officers who pretend they are doing ‘fine’ when in-fact, they are not.
“Authenticity is easier said than lived,” West shared on social media when speaking about the inspiration behind his new song. “I think deep down we all like the idea of showing who we really are, warts and all, to the world. But allowing others to see the rough edges is frightening. What will people think? How will they judge me when they know I’m anything but perfect?
Below is a video of West’s recording of the song. The lyrics are printed below the video. I encourage you to follow along because hearing it and seeing the words at the same time will help you to recall them.
HOW DOES THIS MESSAGE APPLY TO ME?
Now more than ever, police officers must take that ‘Honest’ approach. Be truthful to yourself first and foremost and then your spouse. Let your loved ones know how you’re feeling. On the other side, if you know someone struggling, (we all know someone) try to lend an ear. Give your time for those families, friends and co-workers who are struggling.
If you are the one who wants to talk with someone, there are plenty of outlets available. Avoiding the problem doesn’t heal anything. Healing comes through deliberate and intentional truthfulness. So let the truth be told in our hearts, our minds and in our words! Godspeed.
“Above all, it’s about going home at the end of the shift … “
We couldn’t agree more.
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