Have you ever met a completely honest person? What would that person even be like? A completely honest person would communicate exactly what they’re experiencing—their thoughts, feelings, dreams, and fantasies. If this level of intimacy sounds frightening to you, then you’re in good company. All of us have thoughts and feelings we judge inappropriate and not in keeping with the image we project. We judge these thoughts as too ugly to accept, let alone reveal. We deny these creations and hide them from others. In her book, Mutant Message Downunder, Marlo Morgan describes her honesty training with the Real People of the Australian Outback. The Real People had her express every thought in her head on every subject, especially taboo subjects, until she became clear, open, and emptyÑno secrets. With this clarity came her ability to telepathically communicate with them.
We too can achieve spectacular gains in self-awareness by simply telling the truth about our lives, our thoughts, and our feelings. The rewards for doing so are dramatic and immediate. When telling the truth we experience an immediate release of body tension, an increase in clarity of mind, and a perceptible feeling of well-being. These points bear repeating: when telling the truth we experience (1) an immediate release of body tension, (2) an increase in clarity of mind, and (3) a perceptible feeling of well-being. Telling the truth is a simple prescription for physical, mental and spiritual health.
Being honest requires that we remember who we are. You see, each of us are extraordinary actors; we play many roles in the story we call our life. It is these roles that we often see on tombstones: “loving parent”, “faithful spouse”, “brave soldier”. Like a good actor, we lose ourselves in our roles and any behavior that is out of character is carefully hidden or lied about. We fabricate, conceal, and withhold routinely to protect our roles that we project to the world. We rationalize our blatant lying. We convince ourselves that the lied-to person cannot handle the truth or some other such nonsense. In truth, our own fear of disapproval compels us to lie. We fear that our role has been undermined, we fear that people won’t approve of us when we are out of character. We feel compelled to have a coherent story to tell: a past that fits within society’s expectations, a present that is busy with activity, and a future that will make everyone proud of us. When we remember that we are playing a role and that we can change that role, we become free to live in the moment. A sincere person, comfortable playing any role, does not assert that they ARE that role. They remember that they exist outside of the role and the play; they remember that they’re writing the story. Seeking not to please or manipulate, but rather to live, the sincere person radiates clarity and integrity—wholeness.
The first practical step towards wholeness is to forgive ourselves for thoughts and actions we’ve hidden from the world. When we accept all our thoughts, feelings, and actions we begin to integrate them. Behind our facades lies our real self—the innocent, vulnerable “I” that we were as infants. The “I” that could calmly look another person in the eye with love and appreciation.
Integrity (wholeness) is not about living up to some high moral standards. It’s about being real about our humanness. By fully accepting all of ourselves—the evil thoughts, the perverted fantasies, and the ugly feelings—we drop the barriers that keep us separate. Handling secrets and denied creations requires courage. Yet, by accepting and expressing our secrets we open ourselves to the rich, alive experience of integration with ourselves, others, and the world.
P.S. Inspiration for these thoughts comes from my own 30+ years of lying, Dr. Brad Blanton’s book Radical Honesty (ISBN# 0-440-50754-5), and the entire series of Avatar® courses
Publisher, The Holistic Networker
©1996, Tony Cecala
About Tony Cecala
Tony is a business strategist. He publishes the Holistic Networker and produces the Wellness Expo. In his spare time he reads about technology and the mind.