How to Practice Honesty

Good morning everyone, and top of the day to you on this lovely Memorial Day Weekend! The search term was “how to practice honesty,” and today I’m going to address this and the ways in which honesty can show up for you in your life.

When I refer to honesty, I am certainly including being honest and not cheating, lying, or stealing. Yet, I want to address the ways in which to practice honesty with yourself and others about who you really are, what you really feel.

Do you avoid looking at yourself and owning your behavior, both positive and negative? This was me for my life until I had many years in sobriety. The issue was, I just couldn’t be honest with myself about who I was and what I’d done. I was terrified to do so, and too ashamed. And I certainly couldn’t see my good points.

Gradually, as I learned to manage my fear, I began to be able to take an honest look at myself, owning my behavior, my actions, my words, owning my greatness. Can you relate? Am I describing you?

Consider this… do you shrink away from practicing honesty about who and what you really are because of fear of what you will find, because of shame, or because you just don’t know that’s your job? If you are doing these things, I suggest there’s another way…

I suggest there is the way of looking yourself right in the eye, in the heart, and openly admitting to yourself exactly who and what you are. Some of this means admitting to your strengths, your beauty, your good points, your greatness. No more pretending to be small. Practice honesty!

Spend some time making a list of all your strong traits, all the things that make you a grand person. Don’t play small. Really sing your praises. Sit with that list when you’re done and just “be” with who and what you are at your core. Then, take a period of 3-4 days and track every good thought, word, and deed you had during that 3-4 days. Practice honesty about who you really are. Revel in your kindness, your goodness. Know that no one can take that away from you.

Then make a list of your not-so-good points, the times you were selfish, or arrogant, or unkind to others. Spend time being honest about this. Then, take a 3-4 day time period and consider all the unkind and mean things you thought, said, or did during that time period and list them out. You will have a list of areas for improvement.

This is an excellent time to practice honesty, as you list out even the things for which you hold shame or embarrassment. Apologize for harms done to others in order to set the slate clean. Then, move forward and try to improve upon that part of yourself.

So, practice honesty by performing a self-appraisal and really looking at your positive and negative points. When you are done, you will have an honest appraisal of yourself. You will discover more peace as a result of this appraisal.

 

 

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How Sobriety Benefits Relationships

Hello, all! Happy morning to each of you and I hope this is an excellent day for you! The search term I liked has to do with the effect that sobriety has on relationships, and I will address that today.

In sobriety, one of the biggest benefits is the ability to get honest with yourself and with others. In this case, honesty refers to letting others know who you really are by sharing your true feelings in a kind way. Yet, even more importantly, honesty refers to looking at your behavior and owning it when it is less than stellar, i.e., when it is negative.

The ability to own your negative behavior will take you far in relationships. Instead of blaming another for things that got uncomfortable or went bad, you will learn to see what role you played in the event, and will be able to apologize for anything you did that was unkind or mean-spirited.

This is where conducting a self-appraisal is crucial. When you are in a relationship, whether it is romanic or not, I invite you to learn to keep an eye on your behavior and when you start the ball rolling in an argument, for example, or you do something that hurts the other, then take the higher road. Accept responsibility for your behavior and apologize.

Sobriety allows you to apologize without groveling or getting defensive, but merely, to humbly admit to your less-than-positive deed and to apologize for it. I can’t tell you how freeing it is to admit to your negative behavior. It sounds like it would be horrible to do, yet, it is liberating.  And it makes for many fewer arguments.

If you like what I say in this blog or others, I invite you to check out my coaching services under the “Services” tab here on my website. I offer free 30-minute discovery sessions for us to discuss what issues you are struggling with, and to relay how we could continue to work together. Simply call me at 415-883-8325.

Being honest as I have described it is the biggest benefit I see to how sobriety benefits relationships. What do you see as the biggest benefit that sobriety has on them? I invite you to leave a comment and let us know.

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What Is Honesty?

Good morning and welcome to another wonderful day! Today’s three-time search term is “what is honesty?” and I will address that today.

In sobriety, I learned about honesty and it expanded my belief and understanding of it. Yes, it’s about not stealing, and it’s more than that for all of us. It includes how you show up in the world to others and to yourself.

