Your answer might surprise you.
Honesty. What does that word conjure up for you? If someone were to ask you if you are an “honest person”, how would you answer? Most likely, you would say, “of course I’m an honest person!” (right?) I pay my taxes. I don’t lie or cheat. If a good friend asks how she looks, I will tell her the honest truth! I am on time and good to my commitments without fail. I am such an honest person.
What about being honest with and about yourself? How often do you put everyone else’s needs before your own? This is a difficult question, but let’s be authentic and honest in our answers. How often do you allow the kids, or your spouse, to steer decisions without putting in your two cents? I am not talking about “fair is fair and everyone gets a turn” ~ I am talking about years of sacrificing your own wants and needs—with activities, food choices, chores, parenting and marriage issues, vacations, holidays and a million other daily decisions. It happens with your immediate family, your relatives, your co-workers and your friends. We’ve all done it…always staying quiet to keep the peace, going along with others’ against our better judgment and overall health.
Do you prioritize you? Do you allow events in your life to take precedence over the things you have scheduled for personal growth or self care? If so, how often? You might surprise yourself when you answer this question with complete and authentic honesty. For example, what happens when you are asked to fill in for carpool at the very time you had planned to go to the gym? Are you able to say “NO” easily, or do you drive the carpool and then feel badly about yourself for the rest of the day for not working out (and possibly overeat before bed)?
How often do you push aside the exercise, meditation, quiet time and other things that are good for your soul?
Sometimes it isn’t even for another event…maybe it is because you hit snooze too many times. Perhaps you have the time blocked, aren’t doing anything else, and still don’t get off the couch or stop surfing the ‘net to do the thing(s) you promised to yourself for your health and well-being.
What happens when we spend years not prioritizing our own needs? Resentment and anger build up, bubbling at the surface. A lot of times we don’t connect the dots between the resentment and unhealthy feelings to the life that we are living. Have you ever thought, “I have such a great life, why aren’t I happier?” I certainly have. This behavior is insidious. It creeps into our psyche. We look at our lives objectively and see nothing but the “good”, achieving so much of what we thought we “wanted”. Why doesn’t it feel better, and why do we feel sad and/or guilty when we begin to question our existence and choices? That voice in our head becomes mean and cynical. We lose belief in ourselves and become depressed. When we don’t have integrity with ourselves, we lose all sense of trust and belief in who we truly are.
The quickest way OUT is to keep those promises to ourselves.
Start with something small. It can be promising to make your bed every day, take a walk, go to a yoga class or to drink green tea. Make an agreement with yourself and keep it. You will be amazed at how one kept promise turns into two and three and, before you know it, an avalanche of good things are happening! In the same way that not keeping promises to ourselves brings us down, keeping those promises can lift us up and take us to incredible places. It feeds off itself! Being honest sounds awesome, doesn’t it?
I will ask once more ~ are you an honest person? I had to come to the very painful conclusion that, despite priding myself on being honest, most of the time…I truly wasn’t. I had not been honest to or about myself for a long time. I hadn’t spoken up when I wanted and needed to. I hadn’t had integrity with things I told myself I would do that were just for me. This was a hard pill to swallow, really hard. However, once I was able to be real about where I stood, for myself, it made some things crystal clear. There was a direct correlation from this type of deception to my state of mind. When I speak up, when I prioritize exercise, eating well and doing things that are for ME—I feel good, which is almost an understatement ~ I feel happy and content and empowered.
Other things can be wrong, but if I keep up my end of the bargain and do all that I can to take care of me, I feel present and mindful and able to take on what comes.
Are there places in your life where you could be more honest?
Please share your thoughts below in the comment section.
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