Honesty can take the form of a soft pillow or a jagged edge knife. It can act in a simple straight forward manner or take effect after a time delay. Honesty can be perceived as either honey or vinegar. It can either clear the fog in the air or have the power to create an explosion.
What is more confusing is, who is it meant for? The one being honest, acting as a safety relief valve reducing the stress caused by hiding who we truly are? Or is it meant to change the perceptions and subsequent behavior of the person it is directed towards?
Is being honest, selfish in that our reality and self-interest is all that matters? Or is it selfless, that it is offered so that good could come from it? Is it to simply state a fact or reveal a dysfunction? Is it given in a way to hurt or is it offered as a hopeful cure to what is bothering us about the other person at work or at home?
Honesty can find its power in a strong relationship yet damage one that is fragile. How will the other person, hearing our honesty, react to what they hear? Will they find it helpful or hurtful? Sharing honesty is quite dependent both on the type of brush and paint you use as well as understanding the type of canvas upon which you create your story with honesty in the moment.
When sharing honesty, you first must determine the size brush you will use as an artist chooses. Should there be small, gentle strokes, or wider more bold ones? We must be always reminded that humanity is our canvas — both their’s and our’s. Some canvas can absorb colors well. Other types of canvas may have a tint to them that distorts the colors we apply to it. A person’s biases or the diversity (or lack thereof) of experiences they have had in their lives, could tint their reaction to the honesty we try to share. The strength of our ego and theirs will affect what is heard and understood when sharing honesty.
The many choices of paint, shades of color, brush, and type of canvas make sharing honesty more difficult to do thoughtfully. As life proves to us often, there is nothing guaranteed. A person’s reaction to our sharing of honesty can become entangled in all of the different possibilities of its effect and perceived nature.
Vinegar or honey? Soft pillow or jagged edge knife? Honesty, present in any relationship, can strengthen it over the long term. But for sharing honesty, thoughtfully and effectively, we must first begin with ourselves. Finding honesty’s texture in our own self-awareness is a good first step to its power. Where we are able to listen or see things (that we may not want to see/hear or first accept) in the clear way that honesty presents itself, and then having the humility for us to adjust accordingly to both evolve and grow.
There is this same responsibility, when sharing honesty with others, of being prepared to hear, accept, and build on the honesty that the other person shares with you in this moment without explosion. (Because we may be surprised as to what we hear as well.)
Always keeping in mind that the confusion we find ourselves in, when sharing honesty between two people, is sometimes tough to understand clearly at the start for either person.
It is the same struggle that everyone around you is going through at the same time. This should bring us both the hope and patience to help each other create more meaningful and effective relationships along our life’s journey when we are willing to try.