Are you truthful?
You probably said, “well yes, of course I am!” Are you really? Most of us aren’t. I’m not. That’s because there is more to being truthful than just not telling lies. Not telling an affirmative lie is the easiest kind of truth. It’s like saying that you’re a kind person because you don’t kill people. It’s a good first step, but it’s not the end of the road.
Real honesty, real truthfulness means living a life of honesty. And it’s really really hard. Think about your values. What means something to you. What’s important to you. What do you complain about and rail against at cocktail parties? Now compare those values to how you live your life. Do they line up? If you talk about the evils of oil, have you given up your car? If you say that family is the most important thing in your life, have you cancelled a date or missed a school play for work?
I am working to live a really truthful life. And it’s hard. Honestly, I don’t feel like I do a very good job most of the time. I know that family is important to me, and I know that living a simple life and doing the right thing is important to me. But right now I work in a job that takes me away from my husband a lot. My job doesn’t allow me to create value in the world or be impeccable with my word. I have cut back on buying things I don’t need, but I haven’t gotten rid of very much. And I watch entirely too much TV.
Frankly, it’s frustrating. Sometimes I feel like such a hypocrite. It’s been really getting me down lately to think that I’m not living my life according to what I really believe. I bet you feel like that sometimes too, even if you haven’t really realized why.
Here’s what I’m tell myself though: I’m on the journey, and that’s what’s important. This is really hard stuff. Living a completely honest life takes an incredible amount of bravery, strength, and constancy. The only person I know of that lived a completely honest life was Jesus, so it’s really not that surprising that I am having a hard time with it. I can’t be perfect, and I can’t live a completely and totally honest life. But I can try. And that’s what’s important. I’m still an okay person, and so are you. Does telling myself that really work? Honestly, sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn’t. But I know that I can’t let it bring me down so much that I stop trying. As a wise friend of mine says, “all I can do is my best and move forward.” I’m doing my best, and that best may vary from day to day, but it’s all that I can do.
What in your life isn’t honest; what about your life isn’t living up to your values? How do you deal with that (or did you just realize it today)?