A compulsive truth teller, if you will. Maybe you’re one too. Honesty, as I see it, has received a lot of stoic criticism over the years. We’re taught to bite our tongues, to keep our thoughts to ourselves and, as my mother used to say, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” I know it may be hard to believe now, but at one time, I was a rather shy girl, the kind who used to slink in the shadows and keep to herself, as if any utterance whatsoever would shake the mountains and churn the high seas. And yet now, as I get older, I can’t help but wonder: In keeping our lips sealed, are we doing a disservice to ourselves? When does honesty become, well, too honest. And, if we do find ourselves letting our inner thoughts escape our lips, will the consequences really be as earth-shatteringly catastrophic as we anticipate?
I suppose there are different types of honesty. There’s what I call inconsequential honesty, for example, when you tell someone “Maybe blue is more your color.” This sort of honesty probably won’t get you into too much hot water. Then there’s the sort of honesty I experienced first-hand a few years ago when I accidentally (well, more like subconsciously, as I’ve relived the scenario over and over in my head like one of those suspense movies with a shocking ending you never expected) let certain insights into my feelings -- feelings I’d worked so hard to hide for some 14 years -- about a certain someone come spilling out. I expected the apocalypse. I expected fury. I expected rage. And of course, I expected myself to regret my admission. Oddly, though, barely a tiny ripple cascaded through the metaphorical pond. And even more surprising? I didn’t want to take back what I’d said; for the first time, I didn’t regret saying something that, probably, should have been uttered years ago. It was as if a weight had been swiftly lifted off my shoulders. The air was cleared. I had finally been honest after years of hiding something that really wasn’t even worth hiding. I had built it up in my head to be this big, never-to-tell-another-living-soul secret. It wasn’t. I suspect it never was in the first place.
In the process, I’d figured out something else, too. There is a sort of deep-rooted, heart-pumping honesty you have with yourself. The kind of honesty -- an inner dialogue of sorts -- that should be your best friend. It helps you hold tight to who you are and has a built-in detector that lets you know when you begin to stray. Because, really, in not being honest, you’re hiding a part of yourself. Don’t regret what you say. Never deny your true nature. Be who you are. And above all, don’t sacrifice yourself for anything or anyone. Because in doing so, you’ll eventually run the risk of regretting who you are. It’s a slippery slope you don’t want to take. You’re invalidating a piece of your puzzle that makes you, well, you. And your puzzle deserves to be whole.
[Photos via Le Love]