Honesty is exposing what you are experiencing and feeling inside yourself to whomever you are interacting with. So, honesty with yourself is exposing what you are experiencing and feeling inside to yourself.
So why wouldn’t we allow ourselves to acknowledge what we feel? Our conditioning and belief systems often dictate what we allow ourselves to feel. Classic examples in our culture include: women are not supposed to get
angry, and men are not supposed to be feel vulnerable or weak. So after a lifetime of conditioning, when we experience a feeling that we believe we are not supposed to experience, we tell ourselves it was something else. In other words, we lie to ourselves. This is where being honest with ourselves breaks down.
Ironically, I see this in spiritual growth disciplines. People are conscious about their thoughts being positive and spiritual- which is a good practice. However, I have noticed that there is a tendency to not accept the feelings that are not in line with our positive thought focus. So we may not acknowledge feelings that are dark, sexual, angry, selfish, etc.
Once we lose touch with what we are feeling, we lose touch with our spiritual connection. Our spirituality becomes contrived and disconnected. It expresses itself more conceptually and intellectually. In contrast, being in touch with our feelings keeps our spirituality grounded, experiential, and genuine.
For example, you as a professional might be attracted to a client. For many of us, this is an unacceptable feeling. “He is my client, and I am married, and he is married, and...” But our human feelings do not care about such things. They are exited about the attraction.
So, keep your positive thought focus, but first allow yourself to feel whatever you are feeling in the experience you are in. The feeling may ‘feel’ inappropriate, but you do not have to act on it. Acknowledging the feeling keeps you connected and honest with yourself. Then you can take action in line with your positive thought focus.
So what feelings do you tend to not allow yourself to feel?
About the Author
I, Michael Hoffman, am a licensed psychotherapist, teacher, and author with 25 years experience in counseling and teaching experiential workshops. I have maintained this blog since 2009, and my second book Natural Way of Being will published in 2019.
I offer in-person and video-conferencing counseling, intensive workshops, and online courses to allow participants to directly experience their natural way of being and the life they would have for themselves.