I've come to believe, (or, rather, realize) that we spend a lot of time hiding ourselves. We live our lives as half truths, lying by omission the parts of ourselves that are dark, the ugly corners that we are unsure or ashamed of. Parts of ourselves that aren't actually horrid at all, but we don't let ourselves make known for fear of how others will react, respond or treat us thereafter.
Hiding who we are is detrimental. It hinders us from facing hurtful or difficult situations we've previously encountered. If we never learn to face the hard things of our past, we become ill-equipped to face them in our future. We too easily become excellent liars, making up excuses or skirting the truth to keep secrets hidden. Worst of all, hiding truth about who we are keeps us from loving, truly loving, ourselves. How can you embrace that which you won't acknowledge?
I find honest people refreshing. Sure, sometimes people can be too open, too honest. But there is a comfort knowing that everything is out on the table. There is no underlying enmity, no unspoken discord. If there is conflict, it's brought up and processed. I love that honest people get straight to the heart of the matter, opting to let people into the mess of their lives instead of keeping people at arm's length. For better or worse, I always know where I stand.
I've been thinking about all of the half-truths I keep hidden. Some small things, some enormous things. I've been considering how holding these things in affect me as a person: my relationships, my parenting, my marriage, my work, how I handle the hard stuff.
Today, friends, I'd like to encourage us all to do something difficult. Something uncomfortable. But, ultimately, something enlightening:
I am calling us to honesty. Honesty about ourselves, with ourselves, with others. Don't be afraid to share who you are, what you struggle with, what you fear. Work up the courage to approach someone you are having a conflict with and, in love, share your hurt. Face the hard things, process the difficult, embrace all of the wonderful things that make up who you are.
What keeps you from being honest?
How is it holding you back?
Be brave: As an exercise in honesty,share some of the honest truths about yourself in the comments below.