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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