Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Why Honesty Is So Crucial & Vital

Somewhere in the last couple hundred years we've been conditioned into becoming people who tell lies, and withhold truths in order to be polite, or conventional, or acquiescent. It's become politically correct to tongue in cheek say sort of what we mean, but not exactly, in a rather passive aggressive way.

I'm not sure when exactly it began, I am only 43 years old at the time I write this, I don't know anything for certain before the 1970's, but I can guess based on the history books and articles I've read. I think the dumbing down of the truth began in revolutionary times, when gentlemen used their words to climb the social ladder, and ladies were ladylike, held their tongue, and gossiped only over the quilting bee.

I think this way we operate is so detrimental; to us as a society, families, groups, and individuals. When did it become out of vogue to just be honest? And since when does honesty have to be cruel? We don't have to live in an extreme reality of this vs that. We can be honest, real, and express our feelings while also being compassionate, patient, and generous of spirit.

Is there such a thing as a good lie?

I think there are some white lies that are kind, or well intended. If I ask my husband if "this dress makes me look fat" and he says yes, I'm going to likely have my feelings hurt. It's absurd for me to ask it, because I'm fat, and the dress has nothing to do with it! Yet I'm female, and I like to be reassured my husband finds me attractive, so he does what he's always done, and responds with some sweet line like "you're always beautiful to me" and I feel good and he breaths a sigh of relief and no one is hurt. If your friend asks if you like their haircut, depending on the kind of relationship you have, you may opt to be honest and say no, it's not the best. But chances are you may opt to be kind and give a non-committal "sure it's great". You may even follow that with a "i like it but i liked it before too". 

Sure, there are little lies we tell that are meant to help and not hurt. I don't think those are harmful in the long run.

Lies generally lead to more lies...

Like a snowball, when you a tell a lie, you find often times you have to tell other lies to support that first lie. Eventually you can end up spinning a yarn so ridiculous, and yet you're trapped in it, and lest you lose face or feel ashamed and lose credibility, you have to stick it out. Not a comfortable position to be in. I had a time in my childhood where i wove tall tales, around the age of 9 or 10, and after being caught in a couple lies by my dad, and suffering the consequences, I realized he was right; the truth was always better in the end. 

Kids tell lies to test the boundaries, and to avoid getting "caught"... but adults tell lies for many reasons, and while many of them are these white lies, that really aren't meant to harm, some lies are just dangerous. When spouses lie to one another, it displaces the equanimity in the relationship. When colleagues lie to one another, it shifts the balance in the work place. When friends lie to one another it dampens the light that surrounds that friendship.

Honesty requires great courage, and integrity.

You have to be willing to be brave, because sometimes telling the truth will be controversial, causing you to be regarded by others in an awkward way. 

As an example, one of my Reiki students emailed me the other day, and my heart nearly broke as she told me about how she'd been honest with her mother. She has been awakening most beautifully, and decided to follow her intuition and learn Reiki, in order to continue to deepen her relationship to her Self, and the Universe. She was so full of joy and peace, and knew telling her very Catholic mother would be a gamble. And yet, she was courageous, and told her mother about her spiritual journey, how she feels now that she's exploring a profound relationship with her spiritual bodies, soul, guardians, and the Universe. She shared with her mom just how beautiful her visions are, how intensely loved and supported she feels within the fabric of Gods love. And her mother devastated her, by clinging to a very rigid dogmatic religious viewpoint, and rather than truly hear her daughter, she heard only that her daughter was turning her back on Christ and the church. And this isn't at all what my student and friend is doing! Yet her mother heard her words, and assumed the worst, and then called her daughter horrendous names, and made very harmful accusations, indeed condemning her own flesh and blood child to an eternity in hell.

Now you may be wondering "Dee, how is this an example of how being courageous in honesty is good?" and I admit, it sounds pretty detrimental. And yet I am so proud of my friend, as she stood up for her own beliefs, passions, and desires, and boldly shared with her mother how she feels, and what she is doing in her own spiritual life. And I believe given time, her mother may come to see that her daughter is not turning her back on Christ, but rather getting to know Christ's Father in a deeper, and more intimate way. She may not be doing it through the church, yet she is doing it through her every thought, her fervent desires and prayers, her blessings, and her wide open heart and positive thoughts!

If her mother one day sees that her daughter isn't in danger, that her soul is safe, then perhaps her mind and heart will open. And if not, and the relationship suffers for the rest of their lives, then it is a complete shame, and yet at least my client will know that she stood strong in her convictions, and did not cower in the face of judgment or shame. My friend is free, knowing she can be herself, no matter what others think; she is liberating herself and allowing herself to be authentic. While she is hurting at this time over her mothers reaction, in time as the pain ebbs, she will realize just how powerful a gift she's given herself. 

Honesty is good for the soul, as the old adage goes, and I believe this to be absolutely true. Though I dabbled in lies as a young girl, in my adult hood I cannot lie. It is not possible, my face turns bright red, I feel anxious, and it is just such an uncomfortable experience for me that I don't do it. I am an open book, and those who know me well know this. I attempt to be honest, and at times have likely been "too" honest, and so I personally work at being more gentle in my honesty. Yet I'd love to see a world where people felt safe being truthful. And the only way that will happen is if we allow others to be truthful, and not treat them like pariahs for it.

I challenge you to be more honest, in your every waking moment. Honesty is what got my marriage through the rockiest of times, and brought my husband and I out the other side not only stronger, but with a deeper respect for one another, and a greater understanding of each other. 

The tools for living an honest life are simple:

  • Think before you speak, at all times. Weight your words, and responses, before delivering them.
  • The golden rule is paramount! Do and SAY unto others, as you wish they would do and say to you.
  • Know that with-holding the truth, or omitting it, is as good as a lie. 
  • Never even imagine that a lie is less trouble than the truth; it never is.
  • If you feel a lie is the only answer, it's time to seek another opinion. Talk to a friend, peer, or pray.
  • Seek simplicity, knowing that honesty is the simplest way to live. One never needs to cover their tracks when telling the truth.
Awakening is simply the process of taming the ego/persona, in order to be a truer representation of our Soul, the peace that runs deeply within each of us. The ego is insidious and it has it's counter part - the spiritual ego. Be sure that you are honest with yourself, as well as with others, as lies are like dust that cover up the truth making it harder to identify. Lying to yourself is as pointless as lying to anyone else; in fact it can be even more detrimental. And if you're working consciously at Awakening Spiritually, then honesty best be one of your main tenets!

Honesty may lead you to feel embarrassed, or vulnerable; it may cause you to feel awkward, and yet it will always be liberating in the end. Lies do not create, the deconstruct. 

Work at honesty, every day. Be compassionate, and exercise kindness always, let's not confuse honesty for tact, yet know that you do nobody any favors by lying about how you feel. If you're friends with someone on social networks, that you truly do not like, then why bother going on with the charade? If you politely chit chat with a coworker while you cut them up behind their back, how catty does that make you? And if you're with holding the truth from a loved one to get away with something, trust me, you're going to get caught eventually.

The truth always comes out.

I wish you honesty, integrity, and courage on your journey of Awakening. Always.

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