Honesty hearings are like going to the dentist. The visits can be painful, but wow, do they leave you feeling clean. And regular checkups are essential for long-lasting health. The dentist in this case is you, and your job is to bust through the buildup of stories, illusions, lies, fears, misperceptions, attachments, and judgments you’ve been collecting.
Now, you don’t let just anyone put his or her fingers into your mouth, so you want to be just as cautious about allowing someone into your heart. This means it’s essential that you also promise to act as a best friend would in this situation — no judging the buildup, berating yourself for the state of your life, or making yourself feel guilty or ashamed. Yes, what you may uncover during your honesty hearing could sting, but you don’t have to scrape the sensitive areas harshly. Apply unconditional love instead.
The following five steps will lead you through your honesty hearing. All you have to do is grab a piece of paper and a mirror and go for it. Remember to keep your commitments: point out the buildup and remove it with love! Give yourself about an hour.
Step 1: State the obvious
On a piece of paper, draw two lines that divide the paper in four quadrants. At the intersection of these two lines, in the middle of the paper, draw a heart. At the top of each quadrant, write one of the following phrases representing a key area of your life (and a potential place where self-honesty can fall by the wayside).
- My Career
- My Relationships with Others
- My Health
- My Money
And in the heart, write:
- My Relationship with Myself
Go through each area, one by one, while looking in a mirror for added impact, and tell yourself all the ways you think you haven’t been honest with yourself. Share your thoughts openly with yourself, seeing your reflection as a best friend who is listening to — not judging — what you have to say. After you finish speaking about each of the four areas, write down on your paper what you said about each.
Step 2: Go deeper
Go back to the mirror, look into your eyes, and get really intimate with yourself, as if you can see directly into your heart and soul. No mask, just you and you. Now ask this reflection looking back at you — the part of you who loves you unconditionally and has no fear of being honest — to dig deeper to answer the question
“How am I really not being honest with myself?”
Then, either by speaking the answer out loud or by closing your eyes and listening to that wise voice inside you reveal the truth. No shame, no self-judgment, just honesty in service of love.
Remember, you are on your side. After you have finished speaking, write down what you heard. Use the other side of the paper you used in step 1, beginning with the sentence starter
“I have not been honest about…”
Step 3: Be grateful, not defensive
Look into your eyes again and say,
“Thank you. Thank you for loving me enough to help me see the truth.”
Step 4: Soak the truth in
Look back at everything you wrote. Challenge yourself to try on the truth. If you find yourself resisting the truth, ask yourself these questions:
“What consequence am I afraid of? If I accept this as the truth, what reality will I have to face that I might not want to?”
Usually it’s not the truth that makes you afraid; it’s dealing with the consequences of admitting the truth that freaks you out. When you can face the consequence, you gain the power to move from fear into love, which is exactly the result you are after.
Step 5: Make a new choice
Using your power of self-awareness, address each of the areas you’ve tended not to be honest in. Ask yourself the following questions:
- What has been the result — the cost — of this lack of self-honesty and self-awareness?
- What reality would I like to create instead?
- What is one action I can take to create the reality I want this week?
Then commit to taking this action by actually writing down, on each of the four sections of your paper, what you will do and by when.
Note: Just like regular checkups at the dentist, this self-love practice can be scheduled with yourself twice a year. Or do it whenever you feel something in your heart and soul aching or irritating you.
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