What is the opposite of honesty? At one point I thought it was lying, but I don’t know that I believe that anymore. I think a lack of transparency is really the opposite. Perhaps that is manifested through a lie. Perhaps it is manifested through selective avoiding the truth. Either way, today’s first involved me being completely honest. All the time. About everything. Completely.
One of the things I’ve learned through today’s first is I am dishonest more times than I like to admit. I am dishonest to myself and I am dishonest to others. Careful. It is easy to hear those words and think they don’t apply to all of us. However, if we are truly honest…..and I’m going to be today….we all withhold the truth. We are all a little dishonest but we try to justify that.
Sometimes we are dishonest to avoid conflict. This is probably what I’m most guilty of. I hate conflict. I hate tension. I hate uncomfortable silences that stem from awkward situations and honesty. This isn’t to say I’m a pushover. I know and understand that conflict is inevitable. I have strong convictions and principles and stand up for those when I deem the situation is needed. However, that doesn’t mean I like it.
Sometimes we all (that is to say, I) feel like we have been wronged. It is often easier to swallow that with an air of martyrdom and silent resentment than to be honest and try to confront and face the issue. We (again, I) often believe avoiding this conflict is being a peacemaker, but that is wrong. It is only allowing a sore to fester and become infected. We carry that silent resentment around until it can damage relationships. I think this is the area of dishonesty must people are guilty of. We believe people should be aware that they have wronged us, but many times they are not. Many times they are willing to apologize if we would be honest and bring our issues to them.
Sometimes we are asked opinions and we dance around the truth to avoid the awkwardness that truth sometimes brings. We don’t lie, but we are not direct when the situation may call for transparency and straightforwardness. We justify this by believing we are protecting feelings. Honesty does not leave tactfulness at the door. One can be honest without being hurtful, rude, or too blunt. The reality is we are avoiding truth to protect ourselves again and believe truth might harm a relationship. But truth never harms. Truth heals.
So today, if you asked me how I was doing, you may have been surprised to hear something other than the typical “fine.” If you asked me if I thought you were right, you may not have been expecting the answer. If you asked me how your hair looked and I told you fantastic, you better believe I meant it. If I have a grudge with you or if you have hurt me, today would have been the day I told you. And if I have hurt you or wronged you in some way, I hope you make today the day you tell me so I can try my best to make it right.
After all, without your honesty, I may not know you have been hurt. No more pretending….at least for today. I can’t lie. I may not be able to continue such clear-cut honesty tomorrow, although I am going to do my best to try.