Be True to Yourself (Even If It Hurts)

radicalhonesty-blog“The truth shall set you free.” John 8:32.

If we want to be truly ourselves, we need to be 100% honest in our communication with ourselves and those around us. This can be difficult, as society conditions us to be perpetual liars. Unlearning to lie can be very painful at first, but in the long term, complete honesty will set us free.

Consciously or unconsciously, we’ve been conditioned, indoctrinated, and moralized to believe that the truth is something in the past – something we’ve learned, remember, or believe. But truth changes. That which was true before may not be true now. You can hate someone one minute, and love them the next. Both are true because they are accurate reflections of how you feel in the moment.

We become honest by being present. We “get out of your mind and come back to your senses”, as the author says. We notice how we fee (free from judgment or labelling) and openly express the experiences we’re having. All thoughts of pain, anger, frustration, joy, excitement, and sexual thoughts, too, must be expressed fully.

Honesty is the only method of authentic communication.

In the beginning, this change in your communication can cause a lot of problems. People may not react as you would hope, and relationships may become strained or even die (although, according to the author, the outcome is almost never as bad as we imagine). However, in the long run, it is better to be completely honest with someone and have them leave, than to lie to someone and have them stay.

According to the author, radical honesty is the only way we can avoid making ourselves sick. We kill a part of our authentic selves every time we tell a lie, even – and especially – “little white lies”. The body recognized the lie as an assault and manifests sickness in our physical bodies.

Creating a life of Radical Honesty is a 3-step process.
  1. Be honest about the facts.
  2. Be honest in the moment.
  3. Gain mastery of honesty.

The author takes the idea very seriously: If you’re having an affair, tell your partner. If you’re online shopping at work, tell your boss. If you hate your parents for being irresponsible during your childhood, tell them.

It takes a lot of practice and it won’t happen overnight. Reading this book, I realized I’ve only just begun the process. Dishonesty is the cause of so much human suffering. Imagine a world in which everyone communicated openly and honestly – what a beautiful idea.