I’ve been thinking a lot lately about honesty.
Not people-pleasing honesty … but real, to-the-core deep honesty. The kind of honesty that leaves one bare, exposed, naked and vulnerable. I want to call it bone honest … it’s through and through. It frames your structure. It is your support. From within it is life. Without it, there is no stability. With out it, there is injury … and death.
Years ago, I made a magnet for the refrigerator with a set of “house rules.” I’ve thought about creating a new one as this one has lost it’s footing and been dropped to the floor many times. Its frame is cracked. Circles and smudges from liquids and fingers and spills dot the front. The text is fading after …. six… eight … ten years or more of decorating the grand metal box that keeps milk, cheese and meat cold for my family.
These are the ideals to keep people and stuff in our home and lives happy. I’m pretty sure that (almost?) every offense that could be an offense in the operation of our household (or life) would break one of these three rules.
” If you use it, put it up,” doesn’t mean, “If you use it, stash it somewhere so it’s not left out to look like you didn’t put it up or use it in the first place.”
“Be Honest,” doesn’t mean, “Give the impression of being upright and honest to please people/mom/friends/siblings, but do what you want as long as the person who wouldn’t be pleased by the action doesn’t see it.”
“Be kind and respectful with your voice and actions,” doesn’t mean “Be nice in the presence of others, but think/say whatever you want to about them when not in their presence.”
Some time back, Glory asked a deeply loved, trusted friend a raw question, point blank. The person stood there, just a few feet away and told her “no.” Then she asked another deeper, probing question and got another fervent “No.”
A number of weeks later, Glory found out that both answers were outright, bold-faced lies.
These weren’t lies of opinion where he answered a question that was subject to emotions/feelings like
“Is it cold outside?” or “Is everything okay?” No. No.
These were questions like “Is that chocolate on your face?,” asked as the person pulls the spoon of Fudge pudding from his mouth and swallows velvety cocoa big. Or asking someone standing barefoot in a puddle of fresh rainwater, “Are your feet wet?”
When she later confronted this friend, he said,
“I just couldn’t tell you the truth right then.”
In other words, “I said what I thought would keep me looking good at the time.”
THAT was not the truth.
This exchange has changed their relationship …. forever. Because it revealed a side of this fella that she didn’t expect.
It’s unfortunate …. and devastating. They were very close at one time.
It amazes me how some people think of the truth as … situational or relative.
While there may be many positions to view a situation,
while there many be many sides of a story to tell,
there is really only one “truth.”
When asked a question like,
“Do you like it?” or “What do you think?”
there is, most often, a way to tell anybody the truth about anything
in a way that doesn’t crush their spirit or injure their heart.
Seems to me that the only truth that is truly crushing,
is the truth of confession of a wrong against someone.
And then, it’s not the TRUTH that is really injurious,
it’s the action that comes to light.
So, lately, I am again, giving much thought to truth, honesty and authenticity.
I want to be honest through and through.
I want to live secret-free, exposed and vulnerable.
I want to be strong, authentic and bone honest.