How to Practice Honesty

Good morning and happy Thursday! May this be a great day for each of you! Today’s search that got my attention was “how can I practice honesty?” Allow me to address this from my perspective…

When you think about honesty, you are most likely thinking about not lying to others, not cheating, and not stealing. These are all behaviors to practice which lead you to be an honest person. But there is more to honesty than that.

Consider that honesty can be expanded to include how you share what you are thinking or feeling at any given moment. When you keep quiet if you are angry or hurt, for example, you are not displaying honesty. The solution is to speak up in a matter-of-fact way, without attacking the other person or making them wrong, and letting them know what you are feeling. You may want to take some time to process your feelings first.

It also has to do with being honest with yourself about your actions and behaviors. This is very difficult for many of us. We have trouble admitting to less-than-stellar behavior. Yet, to be considered an honest person, you must look at and admit to your non-perfect behavior, your bad behavior.

We all have it, you know. We all act poorly at times. You are not the only one. That’s because we are human beings with feelings and often don’t know how to deal with those feelings. And practicing honesty has to do with owning your negative behavior, apologizing when indicated.

This is another slant on honesty, and I hope it provides food for thought for you.

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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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How to Open Your Heart More in Sobriety

How to Open Your Heart More in Sobriety” was in the search terms four times this morning. Well, the term was really how to open our hearts more, and I changed it a little, embellished a bit to add sobriety. I like adding the angle of sobriety in, because sobriety is so often what allows you to live with your heart more open.

Often, people who have been through the hell of hitting bottom and then getting sober, find that they can open their heart more than someone who has not been through hell. It’s as if the person who got sober knows what the other side is, and is so grateful to be out of there, out of that space, that opening their heart becomes a joy.

Perhaps one of the most valuable tools to use to open our heart more is that of honesty about ourselves… our actions and words, our behaviors. When drinking, we tend to be mired deeply in ourselves, concerned about how what everyone is doing is damaging or hurting us. In reality, we are manufacturing our own misery, but most drinkers would become engaged if you said that to them.

Anyway, back to honesty. When we take a real, hard look at ourselves and see our errors, our weaknesses, our bad behavior, we realize we have done the very same things we are mad at others for. In one way or another, we have. Wow. That’s a sobering realization! And once we realize we do the same things others do, we become humble, taking ourselves off that pedestal we’ve put ourselves on, making ourselves right-sized.

There is no need for shame at this point, thinking we’re a bad person. It’s just our behavior that’s bad, and that can be changed. So, once you are honest and open your heart to yourself, you can open it to others more, seeing them with different eyes, realizing that perhaps they, too, have wounds behind their bravado, their bad behavior. When you realize this, you can see with compassion and compassion helps you in your sobriety to open your heart more and more.

I don’t think that we can get to this point of having a truly open heart unless we are in sobriety. In other words, sobriety is what allows us to open our hearts more in life, to life. When we are drinking, we are too wrapped up in ourselves and our little (and big) dramas which we have created in some way or another, that we cannot get out of ourselves enough to see the surrounding world with tenderness, with compassion. We are mired in what the other guy has done to hurt us.

I am watching this very situation occur in realtime with a friend of many years. She lives out-of-state and so, everything I get is from her point of view, or the report of other friends. I have gotten the most recent update from a friend, and the truth is somewhere in the middle, but the drinking friend is driving everyone away through her bad behaviors and actions, and then claiming everyone is deserting her.

In reality, if she looked honestly at her own behavior, her own actions, she would see this and how she is reaping the consequences of her behavior. In other words, she is creating her misery. Tragic situation I am observing from afar, as I watch lives being ruined by the actions of one who is choosing to reject sobriety.

It is with a heavy heart that I wrote about that situation because I know if she took the route of sobriety, she would be able to open her heart more to others, to herself.

At any rate, after honesty is used to help open your heart in sobriety, openness of heart and mind follows. It is crucial to be open to suggestions and new ways of thought once you get into sobriety. And, of course, willingness is the key after honesty and openness are achieved. Willingness turns the key in the lock of a closed heart. You can have all the honesty and openness you want, and until you have willingness, you cannot put your sobriety to work for you.

Once you have looked at yourself with honesty, openness, and willingness, once you have added compassion to the mix, your sobriety will be enhanced and you will be able to open your heart more.

How about you? Are you able to open your heart more now that you are sober? Leave a comment and let us know.

 

 

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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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Honesty, Openness, and Willingness – Keys for Sobriety

Honesty, Openness, and Willingness, the three things that are key for sobriety. Without these, sobriety is nearly impossible. With these, you have a chance for success.

It used to really irk me that people claimed I was not honest. After all, I did not steal from others, I report my taxes to the best of my ability and knowledge… I was an honest person. But what they were actually referring to was the way in which I presented myself to others. Was I showing to them who I really am, what I really think and feel? Or, was I taking on another’s opinions and beliefs, merely to “keep the peace?”

Hmmm. I was taking on my husband’s characteristics of impatience, self-righteousness, etc., because it kept the peace. I was not letting shine my abilities and beliefs of tolerance, respect, and love toward others. In the eyes of sobriety minded people, I was not being honest.

So, I took this new definition of honesty and began to assess my abilities in that area. Hmmm. I was not being myself, was not showing my true nature of kindness. It took me several years of healing work in sobriety before I was able to be honest with others about who I really and truly was and am. It was a beautiful awakening…

Being open, for me, refers to openness of mind as well as heart. One day, my heart just opened. It came after some time of being openminded. That open-mindedness came from a belief that everything that was being presented to me in the way of books to read, or opportunities, etc., was a gift from God. And I got that belief from reading the book Conversations With God, by Neale Donald Walsch.

Armed with the belief that gifts were being presented to me, I was able to be open to get help from others, to accept medication and EMDR, for example, for my panic disorder, major depression, and PTSD. When I was openminded toward these things, and they turned out successfully, bringing me more and more lightness, that feeling invaded my heart. I could not help but open it, too, to the blessings and gifts I was experiencing.

Wow. What a whole different way this was to look at tinges and to live. A world of difference from the bitter and angry person I had been for some 35 years, blaming my parents for my emotional difficulties. I liked it, and I continue to like it. It took an open mind and an open heart to be able to look at things differently, to be able to be responsible for my own emotions, to be able to take action on my behalf.

But there is nothing that could or would have happened had I not been willing to see things differently. That’s why I believe willingness is the key to sobriety, to a changed life. I believe willingness opens the gate to your heart. It did mine, and that was a miracle, given how angry a person I was.

Once I opened the door and allowed willingness to express my heart more authentically to play out, things began to flow more smoothly for me. I became willing, for example, to consider forgiveness for my parents. This, of course, came after a lot of healing and pre-forgiveness work, a lot of therapy.  When I was in it, I could not see a way out, it was excruciating at times.

On the other side of it, I can see why events and learning situations happened as they did. I see why they, for example, were so painful, because I was clearing out years of pain and heartache. Years of shame and feelings of worthlessness. It was difficult to address my grief over the loss of trust I had in my parents, how badly that wounded me. With willingness, I became able to view things differently. It has made the entire difference in my life of sobriety.

How about you? How do you practice honesty, openness, and willingness in your life, in your sobriety? How does it manifest for you? Leave a comment and let me know.

 

 

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