For example, showing honesty also means being honest about your actions and behaviors. Many of us do not look honestly at our actions and behaviors, and we blame others for what is rightfully our issue. Especially when there is a controversy, we blame another for things that went wrong, when we refuse to look at what part we played in the altercation. It always takes two…

So, in this case, what is honesty? Well, it is owning your bad behavior. Honesty is admitting that you did a bad deed, or gossiped about someone, thereby smashing their spirit, for example. But again, the biggest offender of being honest is when you blame another before you look at what you brought to the disagreement. Let’s look at blaming others in more detail.

I spent 32 years blaming my parents for my emotional woes from my childhood wounds, but never once did I think of accepting responsibility for my feelings, being responsible for healing my own wounds. Once I learned that it was my job to heal myself, my life took off in a glorious direction.

Well, it wasn’t glorious at first; it was extremely painful. Yet, after looking squarely at my hurts, my wounds, it began to get glorious as I healed from one wound after another. It took learning to talk to myself in a positive light, learning that most of what I had been told was a lie, my parents’ own wounds talking to me. I began to realize I was not the person that they told me I was. This realization brought me much joy and happiness… as well as peace.

I invite you to stop blaming others for deeds done, and to look at yourself to determine how you can heal from what was told or done to you. That does not mean you ignore what was said or done… you are merely going through and past that to a place of higher “being” about it all. You are setting the stage for forgiveness.

I invite you to own your bad behavior and apologize when it’s appropriate. Be humble, not ashamed. Realize you are a human being who makes mistakes and admit to them. When you “come clean” with another person, their feelings for you will most likely soften. They will most always accept your apology and they also often then talk about what they brought to the incident, where they displayed bad behavior. Usually in these instances, showing up with honesty will lead to healing between you and the other person.

If you have difficulty going through this process, that’s where I can come in with my coaching services. These are the very type of situations I do well with… identifying how to get past blaming, how to own behavior, how to display honesty. If you are stuck at this point, feel free to contact me at 415-883-8325 and we can discuss how I might be of assistance to you, how we can work together to bring you relief.

I want you to have peace, you see, and this is one way to find it… by learning what is honesty…

 

 

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Honesty, Openness, and Willingness

Well, good morning to each of you! I wish you all a wonderful day filled with light and joy. May you have peace. This morning I was able to get into my stats and I see three searches for honesty, openness, and willingness, so will speak about these today.

Honesty, openness, and willingness are the basis of all spiritual walks and the cornerstones of all recovery programs… the hallmarks, if you will. When you practice these three things, all sorts of other things fall into place for you. But what do they mean? Let’s take a look…

Honesty, openness, and willingness are all in my book, Opening the Gates of the Heart: A Journey of Healing. Let’s start by looking at honesty. Certainly, you want to practice being honest by not lying, stealing, cheating, etc., but this refers to much more.

Being honest also refers to your ability to see yourself as you truly are, with both your positive and your negative points, your strengths and your weaknesses, the things you do well and the things you messed up, the ways you were unkind, for example.

Many of you have not even heard of the concept of doing a self-appraisal and keeping a watch on yourself and your behavior. When performed on a regular basis, it is very powerful.

Being honest about who you are, even with all of your faults, is what is meant by being honest. Allowing others to see your soft and vulnerable side is being honest.

When you are honest, your being is as solid as the welds in the picture to the left, and it forms a strong base upon which to build your true Self.

 

Openness of Heart

Let’s continue on in our talk about honesty, openness, and willingness by moving on to openness. This refers to how you open your mind to new things, open your heart to feel, open your heart to allow grace in.

When you go around with a closed mind, thinking you know everything, not hearing what others are telling you about things and about yourself, then you are cutting off so much that is valuable. When you close your mind to what others say about you, you shut out an outside viewpoint, something you may wish to consider in your journey to wholeness and peace.

Beware of those, however, that would put your down, verbally abuse you, and try to not let their words affect you negatively. Realize that they are striking out, perhaps, in their own fear, their own woundedness, but don’t buy into what they are saying.

Having a closed heart blocks the way to peace and joy. You may stay behind the safety of a closed gate for fear of getting your heart hurt… again, yet when you open the gates of your heart, wondrous things start to happen. You are touched in ways you perhaps never have been before. It is very freeing, and it’s the way to peace.

