I just read an interesting status update on one of the Facebook pages that I follow, Sacred Heart Wisdom from Matt Kahn (who also has a website called True Divine Nature), and wanted to share it with you:
"One of the most commonly overlooked spiritual practices is daring to be completely honest with everyone you encounter. Some may say others cannot handle their honesty, but true honesty is not a strategy or a weapon of any kind. It is the willingness to be open and absolutely transparent in sharing how any moment feels in your heart. It has nothing to do with confrontation, accusation, or any form of blame. True honesty is the willingness to stand completely exposed, allowing the world to do what it may, and say what it will, only so you may know who you are – beyond all ideas."
Too often I think honesty is thought of as being brutal or rude, and it certainly can be. If you think of the old standard "Do these pants make me look fat" you can be honest and reply "I think another pair might be more flattering on you" as opposed to "Yes, you look absolutely disgusting in those, and what's wrong with you for thinking those looked good in the first place."
As a spiritual practice, I think honesty would be an interesting concept, especially when it comes to talking about ourselves. During each day I spend a lot of time hearing the question "how are you today?" and most people reply some form of "good," "fine," etc. But if you find yourself saying (or thinking) something negative to that question on a regular basis, it might be helpful to sit with why that is and how you might change that reality or perception.
I often talk about living in integrity, and being honest with people certainly is a step in that direction. But do people really want to hear honesty? Would you respect someone being kindly honest with you about something? Even if it was hard to hear, do you secretly appreciate their honesty? When you ask for someone's honest opinion, do you really just want validation for your own opinion, or do you really want honesty from them?