Brutal Honesty


It’s called “brutal” for a reason.  Everyone knows that using it with someone can seriously backfire.  What about using it with ourselves?  More often, we don’t even “go there” because we know it won’t be pretty.

In evaluating my life and pinpointing areas for improvement I’ve realized the road to my goals is initially and largely through this kind of honesty.  We’ve all met someone whom we thought lied to themselves.  Have we ever caught ourselves lying to ourselves?  I have.  It feels a little soul crushing.  And yet, when I got through the harsh wind and rain part, I eventually got to a place of clarity and forgiveness.  The forgiveness part is important because of the way we inflict damage and destruction on ourselves when we feel guilty about something.  The clarity part is important because it’s uplifting and energizing.  Like a child who finally understands her school assignment and enthusiastically gets to work with energy and vigor.  Or what happened to me after years of wanting to write about diabetes only finally doing so when my twins were born, leaving me with the conclusion that having healthy children (challenging as it was) meant my diabetes wasn’t preventing me from writing, simply, I was.  It’s never fun to find out that we are our own worst enemy and that we are mostly in our own way-not someone else.

Some things I’ve been brutally honest with myself about in the past:

“I don’t have time to clean”  Correction:  “I do have time and can make time, I just really hate cleaning!  There! I said it!”

“I don’t feel well enough to exercise”  Correction:  “I don’t feel 100% but I do feel well enough to exercise, not to mention, the more I exercise, the better I feel!”

“I need more money”  Correction:  “I NEED shelter, food, and water and I have plenty of each.”

“I can’t afford healthy food”  Correction:  “I can afford healthy food if I don’t overeat, don’t buy unnecessary items, and don’t waste food.  Bottom line?  It’s hard to do all this, but the I can’t afford it is an excuse.”

“This person made me feel bad by what they said”  Correction:  “This person didn’t do anything to me that I didn’t allow.  I reacted to what they said and have some feelings I need to sort out.”

In the end I can whine about hating to clean, not feeling 100%, getting my feelings hurt, and wanting more money.  Or, I can stay healthy by cleaning, exercising, and eating well which will help keep me strong and confident in myself while I work on finding a way to make more money so that a full savings account eases fears and adds comfort.  I can’t do the latter without the former.

It’s often about recognizing that we are responsible for everything in our lives.  You didn’t choose to have diabetes but you do choose how you handle it.  You didn’t choose to grow up without a lot of money, but you have the power to change how much money you have now.  You didn’t choose to be sensitive to carbs and gain weight easily, but if that’s a reality, (and it seems to be for me) then you have the power to eat less carbs or at least only quality carbs and therefore manage your weight the way your body requires it.  Even if that seems unfair because you eat differently than others.

Life is unfair but in the end, I think it is fair because everyone has to deal with the reality of their situation and their hand in it.  Being brutally honest allows us to recognize our own power and use it rather than be oppressed by an invisible cloak of our own imagination.  Brutal honesty is brutal but what is even more so is a life lived at the mercy of what we think the world is doing to us or keeping from us.  For those of us fortunate enough to live in a country where we aren’t terrorized and utterly mistreated, lies even more personal responsibility.  More responsibility is a good thing.  This means we have more power to make our lives what we want them to be.  Instead of brutal, we should see this kind of honesty as liberating.  What do you think?

One thought on “Brutal Honesty

  1. Ellen Sherman

    Great message to share with others. Taking a look at who we are and what we “need” and getting rid of our distortions is essential for growth. A difficult task but well worth the time and energy. How we change the way we feel and understand the reasons “why” is a long process that enables us to conquer our fears, anxieties,our sadness and lack of self esteem. Untwisting our thinking and saying outloud what we need to hear and realize by developing a healthy personal value system is the only prescription leading to a healthy way of thinking, feeling and acting. Being brutally honest with myself is something that although was sometimes painful was the most important aspect that led to changing myself and my relationship with others who are important in my life. Learning good communication skills, messages to oneself that are accurate and not distorted, and not being triggered by the occurences which happen in life gave me a new beginning…an awakening that changed my thoughts and attitudes forever. Grabbing those negative thoughts that our distorted and illogical
    and realizing that things are not as bad as you think they are help you break out of the mood slumps and develop more positive and realistic attitudes. Through self assessments that are realistically based, we monitor our progress on making the changes needed in our way of thinking, feeling and acting allowing us to make profound transformation in our moods and our image of who we are and who we want to be creating a “healthy, positive” outlook on our life

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