Now we come to willingness and I cannot say enough about this except that it is the key to everything. When you are willing, it unlocks the gates of your heart, it allows the Universe to provide for you.

All it takes is willingness the size of a keyhole, and that is enough to unlock gates. The desire to grow takes willingness, the ability to listen to what another is saying takes willingness, the on-going practice of doing a self-apraisal takes willingness.

If you struggle with being willing for change to visit you in your life, ask the Universe for the willingness to be willing to have willingness.

And there we have the cornerstones… honesty, openness, and willingness. I wish you well in your search for and practice of these three things.

 

 

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How to Practice Honesty

Hello, all, and welcome to another day. May it hold peace and goodness for each of you. The search term I was drawn to is “practicing honesty.” There is a misconception about what it means to be honest, and I’d like to address that.

In fact, I have a very recent experience to illustrate my own lack of honesty in a situation that led to being the recipient of verbal abuse. I live in a mobile home park, and my neighbor is currently having her place resided. One evening, I came home, pulled into my carport, and found her 10-foot x 1-foot wooden planter box at the front of my carport.

I was upset that my property was being used as the storage and overflow for her belongings, and especially without even asking me first. Also, I happen to think the planter box is ugly, along with the scrubby plants it contains. So, I called my neighbor to ask why the box had appeared in my carport. She had been unaware of it.

After establishing that it must have been the workers who moved it there, she asked if I wanted it moved. Here is where I was dishonest.  The truth was, I wanted it gone, but I was remembering all the times she has watched my cat when I travel, and so decided to cut some slack and allow it to remain.

What I told her was that I guessed it’d be okay to stay for a while while the work was being done. What I needed to have said to practice honesty was that I did mind and could she please have it moved the next day. Because I did not practice honesty… I was not honest… it led to a show-down when I asked her to move it a week-and-a-half later because I just could not look at it any longer every time I drove in. She pelted me with a barrage of verbal abuse, and now our relationship is less-than-ideal, to say the least.

My whole point here is, we often are not honest, don’t practice honesty, and mean one thing while we say another. We do this, perhaps, to avoid a scene or to avoid the wrath of another. In that process, we are not true to ourselves – not true to our beliefs and desires. And, in the end, the wrath may come anyway, as it did in my case.

Honesty can be passed along with gentleness; it doesn’t have to be brutal. We need to practice honesty by saying what we really are thinking or feeling. This keeps us in integrity.

In what way(s) can you practice honesty in your life, but don’t? Leave a comment and let us know.

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What Is Honesty?

Good morning, all, and may this be a day of great peace for you. The search term that I am going to write about today is honesty, what is honesty. When practiced, honesty brings peace and freedom to us.

Webster defines honesty as that which will not lie, cheat, or steal. That’s how I used to define honesty. Then, when I got sober, I learned an expanded version of it, which is included in Webster’s definition as free from deceit, being genuine and pure.

It is the latter that I wish to expound upon today. You see, we can be dishonest about who we are as a person, how we present ourselves to others. That’s what I did all my life… be deceitful in the sense that I pretended to be what I was not. I pretended that all was okay, for example, that I liked something, for example, when I didn’t.

Honesty pertains to portraying to people what we really are inside, letting people see our tender and vulnerable side. It also means looking with honesty at our actions, our behaviors. Let me talk a little more about this.

Most of us don’t like to admit our foibles, our faults, our poor behavior and actions. Yet, we all have these, all do these at one time or another because we are human and that’s just what we do. Honesty means admitting to ourselves and to others when we have poor or bad behavior, when we have done something to hurt another.

But when we admit to our wrong-doings, the freedom we feel is incredible, and then the peace comes. First we must admit to ourselves our poor behavior. I, for example, have a love of Haagen-Dazs chocolate and chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream.

One day, as I was slowly savoring some chocolate, I remembered how my ex-husband used to also love it, the chocolate, and I refused for it to be in the house because it was too expensive, even though we could have afforded it. Wow, what a realization. I felt somewhat ashamed to have placed that restraint on him and his likes, how I curtained a simple joy of his. As I do not have contact with him anymore, I could not bring that up to him, acknowledge it, and apologize.

Instead, I began to see how my selfishness at the time kicked into play, how it curtailed him some joy in life. I shook my head in sadness for him, for me, for all the times my selfishness hurt another, and was glad I can realize my self-centeredness today, so I can keep it in check.

