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Are you Being Honest With Yourself?

By Samantha De Bono

Do we even know what true self honesty really means?

Have you ever asked yourself who you actually are? You know, that existential crisis-like moment in life when you think “I actually don’t know who I am or what I want”.

Personally I think the most interesting people in life will ask themselves this question.  If you haven’t yet, well... I really hope at some point you do, because it takes honesty to fathom the answer to that question and without honesty we cannot grow as individuals.

It’s difficult to come to an accurate self-perception, because the perception we have of ourselves comes from the stories we have told ourselves over the years and yet those stories can be seriously inaccurate, harsh and judgmental.

It’s been a while since I really examined my own personal narrative because for the most part I know it off by heart, but sometime’s something happens that makes us question what old stories might be seeping back in. 

When it comes to our personal narrative, we just seem to accept it as gospel, it’s there, running in the background and we so rarely bring it to the fore, instead we just inform all our current life situations from it . 

So before meditating this morning I asked for some clarity on my personal narrative. Have you ever tried that? If not, try it.  It’s a liberating feeling to delve into the crevices of our thoughts that we leave untouched too often.

What stories are you telling yourself? Have you ever considered that some of those stories might not be true? Have you ever thought about where the stories you tell yourself came from and continue to come from?

I noticed things that popped up for me were things my father said to me and I know why they came to the fore this morning. But in the past I have also recalled things other people have said in my childhood and early life.  You may find that you bring to your conscious things that teachers or colleagues said at some point in your past, what ex’s and other loved ones have said and what current partners and people around you say to you about you. 

These things that we now accept as part of who we are, can be positive and negative and given the intensity and sheer volume of these stories, how can we genuinely ever see ourselves clearly and finally be honest with ourselves?

Being honest with yourself isn’t just about not lying when asked a difficult question, it’s a daily practice. No scratch that, it’s actually a minute-by-minute practice. As we are capable of thinking so many thoughts in a minute, the practice is being conscious of what we’re telling ourselves when we are thinking what we’re thinking. If that makes sense?! 

Being honest with yourself means separating yourself from your personal narrative. Can you step back from the story of your life that runs through your head?

To step away from the story, we have to be brave and bold enough to step into something or somewhere else. 

Being real, being truly honest with yourself, happens when you can focus completely on something outside yourself. Refusing to be tied to the stream of narrative that invades those thoughts and feelings - when we become so immersed in a feeling that our preconceived idea of who we are exits the premises. 

That is the challenge and is not for the faint hearted, but it’s where true honesty and freedom lives.?