Here’s an uncomfortable truth…
We lie constantly.
We lie to ourselves. We lie to each other. We stretch the truth. We omit information.
In our society, it’s normal to lie. We go as far to say that little white lies are good, because they prevent people from being hurt. To me, that’s just pandering to the ego and ensnaring ourselves in its insidious tricks.
For the last few weeks, I’ve been experimenting with radical honesty.
And what I mean by radical honesty is this:
1. Integrity – Total alignment between my thoughts, words and actions
2. Not withholding relevant information
Radical honesty does NOT mean going out of your way to offend people. If someone walks in the room and they’re severely overweight, I’m not going to walk up to them and say, “Hey, you’re fat.” That’s just being an asshole. However, if that person came up to me and asked if they were overweight, I would say “yes.” Not with the purpose of being mean to them, but because it’s honest and relevant.
Remember, there are no hard and fast rules with this stuff. It’s about being true to yourself and dynamically approaching each unique situation.
How Dishonesty Fucks Us Up
Everyone will tell you that lying is “bad” and honesty is “good.” So I’m not going to get into that.
However, there are some subtle, insidious problems that dishonesty creates…
Multiple Trains of Thought
Dishonesty creates multiple trains of thought. This means that you have to run at least two lines of thought simultaneously; one line of though for what you’re thinking AND another line of thought for what you’re actually saying.
Having multiple lines of thought takes you out of the present moment. Because you have to constantly think about what you’re going to say, and compare it with what you really think.
Continuous Maintenance of Stories
Dishonesty is essentially story-creating.
And, as everyone knows, it takes a lot of effort to maintain story lines. Why make life so complicated when it can be simple and stress-free?
The Subtle Stress of Dishonesty
It’s stressful to constantly uphold multiple lines of thought.
And this stress is hard to detect when it’s all you’ve ever known. You’ll only realize how stressed (and fearful) you were once you start practicing radical honesty.
If there is no discrepancy between your initial thoughts and what you outwardly express, there is one line of thought and, as a result, less stress.
Distrust of Yourself
If you’re constantly dishonest, you’re building a habit of not trusting yourself.
A genuine thought or feeling arises, then you instantly twist it to conform to what you think you have to say. This is telling yourself that your genuine thoughts and feelings cannot be trusted.
Of course, this creates all kinds of problems down the line; disempowerment, lack of confidence, neglect of intuition, indecisiveness…etc.
Start trusting yourself again by practicing radical honesty.
3 Major Effects of Radical Honesty
Radical honesty creates beautiful simplicity.
Lies and dishonesty unnecessarily complicate things. This is plain to see with people who are pathological liars. They create such intricate webs of lies that it’s a full-time job just to maintain all of the story lines. And we all do this to varying degrees.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want that stress in my life.
Be honest. Keep it simple. And enjoy a life of WAY less stress.
Radical honesty means being your real self.
Instead of approaching situations with a mask, or persona, based upon what you think others would like, just be yourself.
Many intimate relationships demonstrate this concept of wearing a mask. Oftentimes, we try to impress people we’re attracted to by acting a certain way. This means you’re going into that relationship as a different person. Then, when you finally get comfortable, it creates a struggle between your persona and who you really are. No wonder why so many relationships get weird and complicated.
Even just the thought of honesty will make you aware of the masks you’re wearing. It will also create “ego awareness.” If you’re radically honest, you have no choice but to be aware of your ego, which leads to the next point…
3. A Call to Love
If you’re radically honest, you’re forced to deal with your own shadows.
It’s easy to hide when you’re dishonest. But there’s no hiding when you’re living with full integrity.
If you’re a miserable person, you’re quickly going to find out that you’re spreading your pain everywhere you go. This gives you the opportunity to deal with your own fear, suffering and shadows.
You’re going to strive to be a more loving person. Being radically honest will help guide you to choose love over fear within yourself, and thus in every situation.
Radical Honesty Challenge
Now, I challenge you to apply radical honesty to your life.
Because all of this is useless if you don’t practice it.
Make it a priority to be honest for the next week.
Again, here’s basically how…
Don’t give yourself rigid rules. Use the pointers here as a guideline and see what works best for you.
Try out radical honesty.
You won’t believe how light and free you can feel.
– Stevie P!