Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Truth About Honesty: As Within, So Without,,,

I present this award to YOU!!
(You should know who you are...)
I have a secret lust for a very few eye-candy, drama llama shows on tv. Since getting rid of cable, I've been able to stream a few of them via Netflix. One of these is Private Practice, the older, somewhat more mature sister of Gray's Anatomy. Drama llama, AWAKE!

One topic of the show, midway through the second season, is whether people should be completely open and honest about everything with their relationship partner, or if a person needs to keep certain things to themselves in order to retain their individuality. Of course, this was in relation to admitting to an affair, which, if told, could hurt the partner and the relationship. The benefit to telling would be that the partner would know (although how beneficial that would be was questioned) and that the cheater would relieve their guilt.

Ohh, yeah...
Let the drama begin!
My answer, because I like to talk to the tv, is that it doesn't matter. Whether admission of action is good, bad or ugly, there is only one thing that is consistently required: honesty with oneself.

One must be honest with what they did. Many people simply do not evaluate their own actions, dismissing them with superficial acknowledgments and covering them up with justifications. If you do something, acknowledge that you did it. No buts. No conditions. No excuses. No! Just say what you did. Noun followed by verb with subject/predicate phrase/etc. (if absolutely necessary). For example: I cheated on (name). Or: I ate all the cake. Or: I broke (partner's name)'s favorite (object). Be direct. Don't hedge with yourself.

No, no, I don't believe you.
One must be honest with how that affected them and their relationship partner (or other person). Don't pretend that something that would break the heart of any other human being with an emotional fiber the size of a fishing line is going to be okay with your partner. Really? Admit that what you did sucks, and to what level. If it was an accident, SO WHAT? You did something. It hurt someone. You have to acknowledge that, in this moment, you suck. Otherwise you are just brushing over the pain of your relationship partner. For example: (Partner) was/will be betrayed and hurt that I would cheat on him/her. Or: The kids will be heartbroken that I didn't save them any cake. Or: (Partner's) iPhone was his/her lifeline to social media; this will devastate him/her, and I may have to make it up to them.
Only when you get to this level of honesty can you understand what you need to do to make things better/right/just.

One must be honest with their motivations, whether they decide to keep the secret or admit their wrongdoing. If you cannot honestly say to yourself that telling will make your partner's (NOT your) life better or more just, don't do it. You have to be honest if you are going to be selfish about your actions. You have to be honest if you are going to swallow (read: wallow in) your guilt. Don't tell just to make yourself feel better. Don't keep it a secret so that you don't have to pay the consequences. If it's about how YOU would feel upon taking an action, you're doing it wrong. If you aren't honest about this part, you will - I repeat WILL - make the same mistake again. You won't have learned your lesson. You won't have grown as a person.
Wise man... one of three.

Be honest with yourself, and you will be the best friend/parent/child/lover/partner anyone could ask for.

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