the oft-elusive art of maintaining emotional honesty with kindness and compassion toward others

Confession: I now have zero tolerance for emotional dishonesty. Zip. Nada. None.

Because I work so tirelessly on my own personal evolution, I can scarcely be in the presence of others who slog on with disingenuous maneuvering, insincere manipulation, indiscriminate projection, plain old denial, or other garden-variety dysfunction.

This much I know: people-pleasing is passé. Saying one thing and doing another is not a hallmark of the shifting of the ages. Sugar-coating with nice words and smiley faces while you simmer with negativity or resentment is a prehistoric way of doing things that serves no one and contributes nothing to a paradigm trying its darnedest to emerge and take its place in the history of Creation.

Try though I may to summon up an interest in engagement, if someone is dancing an ungrounded-ambivalent-oh-well-whatever dance, I am left feeling akin to the way I might feel if I sauntered through a smallpox ward hugging and French-kissing everyone in sight.

Yet because I bear no ill will toward these folks — most of whom are basically well-meaning and inherently kind people — things get tricky. It’s not always appropriate to tell someone that her or his vibrational frequency is screechingly non-resonant with your own. (While often true, this approach is nonetheless prone to manifest as a vast failure to communicate.)

And even though I have derived a handful of coins from writing greeting cards, it’s hard to find the right words when my goal is to communicate, “Even the briefest interaction with you conjures up the sensation of discordant chalkboard symphonies, so for now, excuse me, I must flee. Have a great day!”

In a recent interaction with a longtime friend, I quietly spoke the words, “Being in the same room with you literally hurts my central nervous system.” Not surprisingly, the statement was less than well-received, though it was delivered in a spirit of honesty and communication.

I have only a few people in my circle who understand what I mean when I respond to an invitation or request by saying, “Hmm, I’m not really feeling inspired for that.” (More on “inspired action” in this previous post.) Conventional wisdom might suggest that I lie a bit and make up an excuse along the lines of, “I’ve got a podiatrist’s appointment that day” or some mutterings about hair-washing, sick animals, or non-specific health issues.

But dang it, when do we all start speaking our truths on a regular basis? I honor the person who says “Sorry, I won’t be able to help you out with that” — as opposed to the one who says “Sure!” and then fails to follow through.

I deeply appreciate when others share that they’re in a place of challenge, that things aren’t really going all that well — not so I can contrive some type of rescue for them (a strategy that has also passed its expiration date) — but so that I can understand more about the context in which they exist.

I am genuinely thrilled when someone’s words are aligned with their actions; when they admit their disappointments, their confusion, their delight, their curiosity about who I am and why I do what I do. I know that verbal processing isn’t everyone’s default modus operandi, but even a little bit of honesty can travel a very long way.

Increasingly, I take a fiercely active role in creating and maintaining energetic environments that offer me a sense of peace and comfort. My personal worldview holds that I am fully within my rights to disconnect from surroundings that feel emotionally and/or energetically dangerous, toxic, violent, or totally caddywompus.

So, I do.

Each one of us is a work-in-progress: I’ve yet to meet an Ascended Master at the hardware store. The more we let down our guards and let someone else in, the more we recognize our similarities and move past our perceived differences.

How about if today we commit to stretching our boundaries of emotional honesty? I wish I could promise you that your attempts will be celebrated and understood by others, but there are no guarantees here. “Truthiness” (Thank you, Stephen Colbert!) is often valued more highly than its wiser, older, more grounded sister, Truth.

The more honesty that’s moving around the planet, the simpler things can be for us all.  That’s my truth. What’s yours?

8 comments

  1. My thoughts this week and my meditations have focused on ‘surroundings ‘ and your words today opened up an awareness and gave meaning to my searchings. The path looks clearer now. thank you.

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  2. Whoa…..I can’t tell you how very ‘on-board’ I am with your post today. I am there, and like you say – sometimes it’s an awkward place to be. So far, I have cut off my brother, my sister (I told her she was too toxic for me) she said she did not know she was…
    and 2 friends. I don’t ever mean to be hurtful or cruel, my goal is just to be honest with them and not put myself in situations that I really don’t want to be. Not even so they would like me. I don’t know. It is difficult to say the least, but I appreciate people being honest with me, and I strive to do the same. If they can’t do it, well…I still can and I feel like I owe it to myself. So, thank you for letting me know there are others out there like me ;~)

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  3. @ nadia Q,
    You are quite welcome, Nadia. I love how you and I are often in synch. So nice to be connected to you in that way.

    @spirit2go,
    Oh, yeah, there are many others out there like us — and our numbers are expanding all the time! Truly an amazing time to be on Earth. I just began exploring your blog, too, and feel quite at home there. Also, love that you left your Comment at 1:11. * wink *

    @ Janet,
    Ah, another TruthTeller surfaces! Thanks for the honesty. (:

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  4. Julie Madsen

    Hello my friend…words of wisdom from 2010…still relevant and resonant. I’m so incredibly uninterested in lies and obfuscation and lose interest immediately when these are present. Must be why I love our conversations! xoxo

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  5. Martin

    This classic post both inspires and terrifies.
    I too feel it impossible to tolerate people and circumstances that grate with my “frequency”.
    What happens when the phrase “Being in the same room with you literally hurts my central nervous system” applies to the person you *want* to be most congruous with? Time for emotional honesty with myself and others, I guess.
    Sigh. There’s quite a mountain to climb. Better get moving.

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    • Martin, what a thoughtful Comment; I so appreciate your honesty. Actually, the person who I spoke those words to WAS the person I *wanted* to be most congruous with! And that was the most challenging aspect of the whole thing. Our relationship was very intense and all-encompassing, though fraught with outward incongruity for nearly two decades. This is not the time or place for me to delve into details, though I agree with you that this could be quite a mountain to climb for you, and taking one step at a time is the only way to do it. In my experience, emotional honesty is a sure gateway to personal liberation, and June 2014 is an especially potent time to make (once-and-for-all) significant choices in Service to the greater unfoldment of Divine Love.

      I don’t know if you resonate with the concept of “Twin Flames.” This video continues to offer me powerful support:


      My Beloved and I may not be together, though I Know we will never be apart.(-;

      Blessings to you, Martin…

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