20 sep Real Honesty Is Hard But Important For Change
Every Friday is an opportunity to open up. Every Friday is an invitation to explore what is going on inside, to write that down and to share that truth, without holding back, without fluffing it up or playing it down. This is what I ask from my participants in the 100 Day Warrior.
Participants are required to share their insights and experiences weekly in a closed Facebook group. The only way to get into that group is by participating in the 100 Day Warrior. This also means that new members, the 2 groups who started last weekend, feel exposed to 160 people they don’t know. Or even worse: they see people in the group they do know, professionally or otherwise.
Most participants experience the weekly post as a significant obstacle. It takes courage and bravery to expose oneself like that. It brings up many things. Is my writing good enough? Is my spelling good enough? Are my experiences and insights interesting enough? What will people think of me? Fear, shame, resistance, and anger: it all comes up. And why? Because the only thing required is honesty. Since most people will judge themselves quite honest an invitation to show up honestly should be met with enthusiasm. Right?
(Your honesty can change lives: Using Social Media As A Tool For Spiritual Growth)
On second look we have a difficult relationship with honesty. We learn that we should be honest but we also learn there are a lot of human characteristics that are not something to be proud of. So in reality we are trained to come across as honest while hiding what is beneath the surface. This is not real honesty; this is a very selective form of honesty. The tricky thing is that we might not be aware of how dishonest we actually are. And even trickier is that the dishonest part of ourselves doesn’t want us to find out how dishonest we are. We don’t want our self-image being jeopardized.
To become honest with ourselves is something that requires training. Observing feelings and thoughts is the first step: learning to face yourself without looking away. This is what meditation teaches us. Learning to share what we see is the second step. First you become honest with yourself, and then you become honest with others. Partial honesty is not honesty. It is a big thing to swallow because it will cause your paradigm to shift.
(More on vulnerability and honesty: A Cage Fighter Teaches Forgiveness)
There is a specific reason why I am such a big fan of practicing written honesty. My personal breakthrough moment happened while writing a letter. I saw my ego come crashing down when I apparently hit a crucial ‘artery’ while digging in the sadness and pain of that moment. A mind blowing discovery. You can create a dialogue with your self. You can ask questions. We can have these rhetorical questions like ‘why am I lonely?’, ‘why am I unhappy?’, ‘why do I feel unloved’ going through our minds. When you catch yourself entertaining a thought like that you can write the question down and let your true self give the answer. Writing can become a tool of self-discovery, a way to untangle yourself. It is relieving, enlightening and liberating. Potentially it can change your live, I’m the living proof of that.
(Curious of what a practice in honesty, courage and discipline can do for you? Join one of my 100 Day Warrior Programmes!)