Hon­esty & Re­la­tion­ships

Great Health Guide - - FRONT PAGE - Words Martin Glad­man De­sign Olha Blagodir

We all know that hon­esty is a key in­gre­di­ent to de­vel­op­ing a good re­la­tion­ship and equally so, we all know what hap­pens when we shy away from the truth. Ei­ther some­one gets hurt or we end up liv­ing a lie. So if we know that the out­comes of be­ing dis­hon­est aren’t great, then why do we strug­gle to be hon­est with our­selves and our part­ners in the first place? Of­ten when I talk to peo­ple about the con­cept of ‘get­ting hon­est’, the first thing that they jump to is the idea of need­ing to give some­one ‘a piece their mind’. They re­call all the an­noy­ances, frus­tra­tion or crit­i­cal things that they’ve wanted to say but haven’t given them­selves per­mis­sion to, up un­til that mo­ment. Es­sen­tially, they go off, they list ev­ery­thing that has ever up­set them in the re­la­tion­ship, usu­ally in a way that is ir­re­spon­si­ble and blam­ing, lead­ing to quite a hurt­ful and de­struc­tive sit­u­a­tion. The prob­lem with this ap­proach is that the per­son ex­press­ing their mind seem­ingly feels bet­ter as they got to dump the weight of their ir­re­spon­si­bil­ity onto an­other. How­ever, the per­son on the re­ceiv­ing end can of­ten be left in shock, feel­ing hurt, de­ceived and/or hood­winked. It’s not an ap­proach I rec­om­mend to de­velop a healthy re­la­tion­ship!

HON­ESTY AL­LOW US TO TAKE RE­SPON­SI­BIL­ITY AND STOP BLAM­ING OTH­ERS FOR ALL THAT WE ARE EX­PE­RI­ENC­ING.

WHEN IT COMES TO OUR RE­LA­TION­SHIPS, GET­TING HON­EST DOESN’T NEED TO BE A BIG DEAL.

What we need to un­der­stand is that this ap­proach to ‘get­ting hon­est’ is in fact not get­ting hon­est at all. Hon­esty is not emo­tional nor does it sim­ply fo­cus on one par­tic­u­lar point or mo­ment. It’s more holis­tic, tak­ing in the full pic­ture. Hon­esty cap­tures ev­ery­thing, all the beau­ti­ful things that are part of our lives and within who we are, as well as the not so great things or more ac­cu­rately, the ar­eas we need to work on. So if we’re not see­ing ev­ery­thing all at once, then we need to ad­mit that there is a part of us that is be­ing dis­hon­est. By the na­ture of be­ing hu­man, we see and feel ev­ery­thing. We know when peo­ple are ly­ing, we know when peo­ple are up­set and we know when we have dis­re­spected our­selves and/or an­other but we sim­ply choose to turn a blind eye. We brush things aside be­cause we don’t want to know or we don’t want to face the truth be­cause we think it’ll be too painful or dif­fi­cult to deal with. We de­cide in that mo­ment, it’s bet­ter to live a lie. The prob­lem with this ap­proach is that for ev­ery lie that we al­low, ev­ery mo­ment we do not ac­knowl­edge or ex­press what is there, what we see or what we feel, it’s like plant­ing a weed into a gar­den that we then feed and let grow. We com­plain that it’s there but do not take re­spon­si­bly for the fact that we planted it there in the first place. And via this dis­hon­esty and ir­re­spon­si­bly, we pro­vide the per­fect en­vi­ron­ment for it to flour­ish, al­low­ing it to over shadow or take up space where other more beau­ti­ful, sup­port­ive and lov­ing things could grow.

Hon­esty there­fore of­fers us an op­por­tu­nity to stop and take stock. It’s like look­ing out into our gar­den and al­low­ing our­selves to see all that’s grow­ing, the flow­ers, the trees and the weeds. It raises our aware­ness so that we can start to choose dif­fer­ently, to try new ap­proaches and start to ad­dress the things that aren’t work­ing whist still con­firm­ing and build­ing all that does.

Get­ting hon­est sim­ply brings aware­ness to what is al­ready there and gives a voice to what is. Sure, if we have al­lowed too many weeds to grow then pulling out the gar­den might be the way to go. By the very na­ture that a weed could grow though it, proves that we have fer­tile soil and thus, a new gar­den can be planted afresh - this is the beauty that is on of­fer to us all.

So as a piece of home­work, start prac­tis­ing to be hon­est, even if it’s only with your­self. Take a look out into your gar­den and see how it’s grow­ing. Is it lov­ing and bright or are their ar­eas that need some work? If so, get work­ing!

Hon­esty is but a move­ment that takes us to­wards the next step. If we make sure that those steps are truly lov­ing, of our­selves and all those around us, then that’s what we will plant and nur­ture in our gar­den and ul­ti­mately, what we get to live in and come home to.

So how hon­est are your re­la­tion­ships and how hon­est are they grow­ing?

Martin Glad­man is a so­cial worker, coun­sel­lor, life coach, teacher and com­ple­men­tary ther­a­pist work­ing out of Mel­bourne. Vic­to­ria. Martin has had the plea­sure of sup­port­ing peo­ple of all ages, back­grounds and gen­ders to work through the many chal­lenges which can pre­vent them from liv­ing truly joy­ful and vi­tal lives. Martin can be con­tacted through his

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