VATIC Expressions: Truth, Transparency, Transformation
Volume 3, Summer 2017 Issue. A division of Vatic Publishing®, LLC.
Stop Lying to Yourself!
by Cicely V. Wilson
The hardest, first, and most revolutionizing lessons that God taught me was how to be honest with ME. Many people aim to simply be successful at being honest with others, yet are still content to subliminally lie to themselves day in and day out. The truth of the matter is that you can only be honest with other people to the extent that you are committed to being honest with yourself. Maybe the concept of “being honest with yourself” is new to you and you don’t know exactly what that means? You know how you give yourself allowances that compromise your values with shortcomings that you wouldn’t DARE allow other people to get away with when it comes to you? When this happens, you’ve just lied to yourself. You know how you say “yes” to things on behalf of pleasing other people when truly your inner answer is “no?” When this happens, you’ve just lied to yourself. You know how you indirectly harm other people yet you justify your behavior by saying, “I’m not hurting anybody.” Again, you’ve just lied to yourself.
If that is how I lie to myself, then how do I practice being honest with myself? When you are ready to be honest with yourself that means you are ready to take a raw and real look at the totality of you. It means you are ready to confront your progress, or lack thereof, by taking an intentional look at your strengths and weaknesses or in other words, the “good, bad, and ugly” about you. You’re not alone. Everyone has all three. Furthermore, it requires a conscious look at all three to embrace full honesty and transparency with you.
The “Good” is that which you do well. You excel here. You are strong here. These behavior traits or characteristics show the best sides of you, are helpful to you, and promote your betterment and well-being; some call them strengths. The only honesty that is required in this space is that you recognize it, build upon it, and keep up the great work!
The “Bad” is that which does not promote your best self. It is harmful to you. It causes you to not be “well.” In psychology, this side may be known as your “shadow” side. You may or may not be very aware of the harm it causes you, but others may see it clearly. It is known as a “shadow” because others have a better angle to see it clearly whereas you don’t because you are too close in the proximity of what you need to see, even though it is right next to you. This is an area where adjustments can definitely be made; some call them weaknesses. You can be honest about your “bad” by acknowledging the areas you are aware of where you know you can do better and then taking purposeful steps of improvements to alter the “bad” to “good”. You may ask, “Well, how are the shadow sides addressed?” Great question. As for the “shadow” sides, you can enlist a trusted confidante to communicate to you where you can stand to do better as it pertains to recognized habits. This is a person that you know who loves you and has your best interest in mind. Nevertheless, they are also committed to not lying to you just to protect your feelings when asked for the truth. Keep at least one to three of these types of individuals in your life at all times to help keep you on track to maximize your strengths and eliminate weaknesses.
The “Ugly” is that which should be absolutely unacceptable within you. It should be deemed as intolerable. Reason being is that it is not only harmful to you but it is harmful to others as well. Maybe you would benefit from a few examples to make an “ugly” trait clear: adultery, molestation, domestic abuse, murder, addictions, etc. It may be an “ugly” trait that you acquired through generational lines within your family or that you even acquired by way of third party victimization. Regardless of how it got there, you need to be honest about its influence in your life and the detriment that it is causing to your overall well-being, relationships abroad, and future destiny. After being painfully honest about it, there is no other choice but to divorce it. It cannot be allowed and needs to be severed by any means necessary. No matter if it’s good, bad, or ugly that needs confrontation, HONESTY is still the best policy.
Make three columns with each column titled the following: “Good”, “Bad”, “Ugly”. Within each respective column, according to definitions given in the text, make a list of “Good”, “Bad”, and “Ugly” traits as it relates to yourself.
For each item on each list, come up with a “game plan” to do more of it (“Good”), eliminate or lessen it (“Bad”) or totally eradicate it (“Ugly”) from your life.
Who are one to three confidantes that have your best interest at heart and truly love you that you can enlist to hold you accountable? Allow them to help you improve your “Bad” and “Ugly” lists, and to also share with you what areas they see in you that are “Good”, “Bad”, “Ugly”.
© 2016 Cicely V. Wilson