Honesty, is really about being real with your self. Once you get that down, you pretty much understand it. Keeping it real is a whole other thing. Because what you are is always changing, and knowing what you are is key to being real with yourself. If you don’t know who you are, then everything in your life is out of kilter. You have no foundation (or you have a false foundation) and so everything you stack on that is all messed up and topples easily. So even if you figure out who you are right now, if you don’t keep track as you change, you’ll start living the lies.
The lies are things like, how you think people see you, how you arrange your life to build that you that you think you are. And you keep stacking that on top of that borked up mess that you think you are. But you aren’t that anymore, or you never were. You obtain that goal, you buy that thing, you meet that person, you get that job. And the messy pile keeps growing. It’s got no order and no purpose, because it’s all based on that fake you.
Keeping track of who you are isn’t that hard, but it can be painful. You have to be ready to give up all of your preconceived ideas, and all the words that people have spoken to you. You have to be ready to accept yourself. To love yourself, and to be ready to reject the opinion of others as you adjust to build onto the real you. Because, believe it or not, some people have nothing better to do than to tell you who you ought to be. When you go changing, they’re going to open their mouths, and if you aren’t ready, they can bring it all tumbling down.
The five commandments of knowing yourself are not etched in stone. There’s no formula for it. But there are a few things that can help:
Shut up. Just shut the hell up for a one damn minute. When you are quiet you can hear yourself better. You’ll hear that real you inside trying to talk, but they just finally gave up because you weren’t listening, and you were just talking too much.
Walk away from the bullshit. Get away from people. Take that walk in the woods, or find a quiet place and just sit. Be alone, and just think. No gadgets, no gizmos, no TV blaring, no internet distracting you. Just you and that quiet, and you somewhere deep inside. Nobody telling you what to think. No one telling you who you are.
Ask the hard questions. How did I get here? What do I want? And my favorite: What am I going to do now? Yeah. Where do we go from here, now that everything is all messed up? You got to ask those questions, and then shut up and listen to the answers.
Work the problem. When you know who you are, then you know what you gotta do. Now that you’re real, now that you aren’t lying to yourself about who you are, and what you want, and what you really need. You have to go out there and get it, do it, want it. And you have to put that first. You can’t be a person that people rely on if you don’t have that worked out. So don’t think that you’re being selfish. You have to sort yourself out before you can help others.
And finally, find someone you can bare your soul to, and never let them go. Find someone you can be your real self with. If you are with someone that keeps you from being yourself, who wants you to be the person they see as the one they want to be with, you will never be able to be honest. Never be able to be real. When you find that someone, whoever they are, that friend, that lover, you’ll know it. When you are safe to bare your soul, to tell them anything, then you’ll really be free.