Honesty can burn your tongue. Like slurping a hot soup infused with chilies, the aftermath can sting. Especially when you have been brave enough to speak a truth that feels easier to conceal. But honesty can also rejuvenate. It can be utterly refreshing – like a tall glass of lemonade crowded with ice cubes.
Well timed honesty can hit the spot.
I’ve noticed recently that over the years I have become quite adept at avoiding being honest. I’m quick footed, leaping swiftly over bulky boulders of truth in order to dodge the fall out. But there is a price to pay for circumventing these rocks, rather than standing upon them, feeling the stone beneath my feet, and declaring, “This is what I need to say…”
So I’m beginning the climb. And I’m starting with myself. Gradually confronting blemishes I have been concealing for years.
First on my list : admitting when I am wrong.
Last night I bellowed at my teenage son for no particular reason, except maybe that I was releasing the frustrations of the day. He was tired and hurt.
Thinking back – everything I said to him was an attempt to be right. To sound as if I held the power. To let him know that I had all the answers.
An hour later I lay in bed calming down and decided to be honest with myself. I admitted that I was wrong to bark at him. I told myself a painful truth. He’s growing up. He’s slipping away from me (as he should) and my tirade was an attempt to remain loud in his life. I don’t want to be disregarded or forgotten, so I tried to get in his face, to remind him that I’m in the control tower. An impressive illusion.
Being honest with myself helped me to focus on what I do need to do to remain pertinent in my son’s life.
I need to back off.
I need to be present but not pushy.
I need to love him quietly and allow him the space to come towards me.
Hmmm… the sweet cooling sensation of lemons after the bite of chili.
Next on the menu is being honest with other people. I tasted that one this morning when I served up a flavourful apology to my son.
He gulped it down gratefully.
Write for ten minutes using the word ‘honesty’ as a springboard. What stifled truth needs some air?