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.


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.