How do you tell someone the truth without causing suffering? Is it good to tell someone the truth even if it will cause them pain? Do you tell someone the truth if you know they will interpret it the wrong way and blame themselves?
The truth is a very hard subject. I was never a very honest child but recently I realised that honesty was one of the values I valued most, so I am trying to live by that now. I bring honestly into every situation looking where I can be more honest with myself and others. This has made me a lot happier and I feel as though I am living from my true being in alignment, however it is not always easy.
Very recently I told someone the truth about how I feel when I am around them. They are someone very close but I knew that if I told them the truth then maybe they would understand me more and we can move forward in a positive direction. However it was very hard to explain that I didn’t feel my best around them and they sort of took it the wrong way.
So in that situation is it better to keep the truth to yourself? Is keeping the truth to yourself a lie?
I have just finished reading The road less travelled and in that book Scott Peck talks a lot about honesty. He believes it is essential to be honest 100% of the time and I totally agree. He also said that he believed that not being honest with someone and not telling the truth was as bad as lying. But is it really?
Not sharing the truth and lying are different for me. When you do not share the truth you withhold information from someone but you are not giving them false information instead. You are giving them nothing. Everyone deserves the truth and I believe if you want to lead a happy life with good relationships you should always share the truth, however the truth can be painful.
For example if someone you know is overweight, do you tell them? Telling them this would be painful for them and may cause them embarrassment and resentment towards you. The chances are they already know they are overweight and do not need someone else telling them this. If you do not tell them you are not lying to them telling them they are skinny and fit, however you aren’t sharing the whole truth.
I think every situation requires us to firstly be present. When we are present we can judge what the situation needs. We should always be honest however some situations may benefit from you not actively sharing the truth. That does not mean that you should lie. You should just judge what to say in the moment.
Coming from a place of love is also a very good helper when you are unsure about what truth to share. I love this person that I was honest with and because of that love I shared a painful truth. By listening to your heart you will know whether it is loving to share a painful truth or not. Your heart is your guidance and in every situation in life it is there to advise and lead you. If you have a good feeling from your heart you know you are making the right decision. If you have any doubt or negative feelings coming from your heart take time to meditate over the decision you are making and what consequences it will have. This is valuable and will mean you make the correct decisions going through life.
I feel more confident now after writing this that I have made the correct decision by be honest even though it may have caused suffering. In life the path that we should take isn’t always the path with least resistance. Even though we are living in the present we should look to the future to decide what is needed NOW in order to benefit the future. Not what is easiest now.
If you are unsure then don’t share something right away if it is going to cause suffering. Take time to meditate and do yoga. There is no rush. Yoga will help shift your energy and so you can think clearly about what you are going to share and it may give you a different perspective. Sometimes we need to step outside ourselves in order to see things clearly. Other times we look inside ourselves and the answer is within.
Finally I would like to end on some wise words from Deepak Chopra, to sum up everything that I have tried to say here:
Once accomplished, simple honesty will go a long way to helping you evolve to your highest spiritual potential