That is an example of practicing honesty with myself. I had to admit to myself something I was ashamed I had done, realized why, and now can resolve to watch for that in my further dealings with others. I am willing to admit it to him also, if I had contact with him. So, not only do we look with honesty at our actions and behavior, we want to admit it to the one upon whom we have displayed our not-so-hot behavior. That is where the freedom and peace lie.

How do you practice honesty in your life? Do you admit to yourself your poor and bad behavior, taking responsibility for it by first admitting it to yourself and then to the other involved person? This is a good question to answer in a writing exercise.

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Practicing Honesty in Sobriety

Today we’re going to talk about what it means to have honesty in sobriety, or to be honest any time, for that matter. When you thought of honesty,  your thoughts went to stealing or telling lies, right? If you don’t steal and lie, you are honest, right? Possibly. Possibly not.

It depends. Are you practicing honesty in your sobriety about your feelings and about who you are? It is easy, even in sobriety, to not be honest, to not tell the truth about your feelings, to not speak up for yourself when needed. Honesty means owning your bad behavior… identifying and taking responsibility for it by apologizing if you hurt someone.

How can you know if you are being honest? Well, you can ask yourself these questions… “When I am feeling badly, do I say that, or do I say, in a huff, ‘I’m fine?'” If you say you’re fine when you’re not, you are not practicing honesty in sobriety because you are not saying what is true for you in that moment.

You can ask, “When I have intentionally, or even unintentionally, hurt someone else, am I apologizing for what I said or did… am I taking responsibility for my bad or hurtful behavior?” If you apologize in these situations, then you are showing honesty in sobriety because you are sharing your feelings of remorse, you are being honest about what you are feeling in the moment.

Honesty in sobriety is all about unveiling who you are at your core. It is about who and what you are in each moment. For example, I spent the majority of my life being dishonest. Oh, I didn’t cheat and only told a few lies here and there to protect others, but I considered myself honest. Then, I had to look differently when I got sober and I re-assessed my honesty in sobriety.

I discovered many things. First, when I was hurting or hurt, I did not relay that to the other person, thinking I it was better not to hurt the other person or to bother them. The thing is, the energy behind that deception came out in other ways, usually by being a bit standoffish in my approach to them, or making snide comments to them. Being passively aggressive. Whoa! It’s embarrassing to admit that, but it was true.

The fact is, I was not relaying my true feelings because of fear. I was afraid that if I displayed honesty in sobriety, then the person would get mad at me and harm me in some way because of that anger. Now, I find myself learning to tell others how I am feeling in the moment, and I say it especially gently if I think it will be difficult for the other person to hear.

That’s just one example of how to practice honesty in sobriety. I could go on, yet I’m sure you get the gist and my point. In case I didn’t make my point, it is that you can be ever-aware of your feelings and relay them to others when they occur. First, however, you need look at what is behind those feelings. If what you discover is something that will not harm the other to divulge, then be honest with them about what you are feelings.

If. on the other hand, you discover a personal problem or issue, then you will not want to tell the person your feelings. For example, someone said something that hurts your feelings and you, upon reflection, realize your old wound of feeling “less than” was triggered. You can consider that the hurtful comment was not said to harm you, and you were sensitive it to it because of your wound; you can consider not saying anything. You can also consider saying to them that an old wound was touched when they said what they said, and that you are having difficulty dealing with it.

By divulging that much about yourself, you open the way to share your honesty in sobriety, to share who you are at a deep level, and you further the relationship’s deepening with your action. That is practicing honesty in sobriety at its deepest level.

How do you display your honesty in sobriety? Leave a comment and let us know.

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Living Your Dream with Honesty

Honesty is one of the things that holds your dream up; it cements it, just like a weld of two pieces of metal.

How do you apply honesty to your dream? Well, you consider the divine plan for yourself, and if you feel strongly in your heart that you are following that plan, then you are being honest about your true nature. You are practicing honesty.

If, on the other hand, you are having urgings to follow a dream and are not doing so, you are not practicing being honest with yourself or your divine Source.

It is dishonest not to be true to ourselves, and if that includes needing to follow a dream which is divinely supported, so be it.

