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Patanjali Sokaris

Pondering the universe

Honest about honesty

Many talk about being authentic and showing vulnerability as signs of being honest, but is doing those things really mean we are being honest?

The keyword for being honest is truth, because the truth will show how honest you are really being, so an honest person has a vested interest in always seeking the truth, even if it can be uncomfortable.

Some threats to being honest are:

  1. a.Ignorance, as in preferring not to know.
  2. b.Wilful ignorance, as in choosing a fantasy over reality.
  3. c.Fears, such that one cannot act as required.
  4. d.Desires, such that one cannot control them.
  5. e.Attachments, where they prevent beneficial or needed changes.
  6. f.Selfishness, as in self-indulgence to the detriment of others.

In a way, it is selfishness that is the real threat, as the others, in themselves, may be appropriate in many circumstances, but having them for selfish reasons gives rise to difficulties, such as preventing beneficial changes in attitudes, outlook or actions.

Some fears that prevent being honest are those of:

  1. a.The opinion of others, leading to an inability to stand up for yourself and your beliefs.
  2. b.Failure, leading to an inability to take action.
  3. c.Loss of one's sense of self, leading to an inability to change or sacrifice when needed.

Fear can be a paralysing emotion, so is sometimes difficult to push through until really ready to. The start is being willing to move towards the truth that underlies the fear, as that enables being able to do something about the causes of the fear.

Some keys to being honest are:

  1. a.Looking into your motives.
  2. b.Willingness to face the truth.
  3. c.Preparedness to risk your self.
  4. d.Awareness of false honesty.
  5. e.Forgiveness.

Some see showing vulnerability as being honest, but it is not if it is used just to gain sympathy or trust. It is not required to be honest, unless not acknowledging it stands in the way of your own healing.

Forgiveness of oneself or others is needed to be able to move on. You don't have to trust someone -- there may be justification for your wariness -- but just move on from focussing on them as being an impediment to your own growth and sense of worth.

Some benefits to being honest are:

  1. a.Confidence and respect for oneself, as you understand yourself and don't have to feel like you have to hide parts of yourself. You can be truly authentic.
  2. b.Clarity in relationships, for much the same reasons.
  3. c.Trustworthiness, as you better understand your limitations, so act within your capabilities.
  4. d.Create a good future, as you will tend to act in accordance with the wellbeing of all.
  5. e.Can deal with defects in yourself, as you will know that you can change.
  6. f.Tolerance, as you understand that change is not immediate, and there can be valid reasons for others being where they are.

Honesty is about following the truth, and letting the truth set you free.


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