Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom. – Thomas Jefferson

I once squeezed into a pair of jeans whilst whining incessantly that they made my bum look big, and then got rather more than upset when my partner informed me that it wasn’t the jeans that were making my bum look big, it was my fat that was making it look big!

Cruel but true.

And therein lay the problem – I was, without a doubt, one of the most honest people around – but only when dealing with matters that were not closely related to me.  When it came to my weight I couldn’t find a sandpit big enough in which to bury my head (a part of my body, in tandem with several chins, which would probably have given my bum a run for its money, in any event …).

But it’s not just me, is it?

I think most of us at one time or another has pretended we are something we are not, or a situation is something that it isn’t.  This in itself can be relatively harmless until the pretence becomes ingrained within us, for it is then that we spend our lives hiding from ourselves with, ultimately, so much becoming hidden that we eventually lose huge parts of who we really are – without even realising it.

Such loss is hugely destructive for us and those around us, as no life based on a lack of honesty can be a happy, healthy and productive one.  In short, we tell lies to ourselves and others all the time and, generally, we do this by –

Making excuses

Blaming others

Faking it

Ignoring it

With these lies manifesting themselves within us through any, or a combination, of our –

Emotions

Thoughts

Actions

Hardly surprising that this happens, really, because being completely honest can be an uncomfortable process, but honest we must be if we want to truly discover what we really think, and who we really want to be.

How you start is very much a matter of personal choice, but a gentle approach is to have a think about times when you believe you have been less than honest with yourself.

If it helps, here are a few examples that may apply to you.  Have a look through and consider them without intellectualising – this, after all, is not a time for judgement but a little nudge to set you on your adventure to the centre of you!

You have said ‘yes’ when you really wanted to say ‘no’

You don’t tell people how you are really feeling

You engage in an activity just because others are

You are uncertain what your true ability is so refrain from doing anything that might reveal that it is low

You embrace anything that supports your belief and reject anything that doesn’t

You pretend to like something or someone when you really don’t

You form immediate judgements about people you meet

You convince yourself that you don’t want something if it may prove too difficult to get

You do things for the simple reason that it will make you look good in the eyes of others

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