What do you say when someone says, “Do you mind if I’m brutally honest.”?
“Of course. Hit me with the truth! Go ahead. Fling your words at me and cut me to the bone. Beat me up with your need to be brutal.”
Or, are you more likely to respond along the lines of, “Well, actually, I’d rather hear loving honesty. Brutality just isn’t my thing, you know?”
It is such an odd phrase, and to me, a contradiction.
To be honest, I must not just watch my words. I must be accountable for every one of them, as well as my actions. For me, honesty is, by its very nature, loving. It is never brutal.
When I was a little girl my mother used to always say, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.”
Now, for years, I thought that meant, “Don’t speak the truth.”
Finally, after years of learning how to discern my truth, and to recognize what it means to speak truth without fearing the outcome, I get it. It isn’t about not speaking truth, it’s about always speaking truth in Love.
It’s about always standing in Love and knowing that when I speak from that place my words are never meant to hurt or cut, they are always spoken with the intention of being kind, caring and loving — of all.
It doesn’t mean I swallow my feelings, my responses, my reactions to things that hurt or disturb or distress me. It means, I find the path to expressing what hurts, disturbs and distresses me in Love.
It doesn’t mean I accept other’s bad behaviour. It means, I accept my right to speak of those things that do not sit well with me with a loving heart and the intention to always ‘create better’.
And it means, I never ever beat someone up with my truth or what I perceive to be their truth.
Disagreement does not equal rejection.
It also doesn’t give me the right to be cruel, mean or ‘brutal’.
We will not always agree with one another, but when I ask to be ‘brutally honest’, I am asking to be unkind.
And I do not want to be unkind.
I want to create better in the world.
And to do that, I need to let go of being brutal and surrender my fear of truth, of disagreement, of darkness and of light to fall, In Love.
In Love, all things are possible, including honesty without fear of being hurt or hurting one another.
This post is inspired by my friend MF who yesterday shared that one of her goals was to be brutally honest with herself so that she could grow in love and compassion. For me, being brutally honest with myself hurts the one I need the most to help me grow in Love and compassion — myself.
Thank you MF for shining your light so that I could see my truth.