Handle the Truth

Feb 1 , 2020
By Kidist Yidnekachew ( Kidist Yidnekachew has degrees in psychology and journalism and communications. She can be reached at kidyyidnekachew@gmail.com. )

In the finale of one of the most popular TV shows of all time, Game of Thrones, one of the characters, a strong-willed woman with great ambitions, has a line that says a great deal about honesty.

“I was good at pretending to be good,” said Queen Margaery Tyrell, played by Natalie Dormer, an admittance from a character that was known for demanding to be “the queen” and not just a queen.

Many of us go through life pretending to be someone we are not - clueless about the things we want and trying hard to please the people we love by shielding them from the truth. Some of us are terrible at pretending and even beat ourselves for it. But we still end up doing it.

Honesty is something perhaps only sociopaths can achieve 100pc of the time, probably because they do not have fully matured emotions. I doubt if anyone else can be brutally honest with either themselves or especially with the people they love.

In fact, it is much harder to be honest with the person one loves than a random acquaintance. It is ironic how most of us fail to be honest with the people we love, considering the level of trust and comfort we share with them. It may have to do with not wanting to hurt our loved ones’ feelings and destroy the bubble they are in, or we are in.

But relationships are not the only area we are dishonest in. We are even dishonest with ourselves. We deny our true nature and try to suppress our emotions by not acknowledging them. Other times, we are too defensive to accept the truth about who we are and what we truly want.

How different would our lives be if we were honest with ourselves and with other people most of the time?

At times, I feel like exploding from not being able to say what I am thinking or feeling as I am often trying to look out for people’s feelings and being politically correct. I keep many things to myself. I ask how I would feel if I was in another person’s shoes. I refrain from being honest and blur out my thoughts for fear of offending others.

But, admittedly, it is better to say what is on one’s mind and be labeled a bad person than to bottle up our emotions and choose to be quiet. People who speak their minds, who are honest with themselves and others regardless of the consequences, are truly admirable. They are my heroes.

It is actually even more admirable to have self-honesty, which is to be utterly and completely honest with oneself and not backing up from the things we want or feel like we deserve. Self-honesty requires self-knowledge. If we do not know ourselves, or what we want, then it is hard to be honest with ourselves.

Sometimes situations drive us to conform and be dishonest to ourselves. But once we stop, it is hard to pretend or even fake our feelings even if circumstances sometimes push us. I doubt I have been completely honest with myself on many levels.

If we are honest with ourselves and others, then it means we have accepted ourselves for who we are and are making room for progress. I have, for a long time, struggled to wrap my head around self-acceptance.

Here is the paradox: if change comes from acceptance why would we want to change if we are content with what we have. There is a gap left for each of us to fill, and we humans are meant to evolve, change and be better.

The only constant is change; and whether we like it or not, we do not cease to evolve. I know I was meant to be the best version of myself. Thus I refuse to accept myself as I am currently. I will continue to change in whatever way I see fit until I reach that point of excellence; that is, as long as I manage to be honest with myself.

PUBLISHED ON Feb 01,2020 [ VOL 20 , NO 1031]

Kidist Yidnekachew has degrees in psychology and journalism and communications. She can be reached at kidyyidnekachew@gmail.com.

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