The Truth about Honesty
Sometimes in therapy sessions, I pull out a pad of wishbone paper... it's a cute little thing I found years ago. You can tear it, instead of breaking a wishbone, and see which side wins. I write "neediness" on one side of the paper and "wisdom" on the other.
When our neediness (or fear) overtakes our wisdom, we are sure to get more drama in our lives. And when our wisdom overtakes our neediness, then we're going to find more harmony. Neediness is our codependent nature, our willingness to adapt to others even if it doesn't feel good, selling out. Wisdom is confident, knowing we are enough, listening to our own needs, healing our old wounds.
For me honesty is the verb of wisdom. We can have wisdom and insight, and then what do we do with it. Hopefully we live with honesty. I was born on George Washington's birthday. Maybe that's why I've always had a thing about honesty. I often say I don't care what's going on with someone ~ I just want to know the truth. Whether it's a family member, friend or a client, I want to hear each person's honesty, their truth.
I know, however, that someone can only be as truthful with me as they are with themselves. And guess what? This goes both ways.
For much of my life, I have not been truthful. It's not that I am blatantly a liar. I just don't always listen to my own truth. How can I be truthful with someone else, when I'm not truthful with myself? Too often I've had that gentle nudging, an insight, an awareness... and then I ignored it because of neediness.
I was reading a Brene Brown Instagram post yesterday and saw Elizabeth Gilbert had posted on her wall ~ since Brene is in flood-ravaged Houston. I decided to see what Elizabeth was up to. I knew the "Eat, Pray, Love" and "Big Magic" author had left her second husband to be with her friend turned girlfriend. What struck me about her "reveal" was how her deep love for someone helped her overcome fear and live honestly. She could no longer deny her own truth.
My friend Rumi once wrote: "Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it."
It is hard to be honest with one's self ~ because we are born to accommodate others. At least that's how it has been for me. We are often taught to put other's needs and feelings first... so as we age, being honest with one's self is a place of extreme and radical vulnerability. As long as we accommodate others and are co-dependent, then we don't have to risk standing proudly in our own truth and dealing with whatever comes. In the short-term and immediate, that feels better. But it's not a lasting ease. Only truth is.
Finding self-honesty is not easy peasy - because if you are used to your own fear-based thoughts, then gently and lovingly removing the self-lies can be a scary and painful process. But it's only this way because of our ego - the part of our mind that lives in fear and not love. These are thoughts that tell us we will never figure it out, we are lucky we even have what we do, we are crazy. And yet...
The truth about honesty is that you are meant to listen to yourself. Even if you are not unconditionally loved by others, you can unconditionally love myself. Even if you are misunderstood, you can find your own truth. Even if you are afraid, you can create safety for yourself. Neediness and fear are just made up stories you no longer have to believe. It doesn't mean you can or will transform all that in a day ~ and yet you can transform it.
Tuning in to your wisdom is part of your life's purpose. Acting on it is the honesty that will propel you into an amazing life... YOUR amazing life!! That's no lie XOX