Why It’s Important To Be Real with Each Other
Ah, to be whole and undivided; what a beautiful existence. Let’s practice, shall we?
Last night a friend came by to pick up some fitness props for her home workouts with me. My husband and I hadn’t seen her in many, many months so we took the opportunity to catch up and interact with a human being!-—it’s been a while. ☺ We, of course, were all safely masked and at least 15 feet away from each other outside in front of our house, don’t worry.
I have chatted with my friend previously so we both knew how we were doing, and the honest truth was—not so good. And being married to him, I also knew that my beautiful husband was also not doing so well and that they shared a lot of the same unrest at the moment.
Husband: “How are you?”
Friend: “I’m good, how are you?”
Husband: “Oh, fine, you know.”
Me: (in my mind) What???
I couldn’t help myself, it’s just who I am, I asked them both to pause for a moment. I said, “Why aren’t you both being honest with each other and saying how you are really feeling?” Side note, we are close enough to be vulnerable and transparent with one another. I am aware that not all relationships have this available within them.
Then my friend said something I found quite profound. She said,
“I didn’t want to tell the truth because I didn’t want to bring him down.”
To which I then said,
“You both are struggling profoundly and coping with emotional discomfort, anxiety, insomnia, fear, worry about elderly parents out of state, career instability, uncertainty of what the future holds, isolation, and definitely some depression sprinkled in there too. It is so important to be real with each other and not skate over all of that with ‘I am fine, thanks.’ It is time to be real with each other so the other person knows they are not alone and you both can be witnesses to each other’s suffering in the moment and be there for each other, otherwise it is such a missed opportunity.”
They both paused and really took that in and proceeded to share everything they have been feeling lately and how hard things have been for each of them. It was beautiful to observe because I gave them permission to show their under belly and know they were safe, supported, and allowed to speak their truth.
Integrity Within or Compartmentalized Truth?
I share this with you because I feel that experience has such value to us right now; always but right now especially. The word integrity has such a clear meaning in our minds and we know what to look for in others when we determine if someone has integrity or not and how that impacts our choices in relationship with them. I would like to shine the light on integrity within; with our own speech, our choices, our actions, our food, our lifestyle. And to look at our whole state of being and determine if we are living a divided life where we compartmentalize our truth and live a façade.
I feel we are in a time of radical acceptance of what is. We are being faced with situations we have no control over and we must pause and reflect on our lives to determine how we wish to live in this time and space. Many of us are reevaluating our careers, where we live, how we treat our bodies, and so much more. I believe it is imperative that we are radically honest and hold ourselves accountable to a high standard of personal integrity and be real with people so we are real with ourselves.
Not only is it healthy for you to share the truth and release any stagnant energy that suppressing your suffering may cause you, but it is such a gift for the receiver to bear witness to your authentic Self and not the façade Self. It gives them permission to do the same in their own way, and in their own time.
I would like to invite you to weave a practice of radical honesty into your life and be whole and undivided. Here are a few ways to do this but feel free to find your own and discover ways you can be your authentic Self, not only with yourself but also with others. If this is new behavior for you, I recommend that you practice this gently and only with people you feel are like-minded and safe spaces in your life. Once you have gotten into the groove of always speaking your truth then you can venture out into a wider circle.
4 Simple Tips
To Practice Radical Honesty and Speak Your Truth
Give The "Why"
When a loved one asks you how you are, give them an honest answer. Note the difference between complaining and sharing your underbelly.
For example, instead of “I’m exhausted!” Perhaps something that is more connected to the why of what you’re feeling rather than simply stating the what of what you are feeling.
For me, I would say something like this, “I haven’t been sleeping well at all. My mind has been so consumed with worry and all the unknowns right now. I’m feeling a lot of anxiety and it has been so hard lately.” If I just said “I’m tired.” I would have missed the opportunity for a real connection with my loved one and an opportunity to be seen, loved, nurtured, and also be an example of what it looks like to be authentic so they can template it too if they need it in their life.
Allow Others an "Opening"
If you ask someone how they are feeling and they reply with a curt ‘I’m fine.” And you know damn well they are not fine because you either see it in their eyes, hear it in their voice, or perhaps know a bit of their personal story at the moment. You can respectfully say something like; “You know you can tell me anything, right? It’s okay to not be fine right now, I’m not. I’ve been coping with challenges myself lately. Are you sure you are okay? I’m here for you if you ever need to talk, or unload on me. It’s important we reach out to people now so we don’t feel alone.”
Cultivate Your Safe Community
It is important to remember that it is healthy to share. Our culture is not as focused on the village energy that some others embrace. I feel it is a necessity for our well-being.
We must have a village; a safe space, a community of like-minded individuals where we feel safe and can be our true, most authentic self, where we feel accepted, loved and seen for who we truly are. If you have this in your life, then bravo! If you do not, then cultivate it and spend time and energy attracting the individuals you want in your life to walk this path with.
Honestly Share When You Can
I practice Truth Telling to the grocery clerk, the bank teller, the UPS driver, and anyone else who inquires into my life. If someone asks me how I am doing then I pause and check in with myself and notice I am being given an opportunity to be real and perhaps receive something from someone if I remain open to the Universe.
Sometimes I am absolutely great and I share that. (It is also so important to not dim our light when we are doing well, even during times of struggle in the world. If you are doing well, celebrate that and be seen!) But if I am not doing so great in that moment then I use the opportunity to let this beautiful human being how I am feeling. A connection with a stranger can be quite healing. Remain open and watch the magic unfold.
A helpful reminder for me is this:
Integrity is telling myself the truth.
And honesty is telling the truth to other people.
Be gentle with yourself. These times are like no other and we need to be tender, patient and loving with others and ourselves. I send you much love and many blessings of good health, a calm mind, and a deep connection to Spirit.
Know you are loved.
Dove’s boutique studio, Dove’s Bodies, has been an LA institution for more than 35 years. With a background combining decades’ worth of studies in fitness, dance, pilates, martial arts, primal movement, yoga, pranayama, organic nutrition, energy healing, mindful living, intuitive clearing and meditation, Dove is sought out for her unique, intuitive wholistic total-body approach. Dove’s life passion is to guide her clients on their own unique path to wellness, wholeness, and the full integration of mind, body and spirit.
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