Sometimes lying or putting on an act in front of others may seem to keep us safe, but this is actually an illusion. In reality, honesty puts us in the safest place we can be in. It is a psychological and emotional buttress. It may feel unprotected, but really we are rooted in the strongest thing that we spiritually possess: our truth. Honesty has the inexplicable power to uphold us while at the same time inspiring others to drop their defenses. On a certain level (for some it’s subliminal and for others it’s closer to the surface) everyone is longing for truth. And they recognize it when they hear it.
Imagine a social scenario where you’re mingling with several people whose personal circles don’t intersect – i.e., the only common denominator in the room, relationship-wise, is you. Who would you be around all of these people? Perhaps normally you would have distinctly different interactions with each one. But now, any persona that you might adopt for one person could possibly alienate the others.
You would have to be transparent and honest. How else could you navigate such a situation, where there’s no room to play any role that another person might expect of you? For the sake of your own peace of mind, if nothing else, you would have to be genuine. Who among us can keep track of a dozen roles different at once, hoping all the while that none of them will get crossed?
Many people try to smooth over the falsity of certain social situations with alcohol and other substances. A chemically-induced buzz can sometimes promote a sort of artificial harmony when the underlying feelings between people are thorny. But oftentimes these are situations that we wouldn’t want to be a part of anyway if we were clearheaded. Every binge then becomes a method of making peace with things that we really ought to strive to either change or avoid. To self-medicate in order to feel comfortable in situations that go against the grain of our nature is a kind of self-betrayal.
Honesty and transparency are our only safe havens. This has something to do with the way in which we each create our own reality from the inside. When we’re acting with integrity and being true to our own feelings then this draws forth responses from the world because the world is, in essence, a reflection of ourselves. On the other hand, if we erect a persona that is not connected to our real selves then our worldly experience becomes more chaotic and confused.
Our honesty also honors the spirits of all the people with whom we come into contact. It says that they are worth the expression of what is genuine in us. It also gives them implicit permission to lay down their defenses and express who they really are.