I’ve always loved the truth- that shining globe of enlightenment that now fills my journalistic days. I pride myself in my adherence to these principles: never telling a lie, getting the facts right, always willing to take the blame when and if I do get it wrong. My lifelong love affair with truth has led me to realize that many times even the truth seekers are dishonest.
Not telling a lie isn’t the same as being honest.
Honesty isn’t just about getting a quote accurate or breaking a promise in order to not tell a lie. It’s about shedding all the baggage and the lies and the masks and being raw. Being you. It’s about stripping your emotional self of all the things you’ve let manipulate it- society, your friends, parents, that guy who looked at you funny at the bar the other night.
Being honest is about letting go of the fear of what people think or say about you (because let’s be real, most people don’t really care anyways). But more than that- honesty is about not lying to yourself.
It’s something we all do. Choosing our life and actions and clothes and career because of what someone else thinks or says instead of what we want. It can be the impact of an entire community or one person. Sometimes we don’t even know what we want and use that as an excuse to let others life our lives for us. Pretending can often be easier than facing the reality of how unhappy you really are.
In the past few months I’ve noticed how dishonest I’ve been with myself. For someone who has dedicated her life to telling the truth, my life has been filled with masks, lies and deception. Why? Because pulling off the mask means you can’t hide- the things you hate are staring right back at you and you must choose to live like that or change it.
But living that way isn’t healthy. Sadly, I’ve encountered many people who do live that way. It’s time to take off the masks. Yes, it’s scary and makes you vulnerable. Yes, some people might not like the real you. But it’s worth it. Knowing who you are, what you want, or just having the freedom to admit that you don’t know. Being afraid is far better than waking up one day and realizing you’ve lived someone else’s life.
To be honest is to be free.