What is Radical Honesty?
Radical Honesty is the ability to name and claim a feeling one is experiencing without the need to alter the story or to try and look good. It is when one calls herself out in full honest form instead of just trying to look good. It is being who you are, as you are, without shame, embarrassment, or excuses. It is being willing to be truthful about what is without concern of reactions or ramifications.
Depending upon one’s conditioning, even considering the above-mentioned activity can feel threatening. Some family cultures demand a commitment to secrecy and never telling anyone about family drama, stories, or business of any kind. (You don’t talk about family outside of family.) Abuse and major discord can survive in families for decades due to a commitment, verbalized or implied, to secrecy. So, for some families considering a practice of Radical Honesty will seem ridiculous because family sticks together no matter what.
A family is a tribe, each tribe has a culture, and every tribe will condition its members in different ways. In addition to family, you belong to more tribes than you might realize. Each tribe is created out of its uniqueness. Some tribal categories are determined by the color of your skin, sexual orientation, nationality, religion, demographics of where you were born - foreign or domestic, your political views, and many other possible categories.
Our tribes survive due to our domestication into the tribe and with a very real threat of being tossed from the tribe should one not comply. Humans have a need to belong, and there was a time when living within the tribe would guarantee survival.
In addition to tribal conditioning, there are many other reasons we often are not honest with ourselves, or others, although it will always lead back to wanting to survive and to feel safe. Safety in lies is a false idea. Thinking that people can’t really see us when we are lying is a false idea. Lying to control someone’s reaction to you is a false idea. Lying out of fearing reaction is survival for many and is usually a long-established habit, also a false idea. Some don’t tell the truth in an attempt to control a situation, a very strenuous idea.
PERSONAL NOTE: I was raised in a home that caused me to learn how to lie to keep the peace. I lied for so long that I thought it was natural and normal. It wasn’t until well into my adulthood that I would learn how not workable lying is as a way of life, especially because behind each lie is a world of inner pain and suffering. Sound familiar?
In this series, I am proposing that we can move beyond our need to lie to stay safe. We can find safety, solace, peace, and ultimate happiness in truth telling. In practicing Radical Honesty we can tell the truth and still respect and honor our families for what they need. Keeping Peace is more about educating oneself in what humans are truly looking for. We can identify a way to not be seduced into actions that tear at our integrity and self-esteem. We can be honest and free of shame. We can practice Radical Honesty and live a fully expressed life. MORE TO COME!