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Being Honest with Yourself

Honesty must begin with you. When you have discovered who you are, there is no shame or fear in being exposed to others.

Difficult questions about my past experiences could have led me down a path of shame resulting in hiding away a part of myself. Instead, I found the path to personal honesty which resulted in beautiful vulnerability and an opportunity to relate with authenticity to my daughter.

Personal honesty is discovered when you:

  • Recognize your own sincerity before sharing it with others.

  • Be willing to be uncomfortable.

  • Allow your thoughts and feelings to inform you of their perception of the experience.

Personal honesty never requires you to hide yourself away.

The key to living honestly is to start with yourself. This means acknowledging who you are and allowing all of your parts to be represented.

I was recently asked by my daughter if I had been addicted to pain medication when she was young. She texted me this question so it gave me a minute to ponder my answer. I had really never asked myself this question and have never acknowledged having a problem with medication. However, upon this occasion, I knew I had to respond to myself first before responding to her. I recalled breaking my back and utilizing narcotics to deal with the pain. I also recalled needing the narcotics more and more with each passing day to the point that many weeks after the injury I was still using them. I know why I used them. I needed to avoid the pain. When my husband at that time requested intimacy, I knew to do this I would need more pain medication. I quickly gulped down double my typical dose. Several weeks later, I learned I was pregnant. One week following this, I miscarried. I am pretty sure the loss of that pregnancy was due to my misuse of medication. After facing this painful truth for the first time, I could now provide my daughter with an answer which resulted from honesty with myself. The pain I felt then or now from this situation does not require me to hide my honesty away. This story remains a part of my life and the parts within me that suffered deserve to be noticed.

Recognize your own sincerity before sharing it with others

When you know who you are, you will know what to share. The question I was asked had some shame wanting to attach to this. If I allowed the shame to lead, I would have answered from a place of trying to conceal myself.

Recognition is discovered as you:

  • Ask the questions internally.

When you take the time to find the answer from within, you will find honesty about how you feel and the experiences you have had. Without this, you may find yourself giving yourself answers you believe are expected from you.

  • Wait for the response.

There is no need to be hasty when it comes to finding honesty. It should be a process that allows for contemplation and reflection.

  • Be patient with any internal conflict about what is personally sincere.

There may be feelings of fear which rise up within you when you are faced with personal honesty. Fear will keep you from authenticity and from the connection. Honesty brings you closer to the revelation of who you are.

  • If conflict resides, share both sides of the response.

When internal conflict is present, you can move into vulnerability and share each side of what you may be feeling.

Produce authentic responses when faced with difficult questions.

Be willing to be uncomfortable

Discomfort is not a reason to shy away from honesty. At the moment of my honesty, I began to feel discomfort. My mind raced with the potential consequences of such a revelation to my daughter or to anyone else in my life. It hurt deeply to know that my actions had led me to such heartbreak and the ending of life growing inside of me. There were things I could say to justify my actions or release myself from the culpability. But, I felt no need to go there. I needed this to be authentic and real. That was what I could share with my daughter. It wasn’t about the content. I could reveal my honesty to her and that is priceless.

Discomfort can be tolerated when you:

  • Remove the expectation of being comfortable.

Dispel the myth that honesty is comfortable. Honesty requires us to seek the part of us which may have been hidden away. Honesty requires bravery and vulnerability.

  • Open the window to all emotions that occupy the space.

Allow yourself to feel everything. There are no bad feelings in this space. Each one has a purpose and meaning in your life.

  • Remain in the space with them.

Whatever thoughts or feelings which present themselves in these uncomfortable moments are there to join with you and allow them to be resolved as honesty is discovered.

  • Allow their presence to inform you of their perception of the experience.

Each thought or feeling has its own perception of the experience. There may be fear, shame, anger, etc… None of these feelings are wrong. They are just experiencing the situation through their own lens.

Your discomfort will pass.

Share your honesty

Sharing your honesty is a beautiful part of authenticity. As I sat with the discomfort and allowed each emotion to tell me about their perception of my experience, I noticed the compassion I began to offer myself. It wasn’t dismissive or meant to get me out of something I had done. It was forgiveness. The honesty being revealed to me was something I could share with my daughter. She could know the pain this brought into my life and the process I was taking to heal.

Honesty is revealed when you:

  • Share the content.

Your experiences are valuable to the world. They are meant to be waypoints along your journey and in the lives of others.

  • Share the process of how you arrived at the content.

When you invite other people in to see how you found your honesty, they will better understand you and be inspired to find their own.

  • Share how this content impacts you.

To keep it real, it’s important to always share how your experiences impact you both emotionally and physically. A story is only honest when it encompasses these pieces.

  • Share what you hope to learn or gain from the experience.

Each experience you have gives you the opportunity to walk away with something valuable which can never be replaced. When you share this hope with another person, it allows you to also share the moment with them with the opportunity arrives.

The honesty of authenticity helps you share your story.

The discovery of your honesty will be valuable to you and to others.

Being honest with yourself results in the freedom of being who you are

Answering a tough question from my daughter allowed me to find the honest answer within myself first and then patiently reveal my discovery to her. The result was a moment of vulnerability in both of us and a shared curiosity about how we could both learn from my personal experience.

The following steps will allow you to discover your own personal honesty:

  • Recognize your own sincerity before sharing it with others.

  • Be willing to be uncomfortable.

  • Allow each feeling or thought to inform you of their perception of the experience.

Your personal honesty will lead to personal freedom.

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