Honesty With Ourselves and Others
***Apology: I know that I promised to post these each Monday, but I was vacationing in Hot Springs, Arkansas, over the weekend, and I didn’t have a stable internet connection. I also meant to make this post on Tuesday during my first day back at work, but work found me traveling across the lovely state of Oklahoma, so again no connection to the internet. I have really appreciated the fantastic comments I have been getting with this series, so please bear with me and any technical difficulties! ***
This is my eighth post in a series, where each Monday (if possible) I will post about a point of reflection or insight that I will use to reflect and meditate on during the week. In order to make it a bit more focused and interesting, I will attempt to do this with topics beginning with letters from A to Z. I have often found that having a specific topic to reflect and/or meditate on during the week really lends itself to interesting insights and growth, because you not only have several days to reflect and meditate on the topic, but you have several days to put any lessons and insights that you discover to work in your every day life. For those that follow me on Twitter (@JasonLivingNow) I will try to write updates as the weekly topics come up during meditations, moments of reflection, or just during everyday life. To view the current and previous entries in this series, please visit the: Reflections and Insights A Through Z section.
H= Honesty With Ourselves and Others: Honesty is a crucial element of any relationship, including our relationship with ourselves. Externally, honesty is crucial because if we cannot trust the word of another, then trust can never be a part of the relationship, and without trust the relationship will always be full of turmoil. Internally, honesty is a crucial aspect for personal/physical/spiritual development, because in order for any progression to be made, we must be honest with ourselves regarding any internal issues, feelings, or obstacles that may hamper our progression.
Many people laugh when I tell them that I am a stickler for honesty, especially given the fact that I am a practicing attorney. However, I always remind people that my profession is really about finding out the truth of a matter, so that it can be justly and efficiently resolved. Without honesty, I cannot do my job, and the justice system as a whole cannot do its job. I have always made it a cornerstone of my legal practice to be honest with my clients (sometimes brutally so, but it is my job to tell them the truth, not necessarily what they want to hear), as well as in my dealings with opposing counsel. This has worked to my advantage, because I have gained a reputation as a “straight shooter”, because I wont pursue a case unless I actually have a case to pursue. I refuse to lie or fluff in order to build a case. Period. This has allowed me to quickly settle many cases with opposing counsel, based largely on my reputation alone.
In my dealings with my friends, and in my personal relationships with my wife and family, I also try to be as honest as possible, and I expect others to be open and honest with me. This allows my friends, family, and I to avoid many of the turmoils that too many relationships experience. This doesn’t mean that we are perfect, but when issues come up they can be aired in the open, resolved, and then moved on with, rather than burying them beneath the surface to fester.
In my inner work, I have had to struggle with being honest with myself regarding the root causes of feelings, emotions, habits and self-destructive actions. This hasn’t always been easy, because we always want to look at our inner-self in the best light, which means that it can be very uncomfortable to truly examine ourselves with an honest eye. Also, it is easy to fall prey to self-depreciating thoughts and depression when we uncover unsavory memories, thoughts, habits, or tendencies that need to be corrected. Therefore, it is important to examine ourselves honestly, yet not be overly critical of ourselves. Instead, view any obstacles as rough edges on the philosopher’s stone, that merely need to be refined, and with honesty, refined they shall be.
“Almost any difficulty will move in the face of honesty. When I am honest I never feel stupid. And when I am honest I am automatically humble”. – Hugh Prather
Practical Tip: During the week during your meditations, quiet time, etc., try to uncover ways that you may be being dishonest with yourself, your significant other, friends, co-workers, etc., and resolve to be more open and honest in those relationships. As you become more honest in your external life, you will gain a reputation for being honest, and your external life will begin to prosper because of your reputation. Internal honesty will allow you to open up an honest dialog during your meditations or times of reflection, which will allow you to overcome hidden obstacles.
I would love to see your thoughts and comments on honesty and what you have done to realize, cultivate, and implement honesty in your life. If you wish to use the topic of honesty as a point of reflection during the week, I would love for you to share any insights that come up.
Please come back next week for the next installment of this series, and as always if you enjoyed what you read, please share on social network sites, subscribe to this site, and share this site with others!
Also please check out my book, “The Path: Using the Religions of the World as a Guide to Personal and Spiritual Development.” (Click on the book cover to view on Amazon.com)