Friday, March 4, 2016

Living Your Honesty

The choice to be an honest person is filled with terrible and wonderful consequences. (I do not believe that honesty is a policy, but a way of life - either you are or you are not.)

When you live honesty [sic], you become less capable of perceiving deceit in others. (We see in others what we believe of ourselves.) 

This inability lays us open to all kinds of shocking disappointments as evidence of our naiveté crashes in. 

On the other hand, there is a terrific peace, for there is no need to 'keep your story straight'. 

When people try to put you on the spot for something you have said or done, you have no need to fear being caught in some lie that you have half forgotten. 

At this point, there is no way to go back and badger the person I was to find out how that first paragraph made any sense. If you are either honest or not, then how is it a choice to be an honest person


  1. One might say that to be a dishonest person is also filled with terrible consequences. They may not be wonderful, although one might wonder how we generated something so startling. I don't think I really know what honesty is in an absolute sense, or whether it is relative to a particular set of circumstances. Whatever it is, it is a process entered into - at least in the beginning - from choice.

    You say that when you live honestly, you become less able to perceive deceit in others. I wonder whether this is true. Certainly we can project those aspects of our selves that we find unacceptable onto others. But honesty is considered (usually) as acceptable. Not seeing dishonesty in others may simply be a refusal to open our eyes to reality. There may indeed be an element of naivete involved (we don't arrive in the world fully formed or fully informed), but there may also be psychological denial present.

    If by honesty we mean a quality of life that seeks always to see the world, both outer and inner, as it truly is - and not how we would wish - then, firstly, we have exercised choice under the influence of our real selves, and not our defensive ego-selves. Secondly, we certainly are at peace, having tacitly accepted that our ego-selves do not know what is best for us, or that it is in any position to change that situation any time soon, if ever. Maybe this is because we can never know the other person truly and completely, but only our perceptions of them.

    I found this a wonderful, thought-provoking script and one which could open the door to so much else.

    1. Tom, your third paragraph says so much.

      This note to myself thirty years or more ago reveals the depth of my own denial at the time. As much as these notes might indicate some level of self-examination, clearly I wasn’t ready to examine one important aspect of my psyche. And so, I was not being honest with myself.

      As a result, five years ago, my wife of nearly forty years called me out on my dishonesty to her, as I revealed the strength of my female nature. Transistion became the ultimate betrayal for her. How could I not have know this about myself? And if I did know all my life long, how could I have been so dishonest, letting her and everyone think me a man that whole time?

      The question of honesty might depend on our willingness to participate in an ongoing inner struggle, then live with what we find there, no matter how messy.