Friday, June 03, 2005

honesty part 2

i think it’s even harder to be honest with those that we care the most about. even though honesty should be the basis of trust that we build relationships on, we fear that honesty will damage a relationship instead. it’s the fear of rejection, of failing and disappointing the ones we love, of getting hurt and hurting others. while we fear this, the results usually end up being the total opposite.

part 2 – me, myself, and others

we tend to deal with people in terms of our previous relationships. my last ‘relationship’ lacked a lot of honesty. we faked it and pretended that we were being honest with each other, but when the moment came that it was most needed, i was shut down. real, honest discussions were not allowed and the onset of one was quickly recognized and violently ignored or rejected. i soon learned to shut my mouth, avoid honesty, and try to make things work. it never did, but the fear of being honest grew stronger and remained.

real friendships need honesty. without it, it is just a show. something to put on display for everyone (including ourselves) to see. often we say that actions speak louder than words, but i think that too often we use actions to replace honesty. probably because it’s much easier to hide behind something bigger and louder, we replace honesty with physical contact, silence, jokes, sarcasm, and flat out lies. the more a relationship gets built on these substitutes, the more unstable it becomes.

i haven’t been too honest with someone i care about. i was too scared to share my fears and feelings. instead i replaced them with these substitutes. before i knew it, i let confusion take control and drive things in wrong directions. the crazier it got, the more scared i became of being honest. it seemed so much easier to fake it and see where the current took us.

i don’t think it’s too late. some friendship are too important to ruin for fear of honesty.


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  3. I thought of you yesterday when I heard this week's This American Life on NPR. The topic was religion and one of the segments featured former Saturday Night Live performer Julia Sweeney, whose most recent one-woman show is called Letting Go of God. Listening to the excerpt of her struggles with faith made it clear that this is never an easy process.

    Many people--especially those with strong testimonies--tend to look on those who struggle with doubts or find themselves simply unable to believe in God as if this is a conscious choice that the person has made. They will talk about someone who has turned his back on God or become an atheist as if this was some intential, willful act. Too much book learning is also often blamed. (Sweeney's crisis of faith started when she began to really read the scriptures for the first time in her life.)

    In any case, what Sweeney and you are going through is clearly not some choice. It is totally disruptive to the lives and belief systems of anyone who goes through it. And for most people it does not have to result in becoming vehemently anti-religious or intolerant of those who have never suffered from similar doubts.

    But I do always believe that honesty is the best policy in these things. I have a Catholic friend who still goes to communion when he goes to mass when he visits his mother even though he does not believe in any of the tenets of the Catholic Church anymore. "If I didn't she would ask me why I didn't go and I don't feel like getting into all that," he tells me.

    As upsetting as it might be for your family--and for you--I admire the fact that you are willing to "get into all that" with those whom you love.

    Anyhow, check out Julia Sweeney's piece at The audio for the show will be posted later this week.)

  4. I really wish I had something more profound to say than I love you and I'm glad you called and I'm glad you're honest with me. I always assume you are being honest and I expect it from you so I'm glad I get what I expect. That's not always the case from all the people I know.


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