Sunday, November 5, 2017

Just being honest......

If you find yourself saying 
 "....but I'm just being honest" 
chances are you've just been unkind.  
Honesty doesn't heal. 
Empathy does.

-Dan Waldschmidt

We do this. 
Speak unkind words. Unkindly.
and justify it with....

"Just being honest."

SUPER DUPER.  Thanks. 
{insert sarcasm}

Here is what we need to remember....
"....just being "honest" - sometimes isn't all that honest at all.
Our "honesty" certainly isn't an excuse to be viciously outspoken about another person's situation.

What we say for the sake of "honesty" defines our character. 

Our "honesty" is OUR feelings.
Our "honesty" is OUR perspective
Our "honesty" is OUR viewpoint. 
It's ours and OURS alone.

Our honesty is not an expression of TRUTH, it is an expression of OPINION.

It's as simple as this.
When we feel the need to tell people our "honest" thoughts about a situation....
We can't then simply shut down and walk away thinking we did some valiant justice to the world, by having the nerve to speak up. 
All we've done is expressed our thoughts based on ONLY OUR experiences in life. 
The person we are being "honest" with should not have to accept our honesty - as their truth - simply because we "honestly" expressed it.

Telling someone our "honest" thoughts on THEIR decisions, with expectation of them then accepting our truth as theirs.
That isn't honesty at all, is it? 
It's more ignorance and self-loathing in my humble opinion.  
Expecting some ridiculous change in another persons life should occur because of our "honest" expression is so dang selfish.
It's not our journey - it is theirs. 

Talking about someone in their absence abrasively and following it up with - "Just being honest...." - doesn't justify us.  

Don't get me wrong.  I love an "honest" conversation, with "honest" opinions....
{not simply "be right"}

Empathy combined with honesty.  
That is where it's at. 
Such a beautiful concept, yes?

People with empathy listen, understand, love.
They embrace each person's story.
They are not offended when someones truth doesn't match theirs. 
They accept things for what they are.  They see all sides of things.
They are concerned with healing.  That's it and that's all.   

With my divorce, my new relationship and the life changing decisions I am making - 
I now have a new understanding of what "honesty" can do when applied poorly, and selfishly.
Relationships break. 
Rumors spread.
Friendships are lost.
The most heartbreaking thing about this ----ALL issues arise because people use their so- called honesty to decide to choose sides, make assumptions, close minds, close hearts, stop listening, stop understanding - start assuming and veer off in a direction of animosity and disdain toward people who, quite simply,  make different choices than they would.
We have NEVER walked in the shoes of another human being on this planet.  No one deserves to be mistreated because of my truth, your truth,  anyone's truth.

Honesty should be used to open our hearts to one another. 
Listen to one another's truth.
Embrace, Empathize, and Love.

My son Luke recently opened a difficult "honest" conversation with me.
It was the most beautiful thing in the whole wide world. 
We now have a new awareness and understanding of not only the situation at hand but also of one another.
He's 22. 
He has mastered honest, loving, expression.

It is time full grown adults get their shit together. 



Noelle Reese said...

AMEN! The truth can hurt, but delivery is half the damn battle. Being kind is #1. Blurting out your 'honest' opinion is not needed <3 People's 'honest' opinion is still just their opinion and everyone has one. I left the second half of that off of your beautiful blog <3

Carmen O. said...

I so agree. I have felt like this when some one says they're just being honest. Thanks for putting it so eloquently.

Carol Steffensen said...

It is all about being kind, being true, and being honest. Having real empathy, not perceived empathy, but real. People often say, I know how you feel, but they don't really know unless they have walked a mile in your shoes. But, I do know that every last effort is worth it to keep a family together , because the older you get, the best it yet to come. You write so well, Angela!

Derek Otteson said...

This is FANTASTIC! You consistently impress me with your empathy and compassion. The world needs more of you!

Susan said...

How true! Well said.

Marsha said...

Beautifully put & so true.Being truthful with your Mom is so different than random statements to your FB aquaintances. It needs to be kind & face to face.Empathy is the key.