Ah — the internet, overrun with so much discussion about self-care. People mention self-care to promote candles, to sell subscription services, and even foods. In a time like this, there are so many things changing and called into question in our country. Self-care, for some, can feel like a selfish, banal activity that should be on the back burner.
How can we move through life with clarity without self-care? Self-care is not all vision boards and affirmations. Sometimes it is as simple as telling the truth and accepting our lives with radical honesty.
Honesty as a healing practice
Studies have shown that being mindful of being accurate in our narratives can lessen symptoms like headaches and tension in various muscles of the body. Being honest can be challenging for those who may have had an upbringing that fostered or even encouraged hiding your emotions, thoughts, opinions, and motivations from others. Small steps toward radical honesty is a powerful way to change your perspective and feel more empowered.
Changing your perspective can be equally as humbling when you have historically been secure in your experience but have had some trauma occur in the last few years when conveying your truth to others. Here are some tips to overcome your fears of practicing radical honesty:
- Envision the events of your life after telling the truth. Sometimes we can mentally practice our responses if we prepare for the possible outcomes. Many times, real-life events are much less severe than we had imagined.
- Push the envelope. Begin to tell truths to yourself that might feel a bit uncomfortable, i.e. you do not like your career. When you can accept these facts, you are a bit closer to changing your life.
You do not have to do anything to change your circumstances until you are ready, and able, to be honest, will keep you safe from others forcing their ideas on you, or you inaccurately selling yourself.
What to expect
Your family, friends, and co-workers will know what to expect from you because now, your emotions, thoughts, and actions are aligned. Over time, you will want to change those circumstances that do not fit what is best for you, or you have made peace with them.
It seems that what you call “radical honesty” is commonly accepted as “radical acceptance” in psychological parlance, but with a distinctly intra-personal take: Not lying to ourselves. Yes, I agree. First we have to know ourselves before we can affect our external reality.
I think you may be conflating the two ideas. Philosophers like Immanuel Kant and psychologists like Susan Campbell expound on radical honesty as a way to examine your values, and regain clarity in your life.
It is a controversial idea, one that will always have its supporters and its detractors.
Radical acceptance is more the act of receiving the truths and realizing what you can’t change. It is not so much about transparency with others and yourself, per se.
Thanks for your insights!