One of the things I find most important in life is honesty. For me, it’s not just about speaking truthfully to others (although that is a big part of it), it is about being truthful with myself about the motivations of every action I take, and choosing to consciously align myself with what matters in my heart.
But it wasn’t always this way. I remember when I was in my early 20’s arriving half an hour late to my boyfriend’s home and telling him a story about how the traffic was terrible and how sorry I was. He looked at me and said without blame, “you don’t have to make up a story of why you are late.” I remember feeling jolted, surprised that there was another way to be in the world that didn’t include saying things that were not 100% true. That was a moment of revelation for me. White lies were just part of how I had grown up… they were part of the unwritten agreements of how we can navigate life with more ease. It was often just “handy” to say a small untruth.
I’m not saying that telling an untruth is “wrong”. What I’m saying is that it makes it hard to clearly see ourselves. To see the fear that is motivating us. To be clear and straight with another. To share what really matters to us. And to stand straight and tall in our own integrity and choices.
And it’s hard to have relationships of honesty and intimacy when there are things we are hiding and not saying to each other.
Of course, I’m not talking about the kind of honesty that tells someone else “what they are”. I’m talking about the kind of honesty that comes from what is in the heart.
It’s so much easier to justify any action when we are NOT being honest with ourselves and others. Some of the signs that you can become aware of in these moments are:
- A sensation of needing to protect yourself
- A feeling of hiding or shielding your heart
- A desire to pull back from the person or situation in front of you
- An inclination to censor your words
- A tendency towards staying in your head and repeating a disempowering story
- A feeling of ‘squirminess’ (although this can also sometimes indicate that you are actually on the verge of breaking through to a deeper truth)
Based on this new information, let us now rerun the scenario above but this time, rather than saying “the traffic was bad”, I arrive and say the truth; that I was deeply involved in what I was doing and wanted to finish it. By being honest, I might have to face my partner’s upset at not being considered (something I was fearing) and hear the impact for him – which thanks to the skills of NVC, I can simply empathically hear. But it also opens the opportunity for growth and to take responsibility for the actions I chose. I regain authentic power. And with this new awareness, next time I might stop my project earlier or call him to let him know.
Every time I choose honesty I am in an ongoing process of living in integrity and knowing myself more and more deeply. I get to grow and realign to what matters in me – stepping through fear rather than avoiding it, and realising the support of Life that I can’t be separated from.
And every time I do, I get to experience Life from a deeper place of Trust.