I first heard these words years ago from an elder whose favorite topic was: “Moment of Truth.” He spoke frequently about his first personal moment of truth, and others that followed.

I’ve had many moments of truth, yet the one that I can recall so clearly happened when I was twelve years old. I was having a sleep over at a friend’s house. This was quite a big deal since I had not been allowed to spend the night at a friend’s house before. My father was very strict and controlling in his way of parenting, which made my childhood a very sheltered and isolating experience. By being so isolated and sheltered I didn’t know that there was a whole different side to life than the one I had known thus far.

So what was my moment of truth you may ask? Well it was quite simple really, yet profound, but I didn’t see it as a moment of truth until years later. What I experienced over the two days I spent at my friend’s house was something that would change my life forever.

I recall walking into my friend’s home and feeling a warm and safe sensation. My friend and I spent most of the time in her room that evening. My most memorable time was when I woke up the next morning and heard the birds singing; it was a beautiful sunny day. The next thing I heard was my friend’s mom lovingly calling for us to come down for breakfast. I could smell something wonderful; waffles. It was my first time having homemade waffles. You may be thinking, what is so special and different about that and how can this be a moment of truth?

The moment of truth that I had many years ago placed me on a path toward breaking the cycle of generational family dysfunction.

Well, things were quite different in my home. Growing up in a dysfunctional home, and all that it entails, was not a very warm, quiet or safe place. I didn’t hear the birds in the morning when I woke up. I heard yelling and my father pounding on my bedroom door. So the feeling that I experienced in my home was fear.

I had no idea that my home life was not the norm until the visit to my friend’s home. This was a wonderful moment of truth and a gift that would one day give me the hope and courage to want and believe in a different way of life than the one I had known.

Wanting and believing in a different way of life was the first step. The next step was to become aware of and accept the impact that my childhood home-life had on my view of myself and of my place in the world. And I have since been blessed with many opportunities for healing my childhood wounds.

I have come to a place of forgiveness for my parents. I have compassion for them with the understanding that they, too, were affected by their childhood. They only did what they knew to do.

The moment of truth that I had many years ago placed me on a path toward breaking the cycle of generational family dysfunction. I continue to walk this path with gratitude and with the willingness to persevere in peeling the layers of the artichoke to get to my true self. I aspire to share with others my moment of truth, and in so doing that they may have theirs.

So what are some of your moments of truth? Can you think back in time? What was it that all of a sudden made sense, that it was so clear? Was it life changing? Even if it was just for a moment?