How can you switch from dishonesty to honesty? You can admit to your heart’s urgings, admit to your dream. Then, start taking action to follow it. You do the next indicated thing that is in your path to do. Over time, you will be experiencing your dream.

When you keep doing the action, you get closer and closer to fulfilling your needs. You will experience peace when you are engaging in your dream, because you are in sync with your soul.

So, go forth and demonstrate honesty about your dream. Admit it to yourself, speak up about it and then follow through to get there. You can do it, you’ll be amazed!

 

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Are You Honest About Who You Are?

One of the most important practices we can use to get and stay sober is being honest. By this, I mean not only cash-register honest, but honesty about who we are.

Cash register honesty means we don’t lie, cheat, or steal. But above and beyond that, we want to be honest with ourselves and  others about who we are inside.

We will need our honesty when we reach the exercise of doing a performance self-appraisal, where we will look at the things we have done to harm others, as well as consider the things we are mad at others for. But for now, let’s focus on our positive traits.

There is a lot that is talked about regarding looking at our not-so-desireable traits, our dark side, if you will. But not much is said about considering and celebrating who we are on our positive side.

It is this that I urge us to do. We want to stop and take a deep breath. Then sit with, maybe write down, all the good things about ourselves. How were we kind to others in the recent past, tolerant, compassionate?

What are our strong qualities and traits that we want to consider? It is okay to acknowledge these to ourselves and others, as we become more honest about who we are.

We are each here for the special message we hold for others, and when we are not honest with others about our good points, we keep our value from them, thus denying them a valuable experience, maybe even a healing experience. We deny ourselves the pleasure of being of service to another.

When we look at out positive points, we do so with humility, being neither boastful nor shame-filled. We just state the facts with no emotion attached. This may be difficult for us to do, having been trained not to brag about oneself. Yet, with humility, we can avoid bragging.

Today, take the time to sit and reflect upon your good traits, the ones that make you unique, the ones that feed your soul when you are engaging in them. Once you have identified them, celebrate them. Congratulate yourself and know these are your gifts, the things that make you, you.

Know that those are your gifts that you are intended to bring to the world, and know that you cannot do that unless and until you are totally honest with others about who you are inside.

 

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Are You Being Honest With Others?

Welds of Honesty

Oh, my goodness. I have not written since July 19th! I apologize for the delay. I was out-of-town at my 40th high school reunion and have been debriefing since my return late on the 27th. Going back to my reunion reminded me of how closed I was in earlier days, how I was not honest with others about who I was inside, how I didn’t even KNOW who I was. This thought leads me into today’s topic from the book, which is about being honest with others about who you are.

The verse in the book that goes with this image talks about looking inside to see who one is, then deciding to honestly show others what is found. When doing a self-appraisal, however, perhaps we dwell on the negative and are not able to identify our positive points. We are linked to a negative perception of ourselves.

When we can identify the delightful things about ourselves that make us the unique contribution to the fabric of our world that we are, can we then let people see that side of us, see our strengths and skills, our joys and sorrows? Identifying these things about ourselves may be difficult for some; yet, we each have positive and delightful traits and characteristics, we each slide along the continuum of feelings.

Perhaps, once in touch with who we are, we can share such things as joy, gratitude, sorrow, and despair. There is a closeness with others when one begins to share of themself in this way. The others, in turn, reveal more of themselves and these people connect on a deeper level.

It is important to trust the persons to whom we open up. It would be easier to convey the exhilarating emotions than the grieving ones. Yet, when we act beyond our fear of exposing ourselves and our truths, beyond the fear of being vulnerable, we experience that closeness with others. It generates more joy and more gratitude, as well as more love , kindness, tolerance, and respect.

This is not to say that all persons are trustworthy of our revealings. One must discern that another is safe to talk with. It would not be advisable, for example, to share with one who treats our thoughts and feelings with disregard and abuse, as that wounds our soul.

Do you experience this type of honesty with others?  What is that like for you?

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As the author and photographer of her book of wrought-iron gates and accompanying prose, it is said by others that Carolyn CJ Jones’ book offers hope to the soul in the corner who struggles. Perhaps there is a bit of a struggling soul in each of us. Perhaps we each could benefit from the journey she shares. View the additional information about the book to the right of this blog. Buy the book from her website and receive free shipping.

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